5/6/08

Convincing Myself

I'm telling myself that the way that Chi Chi went was a blessing in disguise. In my heart of hearts, I'd known for about the past week that she hadn't been herself. It wasn't unusual for her to not eat for a whole day maybe once or twice a month but 2 days last week she wouldn't eat. She had quit going up and down the little step that goes into our living room (she'd just stand there til someone moved her), her hair had started to get thin and crinkly and she just didn't have much spunk to her and she was usually a fiesty little bugger. It had also gotten harder to wake her up in the morning and when she did finally wake, she was wobbly getting around. She wasn't even barking at Tiny Dog or anything. She'd still give me kisses when I asked but I could tell that she was tired when she was giving them. It was like the fight was going out of her and she was tired all of the time.

I came home early on Friday night and Sweety had some french fries and she hadn't eaten for a day and a half. Usually, I won't let her have people food if she hasn't eaten dog food but I looked at her and thought, "Damn, she's 17 freaking years old. If she wants to eat french fries the rest of her life then I guess I'll let her." I then exploited her love of the fry by poking her in the Crown Royal sack. That gig earned her another 2 fries.

Friday night while we were watching t.v. she was in her usual place on my lap. She got tired of sitting there and wanted down for a drink and as soon as I put her on the floor, Tiny Dog rushed over to sit in my lap. I held Tiny's face and said, "You know that I love you. I just have to give more love to Chi Chi because she's not going to be around much longer. When she goes, you'll get all of the love she is now, okay?" (Hmm, maybe Tiny Dog slept on that and shoved Chi Chi in the pool?)

On Saturday, I had to put some stuff in her eyes because she was getting an infection in one of them. She snapped at me at first but then just went totally limp and let me wipe them both out. (As I was wiping them, I had a thought to myself that something was really wrong with her and I was smooshing her body gently to see if I could feel any tumors. Just call me Dr. Chickie.) That was unusual because she'd usually fight me tooth and nail if I was doing anything to her eyes. Something else that was weird Saturday was that she wanted to be out in the house that day. Normally, during the day when the boys are here, she'll hide in the bedroom and just come out to sit on my lap after the house has quieted down. But she got up and followed me around and sat with me all morning. She was sleeping under the laptop when I was putting up Saturday's post of her in the sack. (How ironic is it that 90 minutes before she dies, I put up a blog post starring her titled Chi Chi says, "17 years of life for this?!"?)

We were getting ready to go LittleBrother(11)'s baseball game and that's when I let all the dogs out. Tiny & Stinky barked that they wanted in and I scanned the area and didn't see Chi Chi (I know she wasn't in the pool then because I looked) and I figured she was on the side of the house that she likes to go to and went back inside. I was in for maybe 10 minutes or so and came out to make her come inside and and that's when I found her. Sweety was on the back porch and said that he has never heard such a primal scream come out of someone. He said that when he looked over and saw me with her that he thought that I was going to start smacking my head on the pool deck. It did cross my mind just for a moment. I think I went really crazy for a bit.

I have to give kudos to Sweety for trying his hardest to save her. He got the water out of her and then started blowing air into her lungs but it was too late. I will never forget seeing him with his mouth over hers and then leaning over to spit out whatever it was that was coming out of her and then he'd try again. I just hope that she when she fell in the water that she just took a gulp of water and that was it. The thought of her swimming around, looking for help breaks my heart.

After we knew it was no use, I was holding her and stuff and told Sweety to take the boys on to the baseball game and I would stay home and bury her. I had said to Sweety a long time ago that when it was her time to go that I would have her freeze dried and he asked why wasn't I going to do that. I told him that every time I looked at her that I'd feel guilty about the way that she died. That if I'd been outside that she wouldn't have fallen in the pool. He told me to put her in the freezer and think about it. So I did, (in a gallon freezer bag and then a pillowcase) and decided to go ahead and freeze dry her. If I can't stand to look at her, then Sweety said we could bury or cremate her.

Odds are that I am nutty enough to nap with my little dog when she is returned home. Denial is my friend right now. I'm telling myself that she is on vacation and when she gets home that she is going to sleep all of the time.

You want to hear something else that weird? I've mentioned that I sleep with earplugs to block Chi Chi's and Sweety's snoring. On Friday night, her snores weren't earth shaking like they usually are. They were really soft and I left the earplugs out so I could listen to them as I went to sleep. Sweety and I were talking later and he did the same thing too on Friday just so he could listen to her.

I have a feeling that if this hadn't happened, that she was fixing to get sick pretty quickly and that would have meant pain and confusing visits to the vet for her. One of my friends sent me a message and part of it said You know how animals and Indians go off to die? I think that is what Chi Chi did because you wouldn't let her die. You kept her healthy beyond her time. I hope that is what happened.

