I just don't have the energy right now to write a tribute post that would be worthy of such an amazing friend, but because so many of you knew and loved AJ, I wanted to let you know that we had to let him go this weekend.
Because of his age, he really didn't have any teeth left, and even though his food was always soaked, he was still having trouble eating lately. Friday afternoon he started choking and of course our normal vet was out of town, so it took quite a while for my parents to find someone that would come out. The vet that did come was unable to get the obstruction dislodged and our only option was to take him to the vet school to be scoped and he would most likely need surgery. My sweet old guy was 31, and there's no way we were going to put him through that, especially knowing there was a good chance we could still lose him, so late Friday night I left North Carolina and made the 12 hour trip home to be with my boy.
We were hoping he might be able to pass the obstruction himself sometime overnight, but when I got there Saturday, he wasn't doing great. He wasn't suffering, we never would have let that happen, but he was uncomfortable. When the vet came back out, she said we could try tubing him one last time, but when she listened to his lungs said he had definitely aspirated saliva or food and would most likely end up with pneumonia. His prognosis was very poor, so we decided to let him go.
Devastated does not begin to describe how I feel about losing him. He was a part of our family for 27 years, and while he had a good run at life at 31, I wasn't ready to let him go. He was so many things to so many people and my heart is completely broken. I am beyond grateful that I was able to be with him and say goodbye, but I will miss him more than anything.