I came home from work yesterday at a pretty decent time. I was amazed. The sun was still up and it wasn't even 5 p.m. yet. I'd gone in really early for a conference call with some folks in London so it didn't pain me at all to leave at a good time. I stopped at Taco Bell for some late lunch/dinner and headed home. I walked in the house, sat down with a bag of ice on for my swollen knee that I have going on right now, and began to watch some T.V.
A couple of hours later, Melon Man got up from sleeping and he went to feed Doodles. Instead of Doodles meeting him at the back door, I could hear Melon Man calling for him. Then, I saw him walk in the house carrying Doodles in his arms. He was all muddy since it had rained that morning and the night before, but I wasn't sure why he'd be so muddy since he doesn't just go out and lay in it for fun.
Doodles' tongue was hanging out of his mouth to the side and he was having a difficult time breathing. His back legs wouldn't move and his front ones didn't move much either. It was as if he'd had a stroke. Melon Man took him to the kitchen sink and washed him off. I got a big beach towel and we wrapped him in it. My heart began to break. I knew this was the end for him. I hadn't been here when Miss Pooh died, but I could see this was the beginning of the end. I held him in my arms and tried to comfort him. I talked to him. I cuddled him. I choked back the tears. He got so heavy after a while that I had to lay him on the table next to me for a bit.
I have never been an animal lover. My dad detests pets and I grew up learning that pets were not allowed in the house, nor did we need them. When Aubie would bring home some stray animal, my dad would reluctantly give in. When the animal died, he would reluctantly bury it or dispose of it. When Mr. Spock and I got married, we didn't have any pets and I didn't want any either. But, after he got out of the hospital after he tried to commit suicide, I thought maybe a pet would help draw his focus away from himself and toward the pet instead so I got him a bird. While that helped him, it was eventually devastating when the bird flew up into a halogen lamp and almost burned to death. It was so very sad when one day after Mr. Spock left that he called me and told me that CrackerJax had flown away. When Melon Man and I got married, I still didn't want pets. But...these pets were already part of Melon Man's life, so since I was already "making" him get rid of most of his other things, I couldn't be the cruel wife and do that too, so they came along. They were both about 10 or 11 at that time. Miss Pooh died two years ago while I was in Chicago on a business trip. And today...Doodles finally died too.
I spent all night with him. I've hardly slept except a little bit here and there on the sofa throughout the night. I either held him in my arms or laid him on the sofa next to me and kept my hand on him to monitor him. Every so often, I would think he'd finally succumbed and had died, but then he'd start breathing again. He wheezed and cried off and on. And then, he'd be still. Then it would start again after a little bit. He'd try to life his head, but it would just kind of sway around. By the time Melon Man got home from work this morning, nothing had really changed except that it seemed he was starting to get worse. Melon Man called around to a few places and we finally decided on a local pet hospital just around the corner from our house. By this time, he had lost control of his bodily functions and had pooped in the towel and peed as well, so I knew the time was coming. We took him to the animal hospital and they were so kind to us there. They were so sensitive to the fact that we were having to put our dog to sleep.
As we sat there, inquisitive little dog that he is, he was still trying to look all around to figure out where he was. The doctor came and took him to the back to put a little catheter in his arm for the medicine. When she brought him back to the room, he was very peaceful (his prior breathing had been very labored). I could see in his eyes that it looked like he had relaxed enough to have finally died, but she still gave him the shot of medicine to make it happen and within just a small minute, she checked his heart and he was gone. I tried to close his eyes, but they wouldn't. It was a sad moment, but I felt at peace that he was finally out of misery. I never thought that I would become emotional or sad about a dog dying since I just am NOT a pet person. But, I guess it's the woman in me because I am just overcome with sorrow today. I am sad that I wasn't an equally loving mom to him as I am to Dog. I am sad that I got upset with him all the time for scratching the crap out of my back door. I am sad that I yelled at him every time I found a new spot in the house where he'd peed. Mostly though, I am sad that he just had to suffer the last 12 hours, especially some of that time out in the mud, unable to move. We will miss him - he was funny, the little humper. I mean, seriously...a little dachshund humping an 85 pound labrador? He loved wearing his Christmas clothes. He loved eating french fries. And, he loved just sitting on the sofa sleeping next to mom or dad on Sunday afternoons.
Rest in peace, Doodlebug. We'll miss you! A few pictures of Doodles through the years...
|With Dad, Christmas 2007|
|Another one from Christmas 2007|
|Hanging out in the kitchen, trying to get some people food|
|In February, 2012, on the sofa with a very sick Mama|
|Mama's favorite photo...a recent lazy Sunday afternoon...a man and his remote...no wonder he's smiling!|