Thursday, January 1, 2015

Heartbreaking Obituary For Our Beloved Dog - R.I.P. Texas

Name:  Texas, a.k.a. Texie Mexie, Texas Mexas, Big Guy, Mama's Boy and Poopy Pants
Age:  18 years old
Date of Birth:  August 27, 1996
Date of Death:  December 29, 2014

Preceded in death by:  Teslin, wife

Survived by:  Son, Louis Vuitton
                        Daughter-in-law, Lily
                        Granddaughter,  Lola
                        Numerous other children 
                                     Texas sired many litters

Sister Mercedez and Son Louis Vuitton

Lola, Granddaughter

Lily, Daughter-In-Law
But there is so much more to Texas' life than these details. Many of you have met Texas in other blog posts about this unique, incredibly strong, feisty, beautiful dog.

We inherited Texas by accident.  We baby sat him for three weeks when he was nine years old for our son-in-law and daughter. When this former daddy came to pick him up he growled at him.  "Come on, Texas.  Get in the truck - it is time to go home."  This was met with a growl.  "Texas, get in the truck.  Come on now."  And an even bigger growl.  My son-in-law smiled at hubby and said "Looks like you got yourself another dog!"

It was evident that Texas had no intention of leaving his new home and his new daddy.  In those three weeks Tex attached himself to my husband.  We had just lost our beloved Babe, a German Shepherd/Doberman cross.  I had run over her with our truck (my husband was with me).  I became hysterical when I realized what had happened and I thought my hubby's heart was going to break. Read Babe's story here.  We had rescued her twice.  The first time (story here) was after her previous owner died and she was going to be put down.  The second time we had to take extreme measures to save her life by changing her appearance. (That hilarious! story here).

When Tex came into our lives he provided the therapy my hubby needed and Tex must have known that - he refused to leave.  (Complete story here for you dog lovers)

Three years ago Tex was attacked and mutilated by a Bull Mastif who had already killed another dog and injured five others.  Tex was almost bit in half.  At the time we had to make the decision all of us dog lovers dread.  We decided that even though he was fifteen, we wanted to give him a fighting chance and he proved the vets wrong.  They were shocked that aging Tex survived -- not just one but two major surgeries with over 150 stitches and several hours of surgery.  (And that story is here)
Texas - after first surgery

Texas won a Valentine's Kissing Contest After Second Surgery
The last three years Tex grew closer to my hubby.  They were inseparable.  If hubby walked from one room to another, Tex was beside him.  He slept with him and cuddled every evening on the sofa. They loved each other dearly and it was evident to everyone.

I would certainly get my share of cuddles from Tex but it wasn't the same.  He probably felt a bit of an obligation to give me love and kisses but it was short-lived.  A few minutes every couple days for me, then back to sitting on hubby's lap.

Texas was eighteen years old and starting to show his age. He was walking a bit slower the past few months and sleeping more, but he still had lots of spunk.  Amazingly he did not have any grey hair and his health greatly improved during the nine years we had him.  We changed his diet to raw food and watched his skin growths, allergies, and arthritis disappear after a few short weeks.  We are strong advocates for feeding dogs a natural diet after discovering what is in commercial dog food -- yes, even the expensive ones.  Do your dog a favor and read that post here.

We knew the time was approaching when we would have to say good-bye to our precious Texas and I dreaded the day as I knew how my hubby would respond.  Last Wednesday, Christmas Eve, we kissed Tex good-bye.  He watched us pack our suitcases and laid down in the corner, showing the whites of his eyes as he glanced back and forth in utter fear -- knowing we were going on a trip.

This little guy had serious separation anxiety.  He did not handle being away from hubby very well. He cried and looked extremely worried.  We assured him we would be home soon, as we always did. A friend of ours stayed in our home to watch our dogs, Texas and Mercedez, for the four days we were gone.

Arriving home Sunday night, we noticed that Tex was walking very slowly and breathing heavily. Hubby spent the night with him on the sofa and in the morning Tex could hardly walk more than a few paces without panting.  I called the vet and suggested to hubby that maybe Tex was just stressed over our being gone so long.

The vet examined him carefully and said that his heart rate and temperature were normal and wanted to do further tests.  She assumed his body was starting to shut down, even though there were no signs of illness.  After discussing the tests and what they might indicate, she basically said that even if she determined there would be a treatment to prolong his life, it may only give him two weeks to six months.

Kick in the gut.  We knew it would happen but..... not now.  
Not ever.  But inevitable.

She left us alone in the room to discuss it.  It had to be hubby's decision.  He would not allow Tex to suffer so the decision was made.  The vet said the sedative would put him to sleep in about ten minutes.  We could stay or leave. Hubby said he didn't think he could stay. I called Rochelle and explained the situation to her and then gave the phone to her dad.  This is when he completely broke down as she comforted him.

But Texas was still not ready to say good-bye and we stayed. He lifted his head up and stared at hubby for an hour. We would put his head down and pet him and kiss him as he looked like he was falling asleep.  As soon as we stopped he would pick up his head again -- looking for more love and affection.  I asked hubby to kiss him for a photo and when I uploaded it later I could not believe my eyes.  When we left that morning hubby grabbed a cap and the picture revealed what was on it -- "Texas, Route 66."

My husband lost his closest friend that day. When I asked him why we continually set ourselves up to fail by loving our dogs so much (we have had MANY dogs and April 2014 I wrote 26 blog posts about their crazy antics).  We know that we will always have to say good-bye and yet we keep rescuing more dogs and loving them deeply.  His response, "The only way to deal with the pain of that loss is to get another."

I was surprised as this was not what I expected. I know that when the next short-legged long-haired ball of fluff walks into our lives, he will bring healing and love.  But, there will NEVER be another Texas.  Just as there will never be another Babe or Sheba or Tony or Rusty or Willow or Dakota or Rex or Perky or Peppy or Brandy or Zack or Sinker.

Our black Lab/Dalmatian, Mercedez, loved her little brother dearly.  When we got home from the veterinarian's she looked for Tex.  She has been asking to go outside every 15 minutes for the last three days. She runs around the yard and then comes in the house looking forlorn.  How can we possibly make her understand.  She is fifteen and her age is showing.  She is mama's girl and many of you have read her stories -- I just can't 'go' there right now.

Final thoughts

Dogs give us unconditional love.  They don't care what we look like, who our friends are, what our habits are.  They just love us.  They experience separation anxiety because they are not capable of understanding that when we leave them for a few minutes, hours or even days....we will return.  They think we will be gone forever and it is unbearable for them.  Now, we are in that place.  But as humans, we are fully aware we will never see them again and that separation anxiety takes time to heal and is extremely difficult.  We will heal.....but we will never forget.

Have you ever lost a fur baby you loved deeply?  How did you deal with the loss?

1 comment :

  1. I'm so sorry about your loss. I also lost Manny previously and it was hard. There are times when you have to let someone free. While looking for a proper burial for him, we came across a pet cremation services San Antonio to provide him the best care. Right now, dealing with the loss we can say that we are sure that Manny has find peace above.