Denny and Charlie (and the rest)
It started with OnePug...

Small Sacrifices

Tuesday, 13 March 2012 23:48 by robbi

It’s funny how things become “normal” simply because you adjust your routine and expectations. We’ve made several small changes to our home environment over the past couple of months and now it’s hard to remember how things were before.

For instance, about a year and a half ago we spent a fortune (and a week camped out upstairs) having our downstairs floors resurfaced. We had the disgusting laminate ripped out and a combination of stone and wood floors installed. Stone was put in at the entryway as well as the kitchen/breakfast nook. Hickory wood flooring was installed in the dining and living room as well as Richard’s office. We were thrilled with the results.

A couple of months ago, we put an area rug in the living room. Maggie kept jumping off the sofa and the hard wood was causing her difficulty. And Denny seemed more secure walking on the rug. Then we put a runner down to partially cover the area from the entryway to the breakfast nook, giving Denny an area in the middle that was more secure to walk on. Then a second runner was put down to make a more complete walkway through the living room so that Denny never had to touch the wood. Then a throw rug went down in Richard’s office, so there was more area for him to walk without slipping.

We stopped Denny from trying to climb the stairs around the time he had his surgery on his spine. We started carrying him up at night when it was time for bed. We’ve continued this but now that we’re concerned about not giving his back the proper support when we carry him, we have started to have him lie down in a donut bed and us carry his bed up. He’s even now to the point that we drop the bed at the foot of the stairs and he climbs in, awaiting his serfs to carry him up for the night. Oh yeah, he’s enjoying that bit!

The thing is, we’ve been through all sorts of things with several dogs over the past few years. Alfie didn’t see too well and never got used to the stairs, so we carried him up every night. He slept between us so he wouldn’t fall off the bed. He was often sick on the bed, so we started putting a towel down in front of him for easy clean up.

alfie

When he stopped eating we started syringe feeding him. Every morning before leaving for work and then again when we got home. As his condition deteriorated we would add crushed pills to the mixture. Then daily injections. And then eventually I was giving him IV fluids. It became so routine that when we lost him I felt lost myself. What would I do with all this extra time I suddenly had? It always felt like there was something I should be doing.

Sammy would never have been able to manage stairs either so he was carried as well. He also had to sleep with his head slightly elevated, so I got used to him sleeping in the crook of my arm with his head on my shoulder. I’d often have to adjust him during the night to make sure his airway was open. And of course there was the copious amounts of drool & phlegm he shared with me during the night. Sometimes it would get too much for him and we’d have to get up in the wee hours to go turn the vaporizer on to thin it out. Many was the night I’d nearly fall asleep on the spare bathroom floor while holding him towards the steam.

Samson n Frog 4-7-08

I walked around the house holding him often, giving gentle taps to his back to help break up the congestion. I seemed to always have a towel around my shoulder to catch the drool. I’d laugh and compare myself to a mom with a colicky newborn. It became routine. And then when we lost Sammy, I again felt lost. Life around the house was too “simple.”

I miss both of those boys very much and would gladly go back to doing whatever routine I needed to do in order to have them here with us.

My point is not to dwell on our past losses or heartaches, but to acknowledge that sometimes you just have to crack on and deal with stuff. You adjust. You conform. You do whatever it takes to make life the best it can be.

I remember reading an interview with a woman who was a cancer patient. She said she got so tired of people telling her how brave she was. She said she wanted to scream at them that she wasn’t brave – she just didn’t have a choice. She was the hand she was dealt and she had to get on with trying to live her life.

The joy and happiness and love that these furkids have brought to our lives cannot be measured. Our lives would’ve been so empty without them. So whatever we have to do now, and whatever we have to do in the future, it is totally worth it. And after all, it is part of the commitment we made when we brought them into our lives. I suppose that is the most frustrating part about being involved in a Rescue. So many people don’t take that commitment seriously. The sheer stupidity of people who contact us with their pathetic excuses as to why they want to abandon their dog is sickening. The dog was never really a member of their family. They didn’t really love it unconditionally. It was an amusing distraction for a while and now they’re bored of it and ready for a new toy. If that weren’t the case, then they would find a way to make it work.

Walter

Saturday, 5 September 2009 09:20 by robbi

 

We are sad to announce that yesterday Walter lost his fight and passed away.

Walter

Walter came to us as a stray picked up in San Antonio and taken in by the San Antonio Pug Rescue. As they were overwhelmed we had offered to pick up some pugs for transfer to PugHearts of Houston. When we saw Walter we knew we had to be his foster home. We didn’t know his medical problems and as it turns out there was much more to overcome than anyone knew.

He had emergency surgery on Thursday to repair his collapsing trachea. Unfortunately he had complications and by Friday morning he had to have an emergency tracheotomy. We were able to visit him and stroke him that morning. Friday night we received the phone call that he had simply stopped breathing. They were unable to get him back.

This is how we choose to remember him, and want others to remember him as well. As the happy, loving guy who always seemed content just to be near us.

