Thursday, July 5, 2012

Louie 1997-2012

Our dog Louie died today. He was our Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, our sweet boy for 14 years. He would have been 15 in October, and he was decrepit and feeble.  We had to push him up the stairs holding onto his rear legs.

That he was failing doesn’t mean his death was easier.  I have been known to say (on several occasions!) I can’t wait till my dogs die. Because sometimes they are just so exasperating. Louie was never fully house trained.  In the mornings, when I went to the basement to let him out, I never quite knew what I might encounter.

This morning I found pee, poop, and vomit. That’s not good. I couldn’t get him up. He was listless, unmoving. After cleaning up after him, I asked Bob to get out of bed and get Louie outside. He was wobbly and disoriented. (And so was Louie.)

We called the vet and Bob took him in. So brave of my husband. I couldn’t do it. I’m a crier. Weak and weepy. The vet said she could do something to make him feel better, but it was only a matter of time. We didn’t want to keep taking him to the vet, and she suggested that erring on the side of early is better than erring on the side of late. So we elected to put him down and spread his ashes on a nearby hill with other dogs who had met the same fate.

I am left with Louie’s remnants—his bed, his doghouse, his treats, his cage. And I must remember when I drop food on the floor, I can no longer count on Louie to scoop it up. Life is going to be different and sad for a while. We still have Spunk, our feisty terrier, but she is also old.

I’m beginning to get a sense of what empty-nester parents feel like. A little lost.

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