Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yesterday, Talem passed away. He was 12 years old, which does not seem terribly old yet he was no youngster anymore. He still had so much heart and will to live -his mind clear. But his body was failing him. Talem was diagnosed with Mysthenia Gravis about 7 years ago. When he was first diagnosed, it was a real battle to figure out what was going on with him. He presented symptoms of being unable to walk in his hind end and trouble swallowing. I remember it took a lot of vet visits, they checked for slipped discs and all the more common things first. They gave him a spinal tap even! Finally they got down to the rare things after ruling out almost everything else. The test for Mysthenia Gravis came back positive.
Talem was my mom's dog at the time. We had lost Inachanan, Lalo - not all that long ago, and while on a trip to GA, visiting David Moore, David made a gift of both Tadawelt and Talem to us. Tadawelt still lives with me and has become a constant companion through lifes journey. Talem lived with my mother and they were very close. When he first became ill, she refused to see him perish after spending too short a time with him. So she went all out to discover his diagnosis and we were able to special order the medication for him. Gradually my mom and I got him back to health,carrying him outside, feeding him special until he was gradually able to work his body again. With his health restored, he had many years of life as the couch king and master of the household.
When my mother passed away, my father and I continued his care. My father, who is a retired RN, gave great care to Talem and got him so healthy he was able to ween him off the Meds. Talem lived for these last 2 and 1/2 years with no medications and symptom free.
This past weekend though he began to suddenly and rapidly develop symptoms of a reccurence  of the Mysthenia Gravis. This time he was unable to move both his front end and his rear.His front paws were locked into a bent position, unable to put weight on his pawpads. He would try to walk on top of his wrists! His rear shook with weakness and tremors.He would try to eat, but could only manage while laying down. We all saw that it would be a tremendous struggle to come back from it this time. The level of intensive care needed would be too great, I could not offer that round the clock care and at 76 my father certainly could not.  I haven't had to 'let a dog go' in awhile. I always feel bad. It's not enough to pet those sweet tiger stripes one last time. His heart was so great, he was so full of life, just last week, bumping into me, snuggling and playfully bumping his head into my thigh - the big guy that he always was.
Talem n'emehal  Al-Ifriqiya     November 1, 2000 - June 25, 2013
He was loved.  He was happy, he had a good life.   I think he went well.