It's been a rough few months in our home, but last Friday was one of the most difficult days of my life.
Her tightly double curled tail could not be uncurled; it was built into the bone structure. Her gorgeous, flat face gave her the perfect snorty-ness, while her yappy, high-pitched bark surprised us.
She behaved herself around pugs like her, but she wasn't friendly to other breeds.
She loved all her humans, but she was my girl.
She was constantly underfoot in the kitchen, waiting for tasty bits to fall so she could gobble them up before I could clean them up.
I would have sworn she was part goat for the items she consumed over the years. Paper, toilet paper, tissues, silly bands, crayons, small toys and any food were fair game for her.
We did our best to keep her from these items, but she was also sneaky, naughty and persistent, so we weren't able to keep everything from her. More than once she pooped rainbows, or entire paper towels.
Unfortunately, she also loved the mushrooms that would grow in the backyard grass. We patrolled before she went outside to do her business, pulling mushrooms from the stem, and staying with her while she did said business.
We always seemed to miss one, or two. She could smell them long before we could see them. I'm fairly convinced that was her downfall. I don't know what type of mushrooms they were, so we will never know for sure.
More recently, we noticed her having breathing issues, which we treated, but understood that this was something we weren't going to cure.
Last week, in about 36 hours, she went from OK to what seemed to be nearly complete kidney failure - coughing, wheezing, wet lungs and hardly peeing. It was devastating to see her struggle for air.
We knew it was time. I knew it was time. She was my girl, after all, and even though we made the decision as a family, we all understood that I had the final say.
A call to our wonderful vet's office and it was scheduled. We cried. I'm crying now thinking about it. We held her and loved her at home all afternoon last Friday.
We told her we loved her and we talked about all the funny, silly things she did that drove us crazy.
Then, together as a family, we loaded her in the car and drove to the vet. My amazing husband could go no further. He loves dogs more than most people, and he just couldn't. I completely understand this and gave him his space as my teen girls and I carried her inside.
With the lot of us crying, the vet staff immediately moved us to a room and out of the very busy waiting area. They had a blanket on the table for us, even though we'd brought one that she'd be permanently wrapped in.
The staff was so kind and so compassionate. My girl, struggling for air, looked at me with pleading eyes, and my teens and I continued to love on her. The vet gave us a bit of time to be with her, then asked if anyone wanted to stay. We all did.
Then, the vet gave my girl a sedative, and as the medicine took over, my girl laid down to rest for the first time in 24 hours. The sedative made it even more difficult to breath, and it almost took her without the final drug.
Then came the final drug. We continued to stroke her neck and tell her we loved her. I held her head in my hands as she took her final breaths, and then it was done. My girl was gone and headed over the Rainbow Bridge.
We sobbed, but we knew we'd done the right thing. We knew being there, holding her, telling her we loved her kept my girl calm and peaceful right up to her last breath. If I had to do it all again, I'd do it exactly the same way.
We had closure and time to grieve. She's home again with us with the other two furry family members we've lost in the last 20 years. That brings me peace, too.
I miss you, Daisy girl. You were a sweet, loving, funny and unbelievably annoying pug, and I hope you are running, barking and leaping at every horse you can find. Have fun on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge - I'll be looking for you there someday.
Matthew 5:4 (NIV)
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
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