WalterYogurt

WalterBear

He will be missed by us as well as the whole gang. He wasn’t here very long but in the time he was he had blended in beautifully and made good friends with everyone.

WalterNCharlie

The Gang

We love you Walt! And we hope you enjoyed your time with us. We will always remember you and will be forever changed for having you in our lives.

-Robbi (mum), Richard (dad), Denny, Charlie, Phoebe, Maggie and Munchkin.

Sweet Dreams Samson

Monday, 15 December 2008 19:05 by robbi

Our sweet, beautiful, brave Samson is gone. His fight is over.

Most of you probably already know this by now, but I have been unable to write anything until today. Though even now I am sobbing.

SammyBDayKiss

We never knew Sammy as a healthy dog. I wish I had – he must have really been something in his prime. Considering how stubborn and resilient he was even in sickness, he must have been a force to reckon with when he was healthy. We jokingly called him our little boxer. His front legs and neck were pure muscle. They had to be considering his poor balance. Richard would sing “So You Wanna Be A Boxer” from Bugsy Malone to him. His eyes would light up and his tail would wiggle. He was happy here. And loved. We were a family. I know he never had that before and it gives us great comfort to know that we were able to give him a loving environment that he could call his home.

As is always the case, we really were hoping for more time with him. We knew his brain tumor would eventually take him from us, but we still weren’t fully prepared to let him go. He began having seizures a few months ago which we knew was a sign of the tumor’s progression. But he hadn’t had one in a while so we thought we had more time.

Samson

On Wednesday, Dec 3rd he had a restless night and in the morning he was not right. He perked up a bit as the day went on but wasn’t 100%. Thursday morning he was worse. He had suffered a stroke. He seemed slightly better Thursday night but then Friday morning he was worse again. He stopped eating and drinking. He seemed to decline as the day went on. That evening he had another seizure. His breathing became increasingly labored. The spark had gone from his eyes. It was time.

Friday night, surrounded by those who loved him, he went peacefully into that good night.

He was a beautiful, spirited boy. We were so lucky to have known him. He has touched our lives deeply. I miss him terribly but know that he is at peace, finally able to run again and breathe easily.

BDayGifts

Thank you Sammy for sharing your life with us.

Goodnight, Sweet J.J.

Saturday, 8 November 2008 20:34 by Robbi

Our beautiful squishy-faced boy J.J. is gone. He has left us to join Alfie, Lilly and Winston at the Bridge.

J.J.

I cannot begin to explain how much we loved him and how much it hurts right now.

From the first moment I saw him on the Homeward Bound Rescue's website I fell in love. When I met him for the first time I literally lost my breath. He was beautiful.

Jacob

That squishy faced covered in gray fur captured my heart. His demeanor and mannerisms only deepened my infatuation. He was stubborn and cantankerous. We teased him about being a grumpy old man. Yet underneath he was an extremely loving, devoted boy. Every night he would wait for me to come to bed and then snuggle up next to me, "spooning" with me. In the morning he would stand up at the edge of the bed waiting for us to take him downstairs for breakfast. He had this pitiful, high-pitched whine he would make as he waited for his dinner. He then would make the biggest mess as he noisily chomped down his meal. He would follow us around the house and lie down in whatever room we'd settle. If we moved he would walk around the house looking for us, with his tail down. His eyesight was very poor and we'd have to shout to let me know where we were. As he'd come close we'd reach over and touch his head. His little tail would curl up and wag and he would then sit down, content that he was near us. If I went upstairs for anything, he would sit at the foot of the stairs staring up. If I took a while before coming down, he would settle himself on the bottom step to wait. As I'd come down he's sniff at my foot to make sure it was me and then jump off the step to follow me around.

Waiting

I'd lift him up to lay next to me on the sofa at night and he'd rub his face all over my leg or arm. Then he'd lay down, content to touch us but never really wanting to be in our laps. The only time he would tolerate that was if we would cradle him. Then he would relax and fall asleep. At bedtime we would carry him up the stairs and place him back on the bed where he would wait for us to join him.

Bedtime

J.J. did not give kisses like our other guys do. We were warned about that from his foster mom Gail. She had him for a year and never got a kiss off him. I would grab him and pull his gorgeous wrinkled face up to mine and cover it with kisses. He would half-heartedly push away and snort loudly as a protest. But he'd come back for more.

Snorting on Momma 

If I stopped and put him down he would reach up with his front paws to tell me he wanted up next to me again. It had to be on his terms and I didn't mind the slightest. I had the best cuddles from that little guy. His contented snort when he found just the right position up against me at night made my heart sing. I don't know if he realized the amount of joy he brought to us. We told him every day that we loved him and we know that he understood. He was happy here. I am so thankful to know that. My arms ache to hold him again. But my heart is full of love.

Cuddles

Cuddling with Richard

My sweet, beautiful J.J. - we love you and are so thankful for the time we had with you. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

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