The love of a dog is a special thing indeed.
It's awfully tough when they must leave us.
I've often written about Chippy, our 18 pound Dane-hua-hua. I'm sorry to say that Chippy has, well, cashed in.
The Flusher blog is steeped in Vegas truth with a little bit of poetic license thrown in, and some clearly made up details that most people spot. The stuff that happens at home is based in some kind of fact both past and present, and liberally extrapolated into ridiculous fantasy.
And that's where Chippy the Dane-hua-hua lived.
Chippy, of course, wasn't a real dog, at least, not as described. She's sort of an amalgamation of all dog's I've had (like the terrier that weighed 18 pounds). She didn't really have a 12 pound head and 6 pound body.
But there was a real dog, a lovely wonderful dog, upon which Chippy was mostly based.
I got her as a pup from the Humane Society, many years ago. She was a border collie lab cross, beautiful, and as a puppy, her breath smelled like sweet waffles. We've been through hell together and back again, and she was the happiest dog I ever knew. She would wag so hard she'd be on tippy-toes and bend in half from one side to the other.
She had a rough run the last few years, suffering from arthritis, stomach ailments, encroaching blindness, deafness, an amputated toe, and horribly, something called degenerative myelopathy, which made her hind legs progressively more and more paralyzed.
Last October, she'd had some problems and I took her in to the vet. The diagnosis was a huge tumor, probably a type of cancer that would kill her in a month.
I opted for the $1400 surgery because she deserved a chance. A little miracle happened - the tumor wasn't what they though, even though it was the size of a large citrus fruit. (The sizes of these things come from the Big Book of Tumor and Hailstone Comparison Objects featuring golf balls and grapefruits.)
The tumor was benign and would have killed her by blocking her intestine had I not opted for surgery. She had a great recovery and the last 5 months were bonus months with my little pal.
Winter was hard on her, and things were compounding. It was difficult going out in the ice and snow, and she was becoming incontinent. For the last 4 months or so we took her out 10 times per day. She was on four different pills including painkillers, 4 times a day.
When we fitted her with a diaper, she wasn't ashamed. She was proud! She strutted, as if to say, "Look! I have... CLOTHES!!!"
Lately, things started to compound, and kidney failure was added to the mix.
A year ago, I had a talk with her after the DM diagnosis.
"Don't leave me," I said. "I am not ready for you to go. Don't go yet."
In return I promised I'd never let her suffer.
Well, she stayed for a year, including the really lucky bonus 5 months after her surgery. But lately, things became clear. She was winding down. She was losing weight, not eating anything but treats. The last two days, on a couple of occasions, we had to hold her back end up so she could drink.
Yesterday, we let her go. St. Patricks Day. I liked it, because I will remember every year.
It is one of the saddest and most difficult things to do in life to put down a friend who has been with you every day for 13 and a half years.
She deserves a spot in this blog that isn't made-up or silly or fantasy. I think after 750 some odd silly posts, I deserve one or two serious ones.
So that's the reason for my stopping in the middle of this blog for a few days. I need to heal a bit, and I don't feel very fucking funny right now.
Perhaps in a day or two I will pick it up again. Maybe it will do me good to keep busy writing.
If you have a dog or a cat or a pet that you love, go and tell them. And ask them not to leave too soon.
Because even after so many years, it's always too soon.
|The Real Chippy. Rest in peace, girl.|
And she is, by pure chance, an 18 pound Dane-hua-hua.
Named Chippy II.