Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Baby Story

Baby on June 18th after her hair cut.

Back in January of 2004 we lost our Springer Spaniel named Minnie. Mom had let her out to go potty and she never returned. Minnie had been with us for 17 years and I think she left so I wouldn't have to make any hard decisions like we have had to make recently. Some people say that someone had to pick Minnie up since she was such a friendly dog. But there was only one way into out little cul-de-sac and I find it hard to believe Minnie could have gone far enough for someone to drive up and snatch her away.

I looked for her for weeks. I handed out fliers in surrounding neighborhoods, vet clinics and local stores. I walked every inch of our neighborhood and climbed barbed wire fences to look for her. I checked the pound daily and we never found her. After 17 years - she was gone and I was distraught and just knew I could never love another dog again as much as I loved her.

My last picture taken with Baby, June 29th preparing for June's Birthday Pictures. I didn't send the picture in because I thought I looked terrible. Now. I cherish this picture.

In July of 2004 we decided to get a new pup because it just didn't seem like home without having furry paw prints in the house. So we headed to the Humane Society. They have a spot set up for bonding and after we picked out a cute little dog and bonded with him - we find out someone just adopted him out from under us. Heartbroken we went home only to return and have the same thing happen a few more times.

Tobey suggested we check out the SPCA and we loaded up the family and went looking for a new member of our family. Frodo spied a dog and called me over to see him. The dog got so excited it put its paws on the cage and the poor thing stood taller than my six foot self. And it was a pit bull. Needless to say - Frodo was not to happy I nixed the breed and the height of that dog. We needed a smallish pet for our smallish house and huge family.

Some how I missed seeing Baby. Tobey found me and told me he saw a dog that I had to take a look at and that she looked so much like Minnie. And there she was. Sitting quietly in the front of her cage...scheduled to be euthanized the next day...and she was on clearance for $35. Tobey got her leash out and she more than willingly followed him out of the cage. As she stood up she seemed to grow before our very eyes. Her nickname from then on was Ottoman as she really looked like a furry ottoman. Flat back. Big body. Little legs stickin' out.

But (at that time) her sweet demeanor won us over and we decided to adopt her. The lady at the adoption desk mentioned that it looked like she needed to go on a few walks. Then she told us that someone had found Baby walking loose after hurricane Charley came through. It was obvious to us that Baby was well fed and with that we felt she must have been well loved. But her owner never claimed her or just never knew where to look for her. I feel sorry for what they lost out on.

So Baby comes home with us and rules the roost for a few years before ze annoyin' French Swiffer Max comes on scene in December 2008. Followed by Daisy and then Pete. Baby was never a 'in your face' kinda dog. She was elderly and portly and she seemed to always stay on the sidelines. While she enjoyed going to the dog park, on a walk or just playing in the back yard but she was never the type to fetch a ball or anything of the like. But make no mistake - she was the alpha dog of our pack and everyone furry or otherwise knew it.

When Baby's hips were better she would love to climb up on the couch and sit perched on the top of the couch cushions, looking out the front window, ready to bark at every.single.person that walked by. The last few days of her life - when I came home from work there was no barking and that slayed me and just gave us more evidence that Baby was not feeling like herself any more.


I'm going to try hard and not focus on those last hours of her life. Her behaviors told us that we had made the right decision. She barely lifted her head when Dr. B came in. And Allen from across the street popped in and Baby didn't acknowledge him with her usual growl until the sedation medication had been administered. It was her last act of defiance and Allen told Dr. B that they have always had a love/hate relationship. She laid her sweet head down and yawned and that was it she was asleep. No pain. No stress. Us laying on the kitchen floor, petting her, trying our best not to cry and weep so we wouldn't upset her. We then told Dr. B we were ready. And Baby drifted off peacefully. Surrounded by love.

The hours before Dr. B arrived I laid on the kitchen floor with her. Telling her what a good puppy she had been and how much we loved her. Max laid with us and Daisy on occassion would as well. I think Baby knew and I think she looked to us to help her out of her pain. Since she couldn't eat or keep anything down for the last week we resorted to all sorts of food options. Her favorite was the fillet mignon from Carrabba's and who could blame her. Tobey gave her a little dish and she went out potty for the last time. That little bit so exhausted her she laid by her water dish and that is where she went to sleep. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Afterwards we brought Daisy and Max in to say their goodbyes as well. I have no doubt that Daisy is our most intelligent dog now and it seems she is moping around the house. I have told everyone to pay her lots of attention and give her lots of love as she is grieving too. Max? He's French. Enough said. Dr. B gave us time to say our goodbyes and brought in a little stretcher with blankie embroidered with 'love and dignity' on it then Tobey and I carried her out to Dr. B's car.

And while I still feel the sting of guilt in that decision - I tell myself it was the right thing to do. She couldn't get around, she couldn't eat or keep down what she did eat. I think that cancer in her ear spread throughout her body. I think the Rimadyl didn't help her situation at all. So I keep telling myself it was the right thing to do...and I'll keep telling myself that...over and over until this pain goes away. I just hope she knows how much we loved her.



Dr. B gave us time to say our goodbyes and brought in a little stretcher with blankie embroidered with 'love and dignity' on it then Tobey and I carried her out to Dr. B's car.

I lost it reading that. So sweet and right. I am sorry for your loss of a good true friend and loved one.

Came over from BBP. So sorry for your pain. What gifts you've been to each other. May comfort come quickly.

Yeah after Dr. B and Barbie lifted Baby on the stretcher I asked if Tobey and I could carry her out. Could we be her pallbearers? She said of course and man....I can't even think about it without bursting into tears. But. It was our last thing we could do for her.

Call me sappy but I think the angels just swooped in and picked up Minnie.
I am so sorry for your loss and your other pups loss!
You did the right thing, she had a wonderful rescued life with you and it was time to end her pain.

I can not even read this post. It's OKAY to cry. I still cry over my kitties. We lost Sweet Pea in 2007 and Oscar Snuggles in 2010. I am better, bit it still hurts. Our fur babies definitely leave paw prints on our hearts--forever.

Let yourself grief and cry. It will get better, but it will take time.

*hugs* Tee - I promise I won't keep posting all Baby posts for much longer. Why when I can post every single picture on FB! LOL And you need to get on FB and join the BBP group!

I knew I shouldn't have read this. So sad. I have had to do this more than I care to remember. It is always heartbreaking. Our last incident was last September 25 when we had our beloved springer spaniel Harley euthanized due to a brain tumor. I think of him every day. I still have three dogs, and it seems it's always something. My shih tzu is on a special diet and meds right now because she ate something plastic and has pieces of it in her stomach. If she isn't better in a few days, the vet said he'll have to "open her up." I'm praying so hard for her. I found your blog in the comments at Bye Bye, Pie, just FYI. Hey, I made a rhyme! Take care, and know that your dog had a good life with you.

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