About 2 months ago, before I got sick… I lost one of my dearest friends. I’ve never been one to go overboard with pets like some. Spoiling them with ridiculous bling and carrying them around like accessories. I mean, come on!
I also don’t think people should adopt pets and then leave them alone trapped in the back yard or on a chain either. They are animals… but they are also members of the family. I guess I am kinda middle of the road on things like that.
I got my girl, Wiggles, just after my separation from the ex-husband. She was my friend and companion. I was really struggling living on my own half the time (when sharing custody), the first time not living with another adult human EVER.
Wiggles was my friend. She followed where ever I went. She was sweet and compliant… her only indulgence was chasing my cats and scaring the bejesus out of them. She was a smooth fox terrier and just had that pursuit gene wired in to her brain.
She especially enjoyed this pastime in the middle of the night. I can’t tell you how many nights I was startled awake and jumping out of bed to find her running like a maniac through my apartment. Took a little time to break her of that. In fact, she had to spend a few nights out in the yard to accomplish it.
She was a quiet little portly black and white smooth fox terrier with a heart-shaped black spot on her back. She was about 10 years old when we got her, and started out very timid when we met her at the shelter. Yet, as we loved on her and helped her feel more secure and comfortable, she warmed up.
She spent much time prancing around with red polish on her toe nails. She always walked like she was wearing high heels and her long nails clip clopped and sounded just like them.
When we brought our second dog in to the family… a Chihuahua-Doxie mix puppy, Wiggles really came alive. She mothered on him and played with him and seemed delighted to have a furry companion of her own. She stayed that way until just a couple of days before she died.
About 6 months ago, we had a scare in the middle of the night. We were sleeping in bed, and she started to get up and move around some. Then, in the darkness, I thought she had accidentally fallen off the bed. The sound was odd though. I didn’t hear her scramble to her feet, but I did hear an odd rhythmic sound. I jumped out of bed and saw my girl in a full on seizure. Thank God the kids weren’t home.
I did my best to comfort her. Afterward, she was dizzy and disoriented and I gave her loads of attention and put her to bed. The next day we visited the vet.
He ran all kinds of tests and determined that she was fine, but the seizure could have been caused by a slow-growing brain tumor. She had a couple other fatty tumors on her torso, so he thought it was a possibility. He also said it could have been just a fluke and she might never had another seizure again.
She never did have another seizure, but as time went on I thought I heard some labored breathing from time to time and then came the day when she woke up dizzy.
She was shaking her head and unsure about hopping off the bed in the morning. I was thinking she was getting old and started looking up possibilities that could cause it.
When I returned from work, she was more wobbly… in fact I had to help her out to the bathroom. Thats when I called to see about the vet… Still, before I could get her in she was gone.
It was a huge shock. In a couple of days she went from her fine and fun and playful self, to not being able to walk. That’s when I realized she wouldn’t make it through the night.
As I held her, I was sure the brain tumor had paralyzed her. She was awake and alert but her body was completely relaxed. She was always a funny sort, and never liked to be picked up or held. If you picked her up, she went all stiff and her legs shot straight out. Not today… Today she was like a newborn baby in my arms molding to my body.
I held her and rocked her. I cried desperately and told her what a good dog she was and what a wonderful friend and part of our family she had been. Then I laid her on her bed, and called for the kids from their Dads so they had a chance to say good-bye to her.
We cried and cried and petted her and slathered her with love… Wrapped her in our favorite softest blanket we had and told her all the wonderful things our hearts could hold.
I took the kids back to their fathers for the night and came home to be with my wonderful dear friend. I turned down the lights and laid on the couch watching her. Just a few minutes after I turned down the lights and the whole world got quiet, she vomited and I heard her agonal breathing start.
My soul was aching and I was sobbing and praying to God to take her fast… “If you are going to take her, God, please take her fast.” Then I stroked her and talked quietly to her until her spirit left her body. Then I sat and stared for the longest time, breathing in the silence.
Then I realized I needed to bury her. I felt all numb. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do without a partner. It was pouring down rain and she’d gone down hill so fast that I hadn’t planned where I would put her.
I considered calling my Pastor or another friend from church to help me but it was the middle of the night and they all have their own families to take care of… So, in my grief, I put on my rain coat and boots, marched out to her favorite spot in the back yard and just started to dig.
I was emotional to the point of vomiting but I managed to lay her to rest. I don’t know why I needed to go through all that alone, but I do know God was there with me… wetting the ground with the rain to make my task just a little lighter.
I love you Wiggles girl… You are sorely sorely missed.