while i was in california.  actually, only a day after i left home, i received a call from our dog sitter.  atticus, our oldest, furriest dog was having seizures.  this was nothing out of the ordinary since he had anywhere between 2-4 seizures a month.  

the seizures started out of the blue last april.  a. and i were sleeping and woke up to a huge crash and a ton of scratching and panting.  i thought the boys were fighting and a. thought someone was breaking into our home.  when we turned on the lights and found atticus seizing, we were both terrified.  luckily there is an emergency vet clinic only a few miles from our house- so at 4am, we loaded atticus in the truck and took him in.  after a series of very expensive tests, they couldn't find anything wrong with him and sent us home.  the seizures continued, one day a month, and while i hate to admit it, i guess i never wanted to believe they were getting worse.  

we put atticus on phenobarbital and as the seizures got worse, the dosage increased.  however, on all but one day a month, he lived a happy and healthy life.  so when i got the call in california, i didn't think much of it at first.  atticus was having seizures.  a lot of seizures.  and he wasn't coming out of them.  it all happened so quickly.  i literally packed my bags, said good bye to our healthy boys and hopped on a plane.  24 hours later, i was advising our dog sitter to take atticus into the veterinary er.

from there he was placed under 24 hour care and treated like a vip (very important pet).  back in california, we were gearing up for our conference so the day flew by.  by the end of the day friday, i dragged myself to my room and followed up with the vet.  the news was horrible.  throughout the 24 hours, atticus was having seizure after seizure and eventually slipped into a coma.  with that news, i was given two choices.  one, to opt for him to see a neurologist at cornell (this didn't ensure that he would snap out of the coma, or if he did, that he wouldn't suffer from brain damage) or two, plan b.  i'm sure you can guess what that is...

obviously, i was devastated.  i was hundreds of miles from home, in a hotel room and trying to make a life and death decision by myself.  i called a. in afghanistan to tell him what was going on and thankfully he had access to a phone and could chat.  we talked about the options together- which while it didn't make the conversation any easier, it was so comforting to have him on the other end of the phone.  once we decided what we needed to do, i made the call.

needless to say, atticus was the most amazing dog and he brought so much joy into our lives.  he had so much spunk, energy and personality.  sure he would eat dozens of unattended cookies off the counter and bark like a maniac every time the doorbell rang, and went bananas whenever he saw another dog...but he loved life.  and it was obvious.  he was our family mascot- with his bigger-than-life personality and endless vocal storytelling.  he was an awesome road-tripper and mountain bike companion.  he could run or hike for days and drink gallons of water and eat any neighborhood out of house and home.  there was so much to love about him- and he will forever be missed.

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