My house is now eerie quiet. No sounds of panting, pacing, or the old lady's claws clicking across the tile. Yesterday I made a hard decision to put my 12 yr old Boxer Lucy to sleep. She was old and she was sick. Heart problems, thyroid, and the latest diagnosis of pancreatitis. She was a fighter though she fought through it all and hung on through all of her issues. She had a good life here - spoiled rotten Boxer was exactly what my dogs are and Lucy was no exception. We let her have whole treats instead of the half ones Zero and Dylan get. She had bad teeth, yet we couldn't knock her out to clean her teeth as the chances of her coding on the table were very high due to her heart issues. So she lived on medications and antibiotics for years. She was a happy dog!
Last Saturday I thought was the day I had dreaded coming, she laid down and was lethargic and kept panting. A trip to the vet on a Saturday was not the cheapest of things to do, but it was my Lucy and money was never an issue when it comes to my dogs or horses. Upon doing blood work they found the pancreatitus and she was put on more medications along with what she was already on. The week started off strange, she kept hiding. In her dog house or in the back of the house on her dog bed on the floor in a bedroom. She just didn't want to be bothered. This was to be the beginning of the end for my old girl. I knew it was a matter of weeks, at best, before she would either not wake up one day or I'd have to make the hardest of hard decisions to put her to sleep.
Months prior she began to lose sight in her left eye, weeks ago finally realizing she had no sight in that left eye. She learned to get around though, she would walk herself in a circle to the right until she saw what she was looking for and followed the sound of our voices. She made due and would tilt her head to hear where the sounds were coming from. Lucy had made not one, but two moves with me. The first of which I firmly believe had she gotten loose she was heading back to the old house. As it was this house that was all she knew, but she adapted. Zero and her got along at certain times. Zero is the alpha dog and she will not hesitate to show her dominance to the other two, but Lucy at times would have no part of it. I can clearly remember the vet trip with them both, one in one car one in the other. We came out of the vet with staples and stitches in the both of them. The gate separated their lives. Until one day Zero decided she wanted to be part of the pack and gave in to having manners. The three of them slept together, played, and even went on walks together. But, you still had those episodes were Zero would show her dominance and then into the dog house Zero went for a few hours. We adapted, we learned the trigger signs, we stopped the fighting before it began and all three lived well together.
But, Lucy was sick and she was growing old and getting weaker. Zero would take advantage of that and knock her down once in a while. Thursday night that is just what happened, Zero flexed her alpha dog status and knocked poor old Lucy over. Thank goodness my cousin's son was here to get Lucy up and Zero into the back behind the gate. I came home to the poor old girl a little disoriented and a goose-egg on her head. She just was slipping away every day this week that had gone by. The picture to the right is where she would lay and "hide". This is the last picture of my old girl.
I'd go in there and sit on the floor and talk to her, but Friday morning it was as if I didn't exist. She was already on her way to being gone, but when she did get up she'd follow me around - attached at my hip and want to lean on me. She'd go back and lay down and I'd lay with her telling her it was OK. I knew today was that day, the day I dreaded coming the decision I had to make and not be selfish. The thing that made the decision final was in the morning. She was on water pills for her heart and had wandered out into the kitchen sometime in the early morning looking to go out and didn't quiet make it to the door, nor was anyone up to let her out. She pottied in the kitchen, but her back end was so weak she laid right down in it. Here in the morning was the old girl spread eagle in the middle of the kitchen floor in pee howling for someone to come get her. Then it happened again outside she just laid right down in it and again she got picked up and cleaned off. The final time she went to walk up the stairs fell backwards and landed in a little hole - again I picked my old girl up. I knew at this point it wasn't fair to her and it was definitely time.
I had my Mom call the vet, I couldn't do it. We had to be to the vet by 3PM on Friday. Around 2-ish I started getting dressed, turned the car around, and looked for the harness. She was so frail and weak. Neither of the other two dogs would go back by her at all yesterday morning, they knew - they both knew what was going on. The worst part was in the car, she was jumping around crying hanging her head out the window like the Lucy I knew. Here was this dog half out of it all day long just to get into the car and it was another story. I started having doubts, but then kept thinking about her falling and bumping into things and my gosh she had lost about 5lbs in just 6 days.
I'm glad I had the harness on her because as we sit there waiting to be called she kept almost falling over, her back end - she had no perception of where her back paws were supposed to be and had no balance. She went willingly and even climbed up on the vet table all on her own. It was the most peaceful thing I had ever seen it's like she laid down and just started relaxing and was gone. All I could think of was her jumping around doing the Boxer paw thing up there, she was finally reunited with Pudge and they could run and play together once again. Then I think, 12 years of my life just gone just like that. Lucy - she was our "lucifer" puppy. She ate her way out of a crate, tore up a linoleum floor, stood her ground to the all mighty Zero. Lucy was the skittish dog, she didn't like people and would only let certain ones get close enough to pet her. She would do the circle around just teasing like haha you can't pet me but I'm going to make you think you can. She didn't have the big personality like Zero and she didn't survive through dog school due to how skittish she was around others - but she was my Lucy, she was a like a ditzy airhead, how we used to describe her and the way she just did somethings made me laugh and smile. She didn't play with toys like the other two, well not when you were looking. She was good at putting Zero's toys in the one dog bed and laying on them so Zero couldn't get to them. She would pick them up and carry them around when you weren't looking, the second you saw her with a toy in her mouth she'd drop it and look at you like I wasn't carrying that!
I'm OK knowing she is in a better place and not suffering, but it's this house. The quietness of the house I can't handle. Zero and Dylan are so quiet. Dylan has looked for her a few times, even laying next to her dog bed on the floor and crying. Zero, well she went room to room a few times with a confused look on her face and has now decided to lay out in the recliner and stare at the dog bed across the room. The dog bed that Lucy used to always lay in. Yesterday it was Dylan sad and well today it seems to be Zero. It's hard seeing a pet like that, they are a part of your family they become your kids. I can't explain to Dylan and Zero what happened or why - they will find their way. I would take a broken heart over a boyfriend any day of the week over having to make that decision to not be selfish. It was hard and it tore me to shreds. I felt guilty last night just searching for a clue of if I did the right thing. I couldn't even stay in the house last night so I went to the casino for hours and hours. It was just so quiet and there was no Lucy face peaking around the corner of the door looking at me with that beautiful face. She was the prettiest of brindle you could ever see. Her coat was just so neatly marked and she was super soft to the touch. We called her Dollie at times - she was the picture perfect Dollie of a dog!
I'm going to miss you old girl!!