My Dear Doggo…

Day eight-thousand three-hundred ninety two of NaBloPoMo. Or something like that. At this point, I’m wondering if I’ll ever see Tara again.


November 7, 2007

My dear Doggo,

You gave us quite a quiet fright last night.

It took a while for us to realize that you hadn’t engaged in your usual routine of staring us down while we ate until someone (me) relented and allowed you to lick the dinner remnants from our plates. That you didn’t get off the couch when I did place my plate on the floor as I normally do (because you do such a great job of getting the stuff off the plates the dishwasher would have to work a bit harder to remove), was unsettling.

And when I finally realized you were just laying there on your spot on the couch (which is really a giant dog bed and we should have realized that’s all it was when we bought it) the RT coaxed you down to the floor where you sat uncomfortably, shaking a bit. Your paws were cold, too. Aren’t dogs’ paws always warm?

Not too long ago the MoH said that he could hear your hip clicking as you walked around the block with him in the quiet of the evening. We’ve known that you have some trouble with your hip because you’re a bit of a plus sized girl, and not quite genetically put together well; your legs are just too short for the bulk of your body. So that’s why we’ve cut back on the distance you walk each day, and have made sure that you get just the right amount of food.

I’m sure the RT won’t mind that you’re snuggling with his old blan-key. It’s pretty stinky, so I know you like it.

I encouraged you to lay on your side, and you complied, but seemed afraid and panted a bit. You wouldn’t even eat one of your favorite Milk Bone dog biscuits and it sat just beyond your nose until you nudged it and tried to eat it, giving up after a few seconds. But concern showed in your eyes whenever anyone touched it or moved it, so we knew you were interested in your bone.

I felt so badly for you (because you are always so perky when we’re all home together in the evening) that I went upstairs to get your bed, pushed you gently (which is no mean feat) to lay on it, and then covered you with the rug, watching your eyes close as you gave in to sleep. Watching the rise and fall of your body as you breathed.

I began to wonder how we’d get you in the car if we had to take you to the vet. I know we could, but I can imagine that you’d be quite embarrassed with the idea of it, not being able to do it yourself. I asked the MoH how old you were again, thinking that eight or nine isn’t that old — even in dog years, is it? I probably just don’t want to admit it.

Later in the evening after we’d all gone to bed and I had successfully gotten you to climb the stairs, I watched you sleep in your regular place next to my side of the bed. As I read, I kept watch for the sign of your breathing, just like I used to do with my babies.

This morning you were fine. Not stiff, tail wagging, and ready to eat that bone we gave you last night.

I’m glad you’re feeling better, Biggedy. It was unseasonally chilly last night, and I think that chill, coupled with your joint problems, just got the best of you. But I’m still unsettled about your health. I think we’re all getting to the point where we are feeling uncomfortable about the fact that our animals just won’t live as long as we will, and that as time goes on, the idea of starting all over again with someone else, is just more than we can bear to think about.

We love you Biggedy (Ann Jones the Third — as the MoH would coo in a falsetto),

Your Doting Family

p.s. I’ll go to the pet store today to look for some glucosamine. Maybe that way, your joints won’t be so sore. Oh, and I’m so glad we replaced the RT’s sheets and comforter. Goodness knows, I wouldn’t want you to have to take your naps on your dog bed while I’m writing. Heavens no.


11 responses to “My Dear Doggo…”

  1. I hope you are happy making me cry and thinking about my 9 and 10 year olds that are having a hard time. We lost our cocker two years ago. No matter what anyone says, it sucks…

  2. Robert, I love the image of you in your rig with your dog. How great that you have all those memories. I can imagine you’ll always miss her.

    Sorry, Beth. It made me a bit teary-eyed as well. But she was able to jump in the car today to go pick up my son at school. I’m keeping an eye on her. And you’re right — it sucks that they have such a grip on our hearts. Who knew I’d ever be a dog person. My two cats are a bit older than the dog…

  3. robert bourne

    I had a golden Lab in the truck with me for 13 years..she pretty well ran the place…I still miss her now and again…

  4. dawn

    awww… poor puppy! Glad she’s feeling better. Reminds me of our Sasha last month when she suddenly couldn’t walk. It was arthritis in her spine. But her meds are great and at 13 years old our Shepard – Husky cross is back to playing like a pup.

