Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tears and Times to Remember

Well, the last couple of weeks have been hard ones. We lost two beloved pets in one week.

Our old dog Snowflake was 17 years old and going deaf and blind. My husband adopted him form a friend when Snowflake was about a year old. He was a great dog for sixteen years - having fun running, playing and being loved.

Recently, poor Snowflake was incontinent, vomiting a lot, and sleeping more than normal. There were so many times we would be in the yard and he would just walk aimlessly around, like he was lost. Probably mostly in part to being deaf and blind...He had done so well up until last year. It seems as if Snowflake aged overnight. My husband and I had started asking ourselves if it was "time," and we both agreed it was.
I dropped my oldest off at the bus stop Friday morning 2 weeks ago and pulled into the driveway. I was looking to my right at Sam coming out of the shed and didn't even see Snowflake. I just heard him yelp and felt the bump. The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach was unbearable. Shaking and feeling nauseous, I climbed out of the van terrified of what I was going to find. To my relief, he wasn't dead, nor was there blood. He just couldn't stand up. It looked like I had hit his back leg. Sobbing, I ran into the house and grabbed some towels. My other 2 children were thankfully still asleep, so they had no idea. I ran back outside and wrapped Snowflake in the towels to keep him still. It took me several tries to dial my husband's cell phone number - I was crying and shaking so hard I couldn't get the phone to work. It was horrible. My husband rushed home and took Snowflake to the vet. There were no choices this time; he had to be put to sleep. We knew it was time, but I sure didn't want him to go like that. The images of him struggling to get up are etched in my mind and the guilt of hitting him just won't go away. I am so thankful none of our kids were with me though. They took the news better than I expected. All three talked about how much they would miss him, but they knew he was really, really old. My husband buried Snowflake by the barn in a nice quiet, shady spot. His feisty, yet fun-loving personality will be greatly missed.
My parents still have the 3 puppies we rescued last October in South Carolina. These little guys also had a rough start to life. They went from this:
to this:
in no time at all. Boots, Max and Sally have grown and matured into fun, playful, loving dogs; although quite destructive...They have completely stolen all of our hearts.
My husband and I kind of kicked around the idea of adopting Max, the only boy of the 3. He loved to play fetch and got along really well with our kids. We still needed some time to think about it though, as Snowflake's loss was still so fresh in our minds.
Then six days after I hit Snowflake, my Dad called to break the news about Max. He had been struck and killed on the dirt road in front of their house. As expected, that news hit like a ton of bricks. Max was only a year old. He was the one who loved to play ball and always carried a toy around in his mouth.
He was such a sweet, sweet pup.
Two losses in a week is really hard to stomach. I find myself spending more time loving on our dogs Daisy and Sam and our kitties K.C. and Stripes. Go hug you pets and your kids...becuase you just never know....


BaxtersMum said...

I worry every day about the days that will ultimately come - with Baxter, With Rico, with my kittehs (who are now both 10.)

I think part of what makes it so hard is that they are so utterly dependent on you, and look to you for their happiness and care. It makes it that much harder when you can't do anything for them, or worse, when you feel like you didn't do enough, or the right thing.

love you, Red. If I were there, I would have cried with you.

buckpony said...

I are always there for me, even if we are a million miles apart. I have cried enough for both of us. :) You are exactly right - we are so responsible for their well-being and there is nothing better than a loyal, happy pet.
It's hard to believe your kittehs are already 10. I still remember when you got them as kittens!

Beth said...

I am so sorry to hear about the dogs. My old girl (choc lab, Molly) is 11 1/2. We've been together longer than Mike and I have! I pray she will be with us for at least 2 or 3 more years because I am not ready for her to go. When we lost Junebug I was a mess and I know losing Molly will be just as bad or worse. Thinking of you!