27 comments:

Patti said...

Girl you have got me crying my eyes OUT here at work. I really really agree with your friend. Chi Chi was ready to go and what happened was meant to be. I do NOT think she swam around or was frightened. I think it was more like she just drifted to the bottom of the pool like in the movie Cocoon. I am VERY sure it was a peaceful end for her. Truly. I knew with Holly too that she was ready to go, I wasn't ready for her to, but she was. They know. They know. Chi Chi was such a lucky dog and her last meal was... french fries right?
God Love Sweety. I love that man, I truly do. My sister gave mouth to mouth to my bird when he died. He was under her care and she was absolutely frantic. It's sometime sort of funny what people will do for critters isn't it?
I can imagine your primal scream also. I did the same thing when Stacy came and told me our Basset Flash had been hit by a car. OMG the pain. For months I would "hear" him scratching at the door. I thought I was going crazy for awhile. Each day will get better and just give a little extra loving to Tiny Dog because her (& Stinky) will ease the hurt just bit day by day. Hugs to you friend. Sorry this post is so long!

Jeni Angel said...

I am pretty sure I didn't know my cold heart black heart could cry over someone's else's dog, but here I am.

I can't wait to see pictures of Chi Chi 2.0! I am sure you wll be happy Sweety made you do that.

Stop feeling guilty. It was her time and you gave her such a happy life.

Thomas said...

You gave her a good and loving home and kept her happy.

If you felt that things were strange, chances are she made a choice about when and where to go.

The worst thing is having to deal with the vets, the needles, and finally the big choice. Having been down that route is way too hard.

TV

here today, gone tomorrow said...

Crying at work, too, DAMMIT! (Cubicle farm inmate across the aisle studiously ignoring me...)

It is what happened, Chickie, it is. She was clearly on the road over the rainbow bridge. Holy cow, and I already knew Sweety was the man, but, Sweety, YOU ARE THE MAN!

Thank you so much for sharing this all with us, Chickie. How fortunate she was to have you, and you to have her.

bekah said...

Can I just say that I'm totally creeped out that you're freeze drying your dead dog?

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Very sorry about your dog.
I've always had a great dog in my life so I've delt with a number of difficult old dog situations.
Be cool.
Everytime a dog passes I think there will never possibly be another one as good, smart, loyal, or whatever.
One always comes along that turns out to be just a important to me.

moooooog35 said...

From one dog owner to another:

I'm very sorry that you went through that. Hope you get mentally better soon.

Mike said...

On the day that we had to have our 20 year old cat put down, she started acting weird the day before. She wanted to go outside the night before and was very insistent. She wasn't an outside cat, but we let her out and she just stood on the patio looking up at the trees for the longest time. The next morning she jumped up on my bed and started meowing at the top of her lungs. I ignored her and went on to work. Later that day she fell over and couldn't walk anymore. She was fine otherwise; alert and had a good appetite.

Somehow, I think they know when it is time. It doesn't make it any easier, I know. She had a good life Chickie and you were very much a part of that. Be happy for the time you two had together.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be anonymous again...I'm not sure what a URL is and I don't have a blog. You sound better and it will take time but I have a suggestion for you... instead of doing anything with Chi Chi's body how about something "natural". Buy a beautiful Jasmine bush(you live in FL right?) plant Chi Chi and then the bush. Chi Chi will become part of the Earth again and nourish the bush which will bloom this time every year to celebrate her life with the most beautiful fragrance! Feel better! I read your blog every day. Jan

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Dear Dear Chickie...! I had NOT been here in days and days...I am sooooo very very sorry, my dear. I know how you LOVED that dog....And I think you friend who wrote you and said how animals go off to die? I think that is exactly what Chi Chi did. You gave her the BEST time these last months of her life....You made her life a joy and you gave her so much love and attention and good food....She was winding down from everything you said and sometimes the only way an animal--particularly a dog---can leave this earth is to go off and die by themselves.....You DID keep her alive, dear Chickie, and she was very very grateful...I bet she was already dead when she fell into the pool....But if not, it really was her time. 17 years....AMAZING!
Don't blame yourself, my dear....Chi Chi would not want you to, believe me. I think she stayed around as long as shedid because of you and Sweety....All the loving care. What a wonderful way to spend her last years on this earth. You are such a good and loving person, Chickie...there was nothing that you did NOT do for that little sweetheart of a dog. And she knew it. And really, you gave her the gift of being able to go off at that point and leave this life. I hope you do keep her. It would be a special honor of her life with you.

I send you (((((((HUGS)))))) dear Chickie. I'm so sorry that I had not been here before today. I appreciate you letting me know about sweet Chi Chi crossing over the Rainbow Bridge. Bless her and Bless You Too!

heather said...

that's exactly what happened..

no doubt in my mind.

she was so over you and all your fussing.. she was tired and done with this shit. ; }

and i agree with the bush or tree idea for the record...
plant something and call it chi chi... you'll talk to it and entertain the neighbors LOL : }

Mybrid said...

