Tag: Pets

Saturday Mourning (Part 3)

Posted by – March 2, 2011

Back in early 1998 we were living in the garage at my grandmother’s house waiting to find the house we wanted to move into.  We already had two dogs (the reason we were forced to buy rather than rent a place) so when someone asked me if I would take on a 3rd, I did.  What’s one more right? 

We didn’t have the greatest start with her.  On the drive home after picking her up I suddenly became overwhelmed with the smell of feces.  Sure enough, when I turned to look in the back seat, I caught her “in the position”.  I was a hair away from turning the car around and returning her but it all worked out.  Because the other two dogs were already trained and housebroken, she followed suit and quickly fit right in.  She was a 2 month old Beagle we named KC (after KC and the Sunshine Band).  Later her name would be recorded as Casey because, for some reason I never understood, the vet office couldn’t just put KC on her record.

Out of the 3 dogs she was the only one that liked to get in the pool and go for a cool swim when the weather was warm.  And when the older dog stumbled into the pool, she tried to reach down and grab him by the neck to help.  Barked at him as she walked down the side of the pool leading him to the steps.  By the time I realized what was going on and ran out to the pool, she was on her way down the steps to try to get him.  Our own “Lifeguard on duty”.    Her favorite past time… digging.  Of course.  I had to pay attention whenever I was in the yard doing lawn work so I wouldn’t break an ankle in one of the many caverns she dug.  She had quite the mischievous streak on her and kept us on our toes.

Yep, she definitely had her own personality.   One that was even more noticeable when the other two dogs died back in late 2008- early 2009.  At that point, she became the center of attention and demanded every bit of it.  When I was working she stayed with my mom and got special attention (and extra treats) from her.  When I wasn’t working I was home all day so my pal was with me 24/7.  Plus the occasional ride in the car.

About a year ago I took her to the vet because she seemed to be having problems going to the bathroom.  She was diagnosed with bladder cancer.  The treatments consisted of 3 different medications daily plus the occasional round of antibiotics.   The meds seemed to do the trick.  She was doing much better.  Then two weeks ago she came in from outside limping and whining.  I wasn’t sure what may have happened so I quickly gave her a double dose of pain med and tried to comfort her until I could get her to the vet.  An hour later the meds had kicked in and she was a wet noodle so the vet wasn’t able to see what she was doing earlier.   However, they did check her out and take xrays but found nothing.  They speculated that she may have gotten stung by something or pulled a muscle while outside.  I thought it may have had something to do with her back because of the way she sat but they assured me her back and hips looked fine.  I was told if it happened again I could treat her with the pain meds and muscle relaxer but if it got worse they would need to send her to a specialist.  The following morning she was bouncing around like nothing had happened.

Two days later she had another episode.  I slipped her the meds and, once they started working, she was fine but I knew I was going to have to do something more.   Then, Friday evening I took her out for her last potty break of the night and within a few minutes she began to limp.  I ran in to get the meds and when I came back out she had loss the use of both her back legs.  I gave her the meds anyway because she seemed to be in pain and called the vet.  I was referred to the after hours vet hospital so I called them then got ready to take her in.

The pain meds hadn’t helped her at all this time.   I think she only stopped crying at the vet office because being there scared her.  She was checked out and the doc said her prognosis was not good.  She said that either a clot or cancer cells were cutting off the circulation to her rear area causing her to be paralyzed (and in pain).  She said the situation was only getting worse.   That if they tried to dislodge the clot, it may go somewhere else and kill her.  And more than likely, her pain would not be relieved nor would she regain her legs.  So…..

In the wee hours of the morning on Saturday I had to make the decision to let her go.  It was difficult because I didn’t want to be without seeing her sweet little face but I couldn’t be selfish.  I miss her very much.  She was my daily routine. 
RIP Casey   November 1997 – February 2011

Saturday Mourning (part 2)

Posted by – March 16, 2009

In 2003, I accompanied my mother to the residence of a woman who was selling her dog.  She had a two year old male Pomeranian that she thought would be better off with someone else since she lived in a small apartment.  (At least that was her story.)  My mother fell in love with the little dude and he came home with us that day.   She named him Sam.

