Friday, June 24, 2011

Alas, another friend is gone

It has taken me a few days to be able to write this up. I am very sad to say my dog Tigger died on Tuesday morning.

She had been sick for about six months and in March she was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and had fluid in her lungs. She never really got better. The fluid and coughing came and went. It began about a week ago and then seemed to get much better and then it hit hard on Sunday. I gave her medication but on Monday morning there was pink spots all over the floor that she had coughed up. We went to the vet and they did xrays and she said it was heavy fluid in the lungs. And actually, I had to go to work, but my wonderful friend and neighbor took her to vets. Carrying her in so she didn't have to walk.

They put her on an IV with meds and said she would stay overnight. On Tuesday morning I saw her and she couldn't walk and breathe at the same time. I held her and she snuffled her head into my chest. I cried because I knew she was doing this to get my scent. She had been in this strange place with strange stuff going on and I wasn't around. I held like that for awhile and knew I had to make that decision that no one wants to make.

The vet said that she could stay another night and maybe be able to go home, but the problem would be back in a couple weeks or a month. I decided to end the pain she was in and not keep her in pain for my selfishness of wanting her around.

It has been 5 years now with a loved one dying each year during the summer months. Jim in May 2007, my Dad in July 2008, Mercury in August 2009, Figaro in August 2010 and now Tigger in June 2011.

All my pets were old - Mercury was 10, Figaro our cat was 19 and Tigger was 13 1/2.

I am glad that I was able to give them happier lives then they had before Jim and I. All three were rescues, and all with different rescue stories.

It is very quiet in the house now. And I did that thing that happens when you lose someone. It takes a while to register. At 11pm, after sitting on the couch watching tv for a bit, my unconscious mind last night asked Tigger if she was ready to go out for a walk. I stopped and shook my head. We always went for late night walks.

I will hold the memory of one we went on just a couple weeks ago. After days and days of heat and humidity, it suddenly cooled down for a couple days. We went out for our midnight walk and there was a bright moon in the sky and I lay down in the park grass and she lay down beside me and escaped the city life for a moment and pretended we were back in our large yard all those years ago when we first got her.

Rest in Peace Tigger my friend.


sharon said...

Beautifully written...and so heartfelt, Betsy! I am SO sorry for your loss -- and the too quiet home that will be yours for awhile. I am SO thankful you are such a great pet owner, and that your memories will ease the pain of Tigger's passing.

Ferree Bowman Hardy said...

I'm so sorry. Pets really make a place in our heart and home. They're such comfort and companionship.

~TigereyeSal~ said...

So sad to hear of your loss. Hugs to you, and hopes that Tigger's spirit remains with you to ease the pain of loss.

Toyin O. said...

I am sorry to hear about your loss, praying for you:)

Rach said...

Oh no. Oh, Betsy, I'm SO SO sorry. I wish I could give YOU a big hug too.

Ellie said...

I share your sorrow. You were a wonderful mom to Tigger. I remember when you rescued her and I remember the dal pal parties at your house in MA. I especially remember Gryphon and I still have his picture next to Pongo's and Dottie's.
Gryphon's Auntie.....

Jack B. Nimble said...

Of all days to find you...I'm so sorry about Tigger. You did the unselfish thing to do.

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
When it is cold and wet, please take me inside... for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements... and I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth... though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land... for you are my god... and I am your devoted worshiper.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.
And, beloved master, should I be deprived of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest...and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.
--Beth Norman Harris
posted by hobopals

betts 4 said...

Thank you all for the kind thoughts. I have been on a weird roller coaster of up and down. Missing Tigger, Merc, Fig and Jim. Going on day trips and overnight visits to see friends that I couldn't before because Tigger, Fig and Merc have been sick for the last three years. That has been nice, but to come home to the empty house is not so fun.

Tigger was such a sweet dog and so strong and never let anything bring her down. She was happy. A happy dog. I can just imagine her and Merc in the big backyard that God has for them. Running around like they were only 3! Go Tig! Go Merc!!

And to an old friend, Gryphon's Aunt Ellie - it's nice to hear from someone that remembers the fun times in Boston. I have that pic of Gryphon on your bed, comfortable as if he was home.

Linda said...

Oh Betsy..This made me so sad, and yet such a loving gesture on your part to let her go. "Bless the beasts and the children, for in this world they have no choice"..

I am mommy to two dogs, and I can't imagine life without them, yet I know that I will outlive them....

Hugs to you...