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.