I remember telling her that she was a wonderful dog. She honestly looked surprised and complemented. I used to struggle with how she never wanted to cuddle with me like dogs typically do. I always had to go to her and it irked me. Then one day I realized how petty of a big sister I was and decided to just adore her for who she was.
She passed away in her sleep on Wednesday morning. Today is Saturday. She was in the hospital for nearly a week before she passed. I’ll feel the guilt of putting her in for that surgery for the rest of my life. But truth is she couldn’t breathe and we didn’t know she was dying. The doctor even thought her blood work and overall health was enough to give her a year after this surgery with a better quality of life. Meaning she could at least go for walks and car rides again. She couldn’t even do that without severe breathing stress. Her world was getting smaller and smaller. She could have lived another month or two just at home eating and interacting with us, but what quality of life is that?
She was still happy in her old age at 13. Still wanted to be with us and go where ever we went. She hadn’t lost her mind or her taste for frozen peas.
Dad thought she had a seizure a month ago. Why he didn’t tell the doctor I’ll never know. He isn’t sure it was a seizure because it happened in the middle of the night and seemed like it could have been a crazy bad dream. However, it probably was one considering that the doctor said that something hit her nervous system. She was just so tired and her esophagus had become enlarged again. A tell tale sign of her larynx paralysis condition is that other areas also loose neurological control. It was getting smaller so the night before she died the doctor said she expected her to be released to go home. When the doctor called I expected to be told to come pick her up.
She had already passed away by the time we got there. She was already gone. Passed peacefully in her sleep. The doctor said she was doing fine then her breathing got oddly fast suddenly then a few minutes later she was gone.
I feel terrible that we weren’t with her and we didn’t get to say proper goodbye. But the alternative would have been to put her to sleep with all of us hysterically crying. It’s probably not a good experience seeing all of us so upset.
It’s hard when their minds haven’t gone yet. She was still herself happily leading us around the house when we said “show me what you want.” She’d go under the kitchen table and sniff upwards when she wanted the goodies or plate that was up there. Or she’d lead us to her empty water bowl or pots on the stove that needed a last lick. She loved sniffing all the groceries that came into the house. I’d take her to Mother’s Market where she’d wait in the car and we’d drive away eating Hav’a’corn chips. She liked her shoulders rubbed from above when she was laying down and if I’d cover her front legs and feet with my arms and squeeze in she’d nestle into me. That was her true form of a hug. We always went to her to get cuddles but if we went to long she’d come asking for them. I always wished she would hug into me like how Dana and Lula would but she wasn’t that type of cuddler. She loved deeply in her own way.
Memories are just endless after nearly 12 years of sharing experiences. She loved the beach when she was younger. Loved surfing the waves and swimming after the ball. After her leg surgery she couldn’t go anymore and before I knew it 6 years went by and she hadn’t experienced that joy but for a few times. I took her to the beach maybe two or three years ago before her respiratory problems were so pronounced. She hacked and coughed but had such a wonderful time. As far as I know that was her last time there.
She still had her boat rides at Lake Havasu every summer though. She loved her spot in the bow of the boat surfing the waves, bouncing with ease over all the bumps. For those minutes of riding she was ageless. Somehow her arthritis, knee pain, and breathing problems disappeared for that time and she was a happy puppy again. I took her for her last boat ride to the bridge on the hottest day of our trip. It was at least 120 degrees so the air hit our faces like a hair dryer. I was having second thoughts about bringing her but decided to just stop and cool her off a few times more on the way. She seemed hot parked in the shade of the bridge but I gave her tuna and crackers and covered her in ice water from the cooler and she napped peacefully in the bow of the boat until it was time to head back. She was happy and comfortable. I’m so glad I took her with me.