Friday, October 14, 2016

How Do You Say Goodbye to Your Furry Friend of 13 years

Each day we live with our furry friends, we love them more. Every day we grow to appreciate them more. Yet, in the back of our minds, we are fully aware that they have a short lifespan compared to ours and that the day will come when we need to say goodbye. It is never easy. No matter how many times we have to go through it, it never gets easier.

I have been rescuing dogs for many years and also have adopted some who have not been abused. Louis Vuitton was one of those. He came into our lives when he was a puppy. He was a gift to our daughter, Rochelle, for her 17th. birthday. The young man who gave Louie to Rohelle is now our son-in-law. She and her hubby have also rescued numerous dogs. I have shared many of their stories here. When Louie came into our lives, we had our beloved black Lab, Mercedez. Louie adored Mercedez as he did all the rescues we brought home.

Zak was an abused Doberman who Louie adopted as his own and tried his best to take care of him.

Louie (aka Lou Bear and Boo Boo) is one unique miniature Dachshund. Probably one of the smartest on the planet. At six weeks old he packed his own suitcase with all his belongings and jumped inside, zipped it closed and waited. His mommy, Rochelle, had gone on vacation. He had watched her pack her suitcase and leave the house but his little heart couldn't bear it. He figured out that if he packed his suitcase, maybe he could find her.

His antics kept us laughing through the years but he also has a heart of gold. Whenever Rochelle was sad or sick, he would be there to comfort her. When she gave birth to her children, he got up with her for those middle of the night feedings. He would wiggle his way under her arm to support her elbow. 

Now that Rochelle has two children, Louie tries his best to protect them as well. He stays close by them and never tires of running after the ball they throw for him.

But now, he is retiring from those days of play.

Today was my daughter's birthday and she woke up to a very bloated Lou Bear. The last few days she noticed a thickening of his chest and his belly was extremely round. She rushed him to the vet and this is what they found. The tumor on the right is almost the size of his entire little body. He has not shown any signs of pain which had the veterinarian flabbergasted. She said she never met such a little trooper.

The size of the tumor (the large mass on the right) is unbelievable in this tiny dog.

Although Louie is only 13, it is his time to say good-bye. He is too weak to survive any surgery. Rochelle's husband left yesterday for a two-week job and cannot get back home in time to say good-bye to his beloved little boy. My grandson's little heart is breaking. His birthday is this week as well.

We must say good-bye in a few days to the most entertaining, gentle, loving and fun dog on the planet. We always choose to be hopeful and that some miracle would happen.....but Louie has survived a lot and we feel it is his time. He was poisoned many years ago by fertilizer the city sprayed on the fields and has never fully recovered.

Last month while attending a workshop with my daughter she said, "Mom, I don't think Louie has much longer. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it is going to be to say goodbye. It will be even worse for my kids." We both swallowed hard as we realized that day was not far away and the thought of that pain made our hearts hurt.

Rochelle still has five dogs and has lost three rescues recently. But the pain of losing Louie is going to affect all of us. He has been one of the special babies in our family.

For anyone who has had the joy and privilege of loving a furry friend, the most difficult moment is looking into their eyes when you say goodbye.

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