Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Corriander, our beloved Chug, is no more

She was a Chihuahua - Pug mix, so we called her a "Chug". She was 16 years old, which is something like 115 in dog years. She died one week ago tonight.

It was my ham radio night, when our radio net meets on the air. I always feed the dogs a little later on those nights. The net had ended, and I had prepared her food and was bringing it to her when I heard her yelping rapidly, in a panic. She was on her bed, with her head hanging over the edge, like she was trying to get up.

I put the food down and rushed to her, just in time to hold her while she died.

I think it was her heart. It didn't last long. I held her and stroked her and rubbed her ears and spoke the usual words of comfort to her, as the life left her body.

It was sad. And it sounds kinda awful, but it wasn't really. She died at home, in the hands of someone who loved her. And it was quick.

She was completely deaf, and almost completely blind. She slept most of the time.

Last year, she started to lose her mind, like a kind of doggie alzheimers. The vet put her on some prescription dog kibble, called "b/d" (for "brain diet"). It worked; she came back to us, mentally. But she continued to slow down physically.

I had to walk her on the leash, or she wouldn't walk with us. Toward the end, I carried her a lot. On that last day, I could not find her leash, so I had carried her most of the way through our walk in the woods.

At night she would poop and pee on newspapers I left out for her, because she couldn't manage the stairs anymore, or even the dog door. Lately she had stared to become careless about going on the paper; I was dreading having to take her to the vet to be put down, putting it off as long as I could. Now that won't be necessary.

I had hoped she would die quietly in her sleep. But perhaps she needed me to be there at the end. Anyway, that's how it played out. I was there.

Our other two dogs were there, watching. They understood.

She had a good long life. We had some fun times. I posted once years back about how she survived cancer, using natural treatments. She continued to enjoy life, even as she aged. As she slowed down, we made it easier for her.

We buried her in the garden, next to Saffron, our Boarder Collie - Aussie Shepard mix, whom she was very attached to. I planted blue daisies on top of her grave, so that when I say "Corrie's pushing up daisies now", it will be more than just a figure of speech.

Good bye, Corrie. You will always be my favorite Chug.


Gordon R. Durand said...

Beautifully written, Chas. Thanks.

Chas said...

Thank you. I know I went on a bit, but it helped me to process the event, and deal with it.