Boy did he have a lot of energy!  He used to get himself all wound up and zip around the house with his tail scooching across the floor.  He’d have us laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes.  He was also a little backasswards.  He wouldn’t make a sound when someone knocked on the door or walked in but when someone left the house, the little ankle-biter would go nuts! He was a lot of fun and he was cute but he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the house.  LOL! 

Eventually, mom became a flight attendant and she was gone a lot so Sam and I became buddies.  When I moved I took him with me and eventually he became big brother to my other four-legged, hairy children.  Of course, Max was the only one he paid any attention to or played with but all of them knew Sam’s place in the house.

About ten years ago, the vet told us that Sam had an enlarged heart and would probably die within a year.  At that point he was put on three different medications and somewhat of a diet.  He did surprisingly well.  However, in the last year or so, he hasn’t been doing so well.  His hearing and eyesight had all but gone, he was bumping into things (which was kind of funny), and fell into the pool a few times.  We had to watch him all the time.

As I mentioned last time, when I deployed to Texas all four of my 4-legged, hairy little children were relocated to my mom’s house in South Florida.  I really don’t think this is what she signed up for though.  Sam took a turn for the worse and mom’s wasn’t sure about what to do about him.   I told her that he’d lived a heck of a lot longer than he was expected to and his quality of life wasn’t all that so she should do whatever she thought best.  I knew it would be difficult for her but I also knew she do the best thing.

Mom called me this morning and I could tell something was wrong but she opted to chat a bit before breaking down to tell me Sam was gone.  She took him to the vet and a specialty vet and they told her he was in pain.  They said they could operate on him for the eye absess he had but his kidneys were also failing and he would likely go into cardiac arrest if they operated.  She didn’t want him to be in pain and could see no reason to put him through any of the other so she made the decision to let him go.  I knew this one was much harder for her because Sam was her’s and worse, she had to make the decision to put him down. 

Sorry, again, that you’re having to deal with this mom.  Remember, you made the right decision.  For now, we’re in mourning for another of the four-legged, hairy children.  Goodbye Amish….. you will also be missed.

July 1991 - March 2009


Saturday Mourning

Posted by – December 29, 2008

One Sunday morning twelve years (and a month or so) ago I found myself standing in a PetsMart staring at the cutest little mangy mutt I’d ever seen.  Tiny little body that someone had stuck a huge head and big feet on.  I had to have him.

I was there because I had somewhat inherited my mom’s dog when she became a flight attendant and my (then) significant other decided we needed another.  First, so we would each have our own pal to raise and love on.  Second, so they could keep each other company while we were gone all day at work.  I  agreed to ride along on the search.  Do I really need to say that I ended up taking the little guy with the big head home?  We called him Max, after seeing an Office Max at an intersection.  (Hey, whatever works) 

When we first got him, he was full of worms, mites,  & fleas, and the little guy could clear a room when he farted.  (Nothing a little medication and a change in dog food couldn’t clear up.)  Ah, Good times… LOL!  He was a smart pup, though, so it took no time at all to train him.  I always talked to him as if he were a person so he understood just about anything you said to him.  Like me, he was a bit neurotic, chewed his finger (uh, paw) nails, and had a bad back but he was lovable, easy going, and… well, just the best dog you could ask for. 

All three of my dogs have passed their life expectancy but even the vet was surprised at how peppy they still were on our last visit.  I had hoped that before I went on the road I would be there when they died but duty called and I had to leave, so all four of my 4-legged, hairy little children were relocated to my mom’s house in South Florida.

Last Friday (the day after Christmas) mom came to visit and, on Saturday, she broke the news that Max died.  Of the three, he was the last one I expected to go first.  He was also the only one not on medication for an illness.  Apparently, one day he was acting as though he didn’t feel well and had a hard time breathing, then wouldn’t eat.  Mom took him to the vet and after running several tests (bloodwork, xrays, etc.) on him, he died before they got out of the office.  They still don’t know why.

I’m sorry mom had to deal with that and I know it was hard on her, but at the same time, I’m grateful to her.  I don’t think I would have handled it well.  Plus, I keep thinking back hoping there wasn’t something wrong with him before that I should have noticed, but missed.  For now, I am in mourning for my 4-legged, hairy little son.  Goodbye buddy… You will be missed.

August 1996 – September 2008

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