It's been almost 2 weeks since I had thought about writing about our dog Dixie. It's just a sad story. So don't read anymore if you want to read an uplifting story. It's not this. Sorry!
Two weeks ago, this Wed. started off like any other crazy school day morning. Monkey let the dogs out to do their business and then he started laughing so hard. The baby was still asleep and I was whispering loudly to be quiet to not wake her. He was whistling too, at least that is what I thought he was doing. I quickly went over to him and asked, "Why are you making that noise?" to which he responded, "It's Dixie, mom!" I looked out the back door and saw our chocolate lab scooting on the patio and looking very concerned. Ok, let me just add in here that even though I am a vet's kid and blood doesn't bother me, going out to find out what was wrong with our sweet girl was my husbands job. I hate surprises. I don't like not knowing what I am up against. I know, fun right? Anyway, I had my dear hubby go out to see what was wrong. Shooing the kids away and trying to get them ready for school and dialing my dad's number was my job next. I handed my husband the phone so he could talk to our on call vet, (thanks Dad!) and tried to distract the kids. Very VERY difficult to do!
Speed up an hour.
We are on our way to the vet hospital. We live in a town that has a University Vet hosp. This can be a huge benefit! After a quick (45min) exam, the neurologists decided it was on of two things and by the way she was acting it was probably a fibrocartilaginous embolism.
A what? Simply put, a spinal stroke. She ran out the door and it dislodged a clot that then paralyzed her from the waist down and was continuing to affect her front legs. To confirm this they recommended we spend $1500 for an MRI and then discuss treatment from there. We were looking at spending thousands of dollars for a dog that we rescued and to hope that it worked. Ah Crap! Being a grown up Sucks!
We decided after 3 days of much deliberation and crying, to let her go to doggie heaven. There is way more to the story, but let's just say it was exhausting. After telling the older kids, we took them to say good-bye.
I guess, I had thought that they would respond the same way we did growing up. Knowing it was a fact of life and you hug them, cry and say good-bye. What I didn't expect was my sweet Peanut draping her body on her dog, crying and saying that she would stay with her dog at the hospital so she wouldn't be sad or scared. What I didn't expect was my stoic 8 year old to be standing next to his dog and then saying, "Mom, my eyes are sweating!" "They're hot!" What I didn't expect to see was my husband and I looking at each other with tear soaked faces. I kept thinking, "This is a time when I want my parents and I don't want to be the one handling this."
One week later.
Peanut's comment "It seems like it was a lifetime ago, mom." At times, I forget she is gone and other times it does seem like, "a lifetime ago". Monkey forgets to feed our other dog daily now since he doesn't have his Dixie reminding him when it's breakfast/dinner time. Dixie could talk just like Chewbacca. No joke. The other dog, didn't eat for about 5 days and he was afraid to go into the backyard like he knew that something bad had happened. The baby would run around the house with a flashlight looking for Dixie. (she would chase lights) Small reminders of a big void in our daily lives that she isn't coming back. The kids will be okay. We will be okay. She was a good dog and yes this whole post has been about our DOG.