I cannot believe how long it has been since I have last posted. If you can tell by the title of this post, it’s a sad one. But before I get into the gut-wrenching portion of this post, I wanted to share that I have been meaning to write a post for the last few weeks because I have FINALLY finished Grad School.
Grad school was a feat like nothing I have ever experienced before. I went into it thinking it was going to be a piece of cake and while I enjoyed it for the most part, I certainly had my fair share of tears, frustrations, and all-nighters. However, despite all of that, I am now the proud owner of a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
Now that summer has unofficially ended and everyone’s kids are back to school, I wanted to share this post as I had to say goodbye to my fur baby.
My Sweet Mickey Girl.
I started this blog in 2009 and rescued Mickey around the same time. She was rescued by a local animal shelter in Queens on the day she was supposed to be euthanized . She was 3 years old, very afraid of people, and severely emaciated. There was something about her eyes, which were so expressive, they drew me to her when I walked into that shelter. Mickey, the tri-color Beagle, walked up to me with her head and eyes low and tail between her legs. She chose me but was still very scared. My heart melted that instant.
I took her home with me and while I technically rescued her, this little pup rescued me from depression. She gave me a reason to get up every day and a reason to walk. She was also a very good judge of character; as she screened all of my boyfriends over the years until she found the one I was going to marry.
I’ll never forget the first time Brent came to visit us. Mickey peed on his bag. Mickey peed on all the things she loved. It was both frustrating and endearing. I will never know what her life was like before we met but whatever happened to her, peeing in her bed and on her toys is what she did. ::shrug::
Anyone who met Mickey loved her instantly and Brent was no exception. Brent loved Mickey as much, if not more than I did; and soon enough, Mickey would prefer to cuddle with Brent instead of me, lol. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, though.
In the 6 years that me, Brent, and Mickey have been a family, I have relished watching them snuggle together, share food, and Mickey lovingly looking up at him as he took her for walks. Cherished memories.
Around Thanksgiving, Mickey got really sick. She struggled to keep anything down but eagerly ate whatever we tried to get her to eat. I cried, not ready to accept if whether or not this was the end. A trip to the vet put my worries at ease when we found out her GI was out of whack and after a week of meds, she was back to herself again but the vet had an inkling that something else was up…
Kidney disease. My girl had been on a kidney formula and was doing well as far as we knew but after Thanksgiving, the disease began to progress and she was placed on medication.
We really cherished every single day with her knowing full well that some day she would show us when she was ready to go.
The decline in her health began two months ago. She became very picky about her food and reduced her food intake drastically. The vet assured us that this was common for a senior dog; Mickey was 12 so we didn’t worry too much and indulged her with the occasional treat here and there.
Her frame, which got nice and chunky over the years was slowly thinning out. Two weeks ago I picked her up and could feel her ribs. It worried me so I scheduled an appt with the vet but the appt got pushed back; the vet gave me some suggestions to get her to eat.
Over labor day weekend, she had gone two full days without eating her food but she did take treats, so I made some eggs and added them to her dry food. She eagerly ate it which gave me a brief relief until she threw it all up. That pretty much told me everything I needed to now; my once-overweight girl who loved to eat was not doing so well. She slept for most of that Saturday and Sunday. But on Sunday, she stopped eating; even her favorite treats.
It completely broke me.
She had an accident later that day and had not one ounce of remorse or shame like she usually did. She was completely resigned. My husband could usually make her tail wag rapidly just by saying her name and as we both called her name and blew kisses she just stared blankly at us.
We cried so much and held her.
It was time.
Our vet was closed due to the holiday weekend so we took her to the local animal hospital. Through sobs and tears my husband and I listened as the emergency vet went over Mickey’s lab results; her kidneys were failing. The vet attempted to explore possible options to prolong Mickey’s life but knowing she wasn’t eating – which was literally her favorite thing- just didn’t feel like a fair deal. We heavily sobbed as we told the vet we didn’t want her to suffer any more; the vet agreed that our decision was the most humane.
They brought us to a room with dimmed lights and prepped Mickey with a catheter. She was wrapped in a soft plush blanket; wrapped like a baby. They handed her to us so we could say our goodbyes.
You are never ready to say goodbye to a pet that was really family.
I kissed her face.
I hugged her.
I told her she was a good girl and that I loved her so much.
She looked very tired. Her tail was not wagging. I looked to my husband and said “she’s ready to go” between sobs and he held me as I held Mickey. Both of us crying. The vet came in to administer the medication. We laid her down. I scratched her head and my husband held her little face in his hands. The first dose was medication to make her sleepy.
We were warned we may see her breathing become labored or she may defecate on herself but as soon as the medication was administered, she let out a huge yawn and went to sleep forever.
When they confirmed that she was gone we lost it; we just couldn’t imagine leaving the hospital without her. They let us stay with her as long as we wanted. We kissed her and cried it out before we said goodbye one last time.
That way by far the hardest thing I have ever endured. But my love for Mickey gave me the strength to make a decision that was best for her, even though it will be painful for us for a very long time. Watching my jovial dog grow weaker and weaker each day was gut wrenching but the day she stopped eating was the day she stopped enjoying her life. This photo was the last one taken of her the day before she passed away. Looking at the same dog every day, I could not see the age as it crept up on her but now that I have been looking at all the pics, I am reminded of how cruel time can be to senior dogs. I am comforted by the abundance of memories we made with her and the good life she had. From a timid and skinny little beagle to a plump and snuggly little love bug- we have truly been blessed to care for and be loved by Mickey.
Brent and I talk about her incessantly. It’s been a week since we said goodbye and the hardest thing so far, has been being home. Opening food and not hearing her nails running towards the sound or waking up and not hearing her tail bang against her crate, it just creates this physical ache and leaves us feeling empty.
I wanted to share this as both a cathartic tribute to her life and for those that knew and loved Mickey. She changed my life. No matter how often we were told to cherish her, we could never have been prepared enough to say goodbye.
I hope someday I can open up my heart again for another animal that needs a home but for now my husband and I are going to grieve and heal.