  5. Dawn, it’s good to hear that the meds can make that great a difference with your shepard. My older boys had shepards that lived to be quite old.

    Sauerkraut, we’ve lived through the fish thing, too. The RT was about five at the time and we figured he’d learn responsibility taking care of those fish. Well, we’re the ones who took care of them and when they went belly up, he seemed not to notice. *sigh* As far as being old and cranky goes, I’m thinking that actually adds to one’s life expectancy. I do believe it’s synonymous with being what my grandmother called “full of piss and vinegar.” Which is what I am. An authority on the subject, here and at your service.

    And does the management know the Sox won because there was something in the water?

    MGL — Thanks! And treats abound here for Ms. Biggedy. No worries there. And I, too, know how she feels. Our bottles of glucosamine are lined up on the counter right next to one another.

  6. sauerkraut

    After the The wee one won a goldfish at a scouting event, he insisted on having lots of fish. So I got him a small tank setup and 2 different types of goldfish to go with “Fishie.” They were doing well until one day when Fishie was spotted belly up. He was so upset.

    Two days later, a store-bought was floating belly up on the bottom of the tank. This time he was more philosophical about the whole death and dieing thing. But he cried because it brought him back to Fishie.

    Then we noticed the 3rd fish – Red Sox – was lethargic at the back of the tank. Got the water tested, added some goop and voila… Red Sox came back to life. Just as the baseball team had and at about the same time. That’s when he knew they’d win the Series.

    A couple of weeks ago, I got 6 more Fishie-type goldfish and a catfish. The catfish I buried just this morning. It’s crowded in that metal box. The tank only has 3 fish in it. 5 of the new ones died already.

    And then there’s sauerkraut, god bless him. Overweight. Old. And cranky. Doesnt move much except when he hears a meal being loaded into his bowl. Kids are already talking about what to do when that day comes.

    I am not looking forward to it.

    Plus, they already have plans to get a perky young kitten when he passes. Gads.

    Glad your pup is feeling better.


  7. Mad goat lady

    What a gorgeous face!

    I hate it when the kids or animals are sick..I would much rather it be me.

    Biggedy I can relate to the whole sore joint situation and old girl you have my sympathy…hope you are moving more freely very soon and more treats I say…bring on the treats Please Mum!

  8. In my best Chandlier (from the TV show friends) impersonation,” Could that dog BE any cuter?”

  9. I cried when I read your post…It has taken me a couple days to process my thoughts and be able to put words to the emotions.

    I was particularly touched by the part when you mention how our pets, who are so much a part of our family and life have such short lifespans. I try not to live in too much denial about anything, but I think that is how I allow myself to adore and revel in them instead of obsess that I will someday lose them. If I allowed myself to go there, the fear of the impending loss would prevent me from allowing them to be such an integral part of my life.

    Three years ago this month we had to make the most difficult decision we’ve ever had to make…to put our sweet cat, Penny to sleep. She was only 12, which isn’t really old for a cat, but she got cancer, and she was suffering. By the time we made the decision, I don’t know which was worse, the fact that she was sick and we couldn’t do anything to help her, or the fact that we had to put her to sleep.

    As hard as it is to accept, maybe there is a lesson about life and love to be learned…

    Darn those critters for working their wiles on our hearts! My best to your sweet doggie!

    Gotta go pet my kitties!

  10. Thanks, meleah. She’s a very nice Gurrlll and we love her very much.

    Hi Gina, You’ve brought back some achy memories of a similar experience with a much loved cat here. It’s been 10 years since we had to do the very same thing. Where does time go?

  11. OK, you made this bra cry. What a sweet, touching essay. We lost our “Kramer” a couple of years ago on Christmas Day…we still miss him…I hope your doggie is feeling perky again soon! Great photo too!

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