Week 5: Her Final Days

She gave so much love, she was worn out. <3

She gave so much love, she was worn out. ❤

As I write this last blog, I am in so much pain and heartache. I’ve spent all day crying.

Yesterday, Baby suddenly got very very sick. She was moving at a snail’s pace, throwing up, panting heavily, and drooling profusely. We took her to the doctor and they took an x-ray. Cartilage had disintegrated between two of her vertebrae in her lower back and were rubbing together against her spinal nerve. She was in excruciating pain. Her doctor gave us some pain medication and some new arthritis medication to help improve her condition. The doctor told us for her to take it easy and see how she feels.

I was hopeful for a very long time. But unfortunately, Baby had fought for too long.

Last night, Baby refused to eat, drink or take her medication. She was drooling and throwing up water every ten to fifteen minutes. She just lie there unmovable. She couldn’t get up. This morning, hoping that she would have improved and ready to take her medication, Baby had showed no signs of change. My mom, my stepdad and I saw the pain and the emptiness in her eyes. She was already gone. We made the decision to put her to sleep.

I sat in the backseat with her the car ride there as she panted and drooled and struggled to get comfortable. I rubbed her velvety ears for the last time. I told her how much I loved her and how sorry I was I couldn’t stop the pain. I gave her several kisses. She was unable to give me any kisses on the nose in return. We carried her in the vet’s office on her bed because without that as a cushion, she would’ve been yelping and we didn’t want her in any more pain than she had to be in. My mom and I cried as the doctor prepared her. The doctor assured us she was in too much pain for this to continue and that we were doing the right thing.

My mom, my stepdad and I stroked her head, rubbed her back until she peacefully went from our arms into my grandparents’ arms in Heaven. Her pain has ended. Her sight has returned eternally and she’s chasing her tail in Heaven with my old dog, Di and my grandparents. My grandpa Roy loved Baby very much. He died a year ago yesterday. In one of his last visits here, he sat in our chair in the living room, Baby sat by his chair and let him just pat her on the head. My grandma on my mom’s side stayed with us every Christmas. She loved animals. And she had a soft spot for Baby. There is a picture of the two of them on our refrigerator. Every night before my grandpa Roy got really sick, he and my stepdad and my stepdad’s twin brother used to talk on the phone. Before they’d say goodbye, Roy would say, “Give Baby a pat on the head from me.” Now he can do that himself forever.

I don’t know what is on the other side. But I do know that she’s waiting for me there. She’s been my constant companion for the last eleven years. She was a stray found in Swope Park by my old neighbor, John, who is a police officer. He brought her home and gave her to my mom and me. I thank God every single day that John brought her to us. The fall after we got Baby, my other dog, Di, died of a tumor in her neck. Baby got me through that. A year later, one of our family friends who I was extremely close to, committed suicide. Baby got me through that. Two years later, my grandpa on my mom’s side lost his battle with cancer. Baby got me through that. That year I also experienced bullying and struggled socially. Baby got me through that. My grandma died at the beginning of my junior year after struggling for two years with dementia. Baby got me through that. Last summer, my grandpa Roy lost his battle with kidney failure. Baby got us all through that.

These past eleven years Baby has done nothing but protect, love and care for me. Not once did she ever let on that she was in pain until yesterday. She didn’t want us to see her like this. She was embarrassed and humiliated that she had no more strength left. She will forever be my Punkin Boo, my Boo Boo Face, my Preciousness, my Precious Angel Babycakes, my Pooh Bear, my Boo Bear Face, my Boo, my Missy, my Baby Punky. She will never leave my heart. She’s another guardian angel I have watching over me.

My grandma loved red birds. Cardinals were her favorite. Whenever I see a cardinal, I know that she is with me in that moment. Something that was an incredible comfort today was when we were loading Baby in the car to take her to the vet, and a male and female cardinal were perched on a branch in the tree across the street. It was my grandma and grandpa telling me that they were ready for her.

I’ll miss her more than words could ever say.

Hug your pets today and cherish the memories of old ones,

Callie

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Week 2: Sitting in my lap!

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This week began with a great start! I was sitting with Baby on the kitchen floor last Sunday and she got up, turned around, and plopped her lil’ butt in my lap. She stayed like that for a few minutes before she got up and walked away. My mom and I had a good laugh.

As the week went on, Baby made some more great milestones. I was very happy about. On Wednesday when I got home from a meeting in Warrensburg, I headed straight upstairs to my room. Little did I know I had a follower! My blind Baby walked up the stairs all by herself when she usually has my mom to accompany her. She walked straight into my room and laid down on the floor, just like she used to when she could see. She stayed up there for close to an hour. I literally almost cried.

Having Baby in my room again was a great feeling. Before she was diagnosed, Baby always always always slept in my bed. When I was there, she slept in my room with me. She never slept downstairs with our other dog, Coal. But when she was diagnosed with SARDs she discontinued that practice. She felt more comfortable downstairs with Coal in her own little bed. It was hard for me because I got so used to having her sleep in my room that occasionally I couldn’t sleep. One of the suggestions for owners of SARDs dogs is to adapt to their routine and not the other way around. As much as I hate it that Baby rarely comes to my room anymore, much less sleeps there, I have to adapt to her what’s most comfortable to her. So I enlisted my giant stuffed lion and a giant stuffed sheep dog (aptly named Simba and Big Shadow) to replace the space in my blankets where Baby once was.

One thing I have noticed, especially this week, Baby hates to be away from my mom for very long. She’s almost like a little child that way. Just as children hate to be far away from their mommies for too terrible long, Baby is the same way. To her my mom is safety. Now that she can’t see, she feels safest when near my mom. Just like me when I was a kid.

Doggy kisses on the nose,

Callie.