Tuesday, October 11, 2016
SLICE OF LIFE
About two and a half years ago, I brought my mom's dog, Boo, home to live with me.
I wrote about it here.
And on Saturday I said goodbye to her.
I wasn't expecting to say goodbye so soon.
On Wednesday, Boo was fine. Greeted me when I came in the door from work. Monitored the squirrel activity in the backyard and then laid in a patch of fall sun on the deck. Ate dinner. Sat next to me while I did schoolwork.
On Thursday, she stopped eating. Was acting kind of lethargic.
On Friday, I called the vet and made an appointment. I wasn't too worried. She had just had her shots and and a senior wellness check up right before I went back to school in August. At the time, the vet said her blood work was perfect.
Her appointment was at 9:30 on Saturday. The vet checked her out. Couldn't find any visible problems. Wanted to redo the blood work. Sent us home. Called me an hour later. "You have a very sick dog." Her liver values, which had been normal a month ago, were ten times the normal limits. She wanted me to take her to the emergency clinic for more tests. And so we went.
The vet was young. So young. And very sweet. Wanted to do an abdominal ultrasound. Four hours later he had an answer for me. A gall stone had traveled from Boo's gall bladder and lodged in a valve in her liver. Surgery would cost $8000 to $10,000. And would be very risky. She probably wouldn't survive.
And so they took me down the hall to the "Comfort Lounge." Brought Boo to me. I said goodbye. Held her and rubbed behind her ear, her favorite spot, while they put her down.
And about all I can say is that Boo lived life on her own terms. And that she was as brave as she could be.
Boo had a very hard life. She was a puppy mill mama for the first six years of her life. Lived in a wire cage. Had litter after litter after litter after litter of puppies. Was abused, probably, given her fear of my boys, by a man. She was finally saved by the National Mill Dog Rescue, then adopted by my mom. When my mom's living situation changed two and a half years ago, I brought her home to live with me.
Every single thing she did was an act of bravery. It was brave for her to move beyond the confines of her bed in the corner of my living room. It was brave for her to initiate eye contact with me. It was brave for her to allow my granddaughter, Esveidy, to stroke her ears. It was brave for her to ride in the car with me. Or to allow the vet to touch her.
Boo lived the last three years of her life bravely.
And I hope happily.
Rest in peace, my brave girl. Rest in peace.