She’s Chasing Butterflies
This week ended on a sad note for me.
Penny was my buddy, my little side kick. She went to work with me when I was working in an office. She slept on my bed next to my leg, and every morning watched patiently for my eyes to open, then came running up and licked my face. Most of the time it seemed I was tripping over her as she was always underfoot, wanting to be as close as possible to me. I’d like to think it was just pure love but my daughter once said, “don’t kid yourself, she’d trade you for treats in a heartbeat”. No doubt, as she was the most food motivated little thing we’d ever seen.
As long as treats were involved she learned very quickly to sit still while her face was trimmed, various tricks like playing dead, rolling over, dancing etc. She was always on the hunt for food. We’re pretty sure if a 25 pound bag of food was sliced open on the floor, she’d have eaten until her little sides split open.
Winter time, while hard on her as she had hair rather than fur so she got cold easily, was fun for Penny. She would run into the snow just like a puppy or child, throwing it with her nose.
Penny was bought for my daughter when she turned 13. She had to put her rabbits to sleep because they were very sick, so that same night my sister-in-law, after helping them across the rainbow bridge, went with my husband and daughter to check out some pure bred Yorkie puppies. My daughter found Penny and brought her home. Over the years as we had vet appointments, my sister-in-law would almost always be the vet tech working, and of course she was at family functions so she was involved in our dog’s life from day one. My daughter went on to college and became a vet tech herself, very much a lover of all critters and with a gift of being able to calm them quickly and gain their trust.
My daughter had to give up her precious bundle 18 months ago, when she moved in with her then fiance (now amazing husband). I took over and Penny has been my constant side kick ever since. When I divorced 4 years ago I joked about wanting visitation with the dog, I loved her very much. While out of work nearly 2 years she was my shadow back then too. Before coming to live with me I had kept her while my daughter was on vacation, and she brought her over every time she came over to visit.
Penny had so many nicknames: numb-nut (the ex’s choice), Muffikins, Pupperdo, Baby Girl Dog, Pennerface….it’s a lengthy list. If the number of nicknames indicates love, she was smothered in it.
At the beginning of the week I noticed some changes in my old girl. She appeared to be having trouble sometimes knowing where you were when talking to her. And her legs would go out from under her suddenly. As the week went on it appeared she was having little seizures, her body would tremble and she’d fall over or crash into a wall. And she was having more episodes of strange stuff like walking into walls and spacing out on us. Thursday we went to the vet, me and my daughter along with Muffikins. The vet agreed it seemed to be seizures so they ordered blood work and we talked about medications that would help. We left there happy, as we thought it was going to be the day we had to put her down. Friday morning, on Halloween of all days, I received a call from the vet’s office.
Little Penny had so many elevated levels of enzymes in blood, indicating that her kidneys were already shut down 75% and going fast, and her liver was shutting down too. The vet explained it all and that there was not turning back. It could be kidney disease, could be cancer was inside her and spreading, just no way to be certain other than there was no way to reverse it. And based on those levels and the seizures coming faster and harder (by the time the vet called she was having them every 10 minutes or less), the vet recommended that it was time to say goodbye. I set the appointment and called my daughter. I’m not the educated one on all this, but she knew what it all meant, and our little baby was hurting inside but unable to tell us that. The seizures were very scary to the dog too and had to be painful when she dropped to the floor or into things.
It was only fitting that my sister-in-law was there working when we arrived. Both of us crying carried little Penners into the room they had waiting when we got there. SIL was tearing up too. She prepared a port in Penny’s front leg then brought her back to us. We sat and cried, talking to her and saying our goodbyes. When the vet came in I held her in my lap as she administered the pink solution and in short seconds felt her little life leave her body, ending her suffering. For the first time in weeks she got a belly rub, as she hadn’t let anyone do that lately, but now it didn’t hurt. We both cried a long time before turning her over to be cremated. We’ll have her ashes back in a few weeks.
I went down to get my coffee this morning, after waking up to no greeting when my eyes opened. I found some of her toys on the floor and picked them up, very sad that she isn’t here to play with them anymore. Her empty collar is hanging on my desk waiting for her urn to be wrapped around it. I never imagined I could hurt so much over the loss of that silly little 8 pound doggie. I’m just heart broken.
She is over the rainbow bridge chasing butterflies now.
Good-bye sweet baby, mama loved you SO much!