Friday, June 11, 2010

the silence is deafening

We had to put our beloved Augie Doggie to sleep today, and I miss him so much already! He had such a good heart, and he was so smart. He loved and lived with abandon, throwing himself into whatever he did with everything he had, holding nothing back.

I keep waiting to hear the scritchy-scratch of little Augie Doggie's nails on the floor as he comes out to see what I have to eat. I swat a fly, and wait to laugh at him barking at me because he can't stand it when I hit anything, not even myself. I wait to hear his little huffing and puffing next to me when he has to go outside...nope. No lovely little doggie noises. It's too quiet. And the TV is too loud. It jangles my nerves.

He was one of a kind with his gentle spirit. He always got so worried when I cried, and he'd lick my hand and nuzzle me until I'd start to laugh. Today when we were in the vet's office waiting for the vet to come in and I was crying, he sat on the floor and gave me that quizzical look. I bent down to pet him, and he started licking me. It was too much...made my heart hurt more.

I still remember when we got him, how scared he was of everyone. He shook like a leaf when any strangers would come near. In fact when we went to look at him at the people's house who had him, it took a half hour to get him to crawl across the floor to me to let me pet him, shivering every step of the way. My heart melted for him. There was no way we could have left him there. We were destined to have him.

It took my honey two months to get Augie to trust him where he wouldn't be scared every time he was around him. But after that, they were best buds. Inseparable.

Augie didn't like any kind of fighting, wrestling, or loud voices. If the kids would wrestle, he would run into the room, barking at the top of his lungs, as if to say, "Stop! Stop! That's ENOUGH!" If they didn't stop, he'd pinch them. Barely grab them with his teeth, and pinch! He didn't mess around with that. When Luvvy was over visiting the kids once when they were smaller, she chased one of them when they were teasing her, and Augie jumped up and bit her right in the butt. We still chuckle about that. Well, she probably doesn't, but we still tease her about it.

Or when John would come in to the bedroom to say goodnight, Augie would always, without fail, bark at him. He did not like anyone coming in the room at bedtime. So one night, John kind of lunged at him to make him quiet down, but it backfired. Augie jumped up, bit the crotch of John's jeans and hung there, swinging. We laughed, and laughed! John, however, saw no humor in it whatsover. Augie Doggie Doo was small, but he was feisty and would have protected us with his life.

He would be waiting outside our bedroom door for someone to let him in, and when they did, he'd run in the room, turn around, and bark like crazy at them. Too funny!

My poor baby.

I think I've posted before about when he was paralyzed. Little dachshunds are prone to that. He was running around playing Keep-Away with a sock, his usual game, but when he tried to jump up against the couch, he fell to the floor shrieking. He couldn't move his back legs. The pet emergency room suggested steroids or surgery. We took him home, unable to pay those kinds of fees.

We thought about putting him down then, but my boss suggested taking him to an animal chiropractor. That seemed more within our reach, and this awesome chiropractor got him walking again. That got him by for quite a while, but he lost a little of his zip when that happened. It took a little out of him. Even though when we'd take him in for an adjustment, he'd get his happy face on and be good for a while, it didn't last forever.

I think he may have developed arthritis, or maybe his back was getting worse, but lately he couldn't get around very well anymore, and he didn't have very good control of his bodily functions. Sometimes he would be just standing there and all of a sudden without warning, he'd start to pee. Then he'd get freaked out and start running toward the door. Which meant of course, that I'd have a cover-the-whole-floor wandering zig-zag trail to clean up instead of just a puddle. Arghh!

And he didn't do so well on the steps anymore, either. Yesterday he didn't realize he was pooping on the top step outside and he tried to go down the stairs. He fell over, bumped down the stairs, and landed on his side on the ground. It's like he wasn't even aware. I know, I know. That's probably a little more graphic than you wanted to read. I hope you're not eating your breakfast or something! Blghh.

This wasn't what we wanted to do, but we felt like we really had to. It's the hardest thing about owning a dog. Seriously. If you're going to do right by the dog, the day will probably come. My honey and I looked at each other after it was over, and we both said, "No more dogs. We don't want to do this again." It's too stinkin' hard.

Here's the picture of him I put on my very first blog post:

And here is one of the last pictures we have of him, sitting outside in the sun, soaking up the rays. You can see that his front legs still look strong, but his back legs were somewhat atrophied, and he didn't have full use of them anymore. But his sweetness still shines through. He's like the Velveteen Rabbit. Loved so much he wore out. The hair on his ears was starting to fall out, and he had another patch on his tail.

Farewell, my baby. Happy travels, chasing the rabbits through the Great Back Yard of beyond. Bark like crazy. Scratch anything you want to, because you can again. You're free, honey. I love you.


Lisa said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog today! I just love yours.

Becky K. said...

Oh Dear Friend,

I know just how very hard this is. We have had to do it twice. I love all the memories you have shared here.

You did right by Augie Doggie all along the way, especially in the end.
Because you did the hardest but best, for him, thing.

Becky K.

He & Me + 3 said...

Oh I am so sorry about your doggie. What a great post. I had no idea they had doggie chiropractors. really? That is so cool. Our doggie angel has been injuring her legs lately and will limp for a few days and then be fine again. strange...but maybe the chiro would work for her too.
Thanks for the comment on my blog tonight. I love to meet new friends.

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry about your doggie. :(

Vee said...

Becky sent me by and oh dear. How is it that one can read a post about a little dog I never knew and feel so touched by it? That's the power behind the words. Wonderful tribute to your beloved pet. I'm going to go back and thank Becky for sending me here.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Oh sweet Daisy,
I am so sorry! We had to make that choice with our Sheltie-baby, Princeton, a little over a year ago and some days my heart still hurts a little. But mostly we laugh at the good memories of our faithful friend! This was a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing a big piece of your heart with us!

Following you now. Thanks for commenting on my blog today.


Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

Becky K mentioned that you had to put your dog to sleep. I'm so sorry. It sounds like you did the right thing. It is heartbreaking to lose a loved pet. My heart goes out to you.

Crazy Daisy said...

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about this. I cannot imagine loosing such a dear puppy friend. My thoughts are with you!