Tuesday, May 5, 2009
We'll Miss You Precious
This weekend we had to have our dog, Precious put to sleep. She's been a part of our family since a year after we got married. She was "Rodney's" dog, but she never fully figured that out. When she was a puppy I was working as an auditor and travelled Mon-Thurs most weeks. The plan/agreement was that Precious would sleep in her crate at night, but it wasn't very many weeks into her life with us that I came home to find that when I was gone she got to sleep in our bed, it was obviously pointless to try to insist she sleep in the crate when I was home, so she moved permanently into our bed, and whenever I was home she slept under the covers plastered against my side (perhaps she was getting me ready for co-sleeping with babies LOL).
We had a couple of big poofy recliners that we generally sat in to watch tv, and she would jump up on one of our laps and wiggle herself down in right along the arm of the chair & our leg and cuddle while we watched TV.
Interestingly, when I was pregnant with the twins, she somehow figured out all on her own, that she was losing her place in our bed, and she moved to the foot of the bed, where she slept until we moved here a year ago.She handled the transition to life with babies very well. She put up with their "love" even though it was abit rough at times. I've often said my only complaint about her, with kids, was that she wouldn't even bark or whine to let me know if they were doing something to hurt her. She never once nipped at the kids, and there were certainly times they deserved it.
Over the last couple of years it's been obvious that she was getting older, she's had breathing problems for several years, if she gets excited or upset or ran around too much.
She didn't adapt to our move very well, for some reason, ever since we moved here, she got upset any time we left her home alone, which had never bothered her before.
She was getting stiff, couldn't jump up onto our bed here, which was higher than it had been at the old house since the girls were born, but not so high she wouldn't have been able to jump up when she was younger. So at this house she generally slept on the floor of the girls' room, or in the hall outside both of our doors. But she still was the sweetest dog. Putting up with the girls' "love", but coming and getting under my feet if they got too rough. L would tell Precious "secrets" when she (L) was upset, to help her calm down.
This weekend we left her at my parents' while we were all at church. She was only alone for a little over half an hour, but apparently got even more upset than usual. My parents & the big girls got home to find she had pooped all over the room she was in (very unusual for her) and that she was having trouble breathing. They rubbed her throat, gave her water, took her outside . . . she seemed to recover some, but was still struggling to breath when dh & I got home a couple hours later. So, dh took her to the Emergency Vet. They thought meds & oxygen would get her back to normal & we'd just need to be careful to not let her get so upset in the future, but when dh was part way home (he'd left her to have the oxygen overnight) the vet called & said she wasn't responding like they thought she would & there wasn't really anything they could do. So my parents & I took the girls down to the Animal Hosptial (and met dh there) to tell her goodbye before she was put to sleep. Telling the girls that Precious was dying is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It's such a helpless feeling to have your kids hurting and not be able to "make it ok". The drive to the animal hospital helped alot, they, in typical A&L fashion, talked it out the whole way there and were calm by the time we got there. The vet was AWESOME. Got down on their level and talked to them and answered their 101 questions. Precious was in an oxygen tent (? it wasn't a tent, it was a cage thing, but I don't know what it's called) so we could see her while the girls asked their questions. Then the vet explained that when she opened the door to the cage it would make it even harder for Precious to breath so they needed to be quick about giving her a goodbye kiss, so she didn't struggle too much to breath. They did, each gave her a quick kiss, and then they were ready to go. Since then, we've had lots more comments and talking, but no more tears (from them, I've had a few moments, but thankfully when they're not around). Dh came home that night, and we didn't come home till yesterday, so he had time to get her food & dishes put out of sight before we got home, which helped. They will comment on things like "now we don't need 'feed Precious' on our chore list anymore" and L told dh "it was sad when we walked in our house and Precious wasn't here to greet us". But overall they're doing ok with it.