12 years ago, we lost a dog that got hit by a car. We had only had her a year. That was so traumatic. As a result one of my kids, Heather & I went to the Humane Association right away and found the cutest dog ever-Mocha. The woman who was showing us around said, "Oh, and this is her sister" pointing to a black dog huddled in the corner in the kennel next Mocha's. Oh god, how can we NOT adopt this one too? Heather & I decided we could not split these 2 up-I mean what kind of person would split up siblings? So we went and adopted both of them but they had to get fixed so we didn't bring them home that day. I got home and told Hartley we adopted 2 dogs-sisters! he flipped out-"No I won't have TWO dogs, ever!" So Heather & I schemed and she went with him to the shelter to pick out which dog we wanted. Well, Heather turned on her Heather charm and guess what? They brought home 2 dogs (Hartley muttering something about not being able to choose). We have had these dogs since they were puppies. (Yes that is pee stain on our carpet-they loved to do that-we did not love that).
So these dogs have gone through raising 4 teenage daughters (well i think the 2 older ones were gone by now), 2 houses, building of one cabin and many, many trips to Chama. We thought we lost them once when a bottle of Tylenol was found empty on the floor and we thought it had been full. They were puppies and of course eating everything-they even ate holes in the wall in picture above. The Tylenol scare ended up to be nothing or they never reacted I guess. They once ate a whole bag of chocolate Halloween candy. Now there was some serious diarrhea after that. We think the neighbor was poisoning our dogs because Midnite became really sick and almost died in our last house. She was on steroids for years for the autoimmune disorder she supposedly had but funny how she could get off of the meds after we moved (I hated that neighbor). The steroids made her one crazy hungry dog. She once ate a hundred dollar bill, 2 tickets to the biggest basketball Lobo game ever, and loved tissues and papers. Once we moved into this house things calmed down a bit.Mocha and Midnite were now inside dogs! They loved it. We kept them in the kitchen at night, they hung out with us all the time. By this time of course they were very attached to Hartley, whom they followed everywhere. He, of course grew to love both our puppies over the years and they are "his dogs". So the last 6 years we have been in this house and kids are gone, they are really like our children. just enough a pain in the ass that you wonder why you have them, then as loving as can be and you cannot imagine life without these pets..
Imagine how difficult it was in September when the vet finally said it was time to let Midnite go. She had a tumor in her head, we had her to the vet many times, all kinds of meds. They are now considered geriatric dogs and each day a gift. I can't tell you how hard it was to see Midnite in the vet's office fully awake, about to go to doggy heaven. Her last act was to come over to me and bury her head in my lap. Kind of like saying-oh I am not sure I am ready. Or maybe saying goodbye. Hartley, Heather & I were there. We watched her go to sleep, painlessly and it was the hardest day i think I have ever had, except maybe when my mom died. Hartley and I can still barely talk about her. We took her to the cabin her last weekend on the planet. We knew it was time when she could no longer run and chase animals in the woods. Here is our sweet, neurotic Midnite with Hartley that last weekend.
Sometimes I can feel her in the house still. Of course Mocha was a bit confused after Midnite was gone. She couldn't understand why she was able to eat her food, un-harrassed. Midnite was the dominate dog and now Mocha had the whole space to herself. She didn't know what to do! She really didn't seem to skip a beat until she got out of the kitchen one day and tore down a bunch of our wooden blinds-this from a dog that has never had an act of aggression in her life (except toward other dogs). An expensive acting out for Mocha and us. i must admit, it was a bit of relief to finally have daily walks where Mocha did not go after other dogs, they did not fight with each other anymore (that got to be a problem later in life). So there really are positives in having just one dog. But we miss that black part lab,part chow dog.
Here is Mocha-the remaining canine in the family:
Mocha is now 12 years old. She is not eating these past few days, has some blood in her stool. She is still very excited to go for walks-that is a good sign. We are taking her to the vet tomorrow-dreading the worst but hoping it is a passing thing. Hartley and I can't stand the thought of putting another dog down right now, our last "child". But we know it is inevitable someday soon-we just are not ready yet. Are we ever ready to say goodbye to our pets-those furry animals whose only goal in life is to comfort you, protect you and serve you? I think not.
Here I sit more than 2 years later and cannot believe Mocha pushed her little soul to live another 2 years. The rest of this post is really sad so if you do not want to read on..
Last weekend, we watched Mocha romping with the children (well, romping is a bit of an exaggeration). Here she is again, "taking a walk" with Ellie. She simply could not get enough "walks" that day..
I am amazed she was even able to walk that much and she seemed so happy. The last few months we have watched Mocha deteriorate to the point her walks have become ever so short. She was falling alot, having trouble with her legs locking up under her. Her appetite seemed to be good especially after we switched her to the ever so unhealthy cheapass canned food! I suppose when you are with a pet 24 hours a day it is difficult to see the deterioration. I know at some point last spring, we did make "the appointment" and then cancelled when she apparently got worried when she heard us talking about "the last visit" and rallied. We never thought she would make it through the summer. Last time I picked her up at the kennel after a weekend gone, I got the sense they thought we were nuts for keeping her alive...I felt guilty..