Chi Chi enjoyed a good life with a loving family. She's one lucky dog, if I may say so. You didn't kill her. You gave her 17 fantastic years of a life filled with love.

Phoebe Fay said...

Yes, it was time. And it makes me smile that she got french fries! I'm so sorry for your loss, but she was a very lucky, happy, well-loved dog. You gave her a good life. And she'll always be with you, in her way.

Liar said...

It sounds like you're in a decent place about it, Chickie. I wish there was something more I could say, but most of it would be cliche or otherwise useless.

Cissy Strutt said...

Sweetie is extremely well named - what a guy. Dear chickie, be happy for all the kisses and snores and giggles and pats you had with her. As others have said, it sounds like it was her time.

Daisy said...

I came to your blog from PattiCake. I am so sorry to hear about your little dog.

Regal said...

I've been worried about you and felt relieved to see this post and it acutally sounds like you're doing better. I believe she would have left this earth soon and was, just like you said, hanging on because you weren't quite ready for her to go. I thought the same thing about animals running off and hiding to die.

Don't blame yourself or circumstances. She was 17 and lived a very happy life and long life and the bottom line is that HOW she went doesn't really matter, because it was probably a matter of time anyway. God knows how much you loved her and every time I look at that picture of her in the little sack it brings the biggest smile to my face.

And Sweetie is a "stand-up" guy. You have such a wonderful aura of love around you, by the dogs, the boys and Sweetie.

I have ashes from a dog of mine and it gives me peace to have them. I know I'll have them forever and I know there are no preservation issues to worry about.

Celebrate Chi Chi's life. It will be the best thing for you.

Sara said...

Naomi sent me by to express my sadness at your loss. Each of us who loves animals has experienced what you went through. Please know it was not your fault...it was her time to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I can tell from what you said that ChiChi had a wonderful, wonderful home for 17 years. She was one of the lucky one...

The Phosgene Kid said...

Skip the freeze drying and get yourself another live one, name it ChiChi sf you want. Freeze drying is too Norman Bates for my taste.

Chickie said...

Bekah - You are not alone. My Mom thinks it's spooky. At first, she thought that I was going to have her stuck in some sort of floral arrangement to hang on the wall.

I've explained it to her and promised to hide Chi Chi if she comes to visit if she doesn't want to see her. I figure that she will be compelled to take a peek though.


Jan & heather - If I were planning on staying here, I might think about burying her and planting something. But I know I'll leave this hot hellhole known as Florida someday and will take her with me then.

The Phosgene Kid - I think Norman's devotion to his mother is admirable.

Jeni Angel - Chi Chi 2.0! I love it!

Everyone - Thank you so much for commenting and for sharing your pet stories.

I know that Sweety is a damn saint now, for sure!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program...

Lynilu said...

I'm very sorry, Cheekie. I'm facing short time with my China, too, and I understand how hard it is, even when you "know".

And Sweetie is, inded, a sweetie. :')

Sara Sue said...

Tears on this side of the country too. I'm sure going to miss that little dog ... she really was so dear. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you were amazing with her and you gave her a great life. Heal soon, dear friend!

Sonia A. Mascaro said...

Naomi sent me to express my sadness at your loss. I am so sorry, it is so sad to lose a favourite friend... I know what pain it is to lose a beloved pet.
My warm thoughts to you.

Bob-kat said...

Hi. I'm here from Naomi's to offer my condolences. I am so sorry for your loss. I have an old cat that is about 19 years old and I am dreading the time that he goes. It sound slike she was a much loved pet and it is wonderful that you gave her such a good life.

Betty said...

I came here via Patti's blog, and this is so sad. I love Chihuahuas and have always wanted one like ChiChi. We have a dog now which was supposed to have been a teacup Chihuahua, but he weighs 20 pounds and looks nothing like a Chihuahua now that he's full grown.

It does sound as if she was ready to go, and that was her way to do it.

I hope you are OK now- ChiChi would want you to be...

Hugs,
Betty

Midwestern City Boy said...

It's very sad but you she did have 17 years which is a long time for a dog. And Sweety is a saint, trying so hard to rescue her. Sending a BIG hug to you from Ohio.

Retro Girl said...

Here from Patti's....

Just wanted to convey my deepest condolences for your loss. I read your post, in tears...my heart aching for you...reading and remembering the pain and heartbreak as my aging Jack Russell terrier Watts slipped into blindness and canine cognitive disorder (like alzheimers) and losing him. I know it's one of the hardest things in life to lose a beloved pet who is your family. *HUGS* I'm so sorry.