Monday, August 23, 2010

The way of all dogs

Queenie as of today, but this is not what I see when I look at her.

  Last week I wrote that my 16-year old beagle Queenie had not been walking since we got her back from the kennel after our vacation. She was eating some chicken and cat food last week, but now she’s not eating anything. In the mornings, I carry her outside and she’ll stand up to go to bathroom, but then moves a couple of feet away and lays down. I take her son Tuffy the 14 year old half beagle out for the normal walk and when we get back, Queenie is still laying where she was left and I carry her back in. Being in the kennel for a week didn’t help, but Queenie has been in failing health since April with a uninary infection, a tooth infection, and a couple of episodes of lethargy that seemed to be stroke-like. The week before we went on vacation, the vet gave her an antibiotic shot and she couldn’t walk more than a block after that.

Whitey 1974-1987. Whitey was the gentlest dog I've ever met. He never growled or snapped.

  In New Jersey when I was a kid, we had a german shepherd named Bullet who started getting thin and vomiting. After a week, my dad took her away in a box and I never saw her again. In 1987, my 13-year old beagle Whitey stopped eating, couldn’t stand up to go to the bathroom, and passed away in the house when I was at work. The last New Jersey family dog was Puff, a happy sort of border collie mix. He was my parent’s dog when I moved to Iowa, but I used to visit and walk him 4 times a week for years before that. On Sunday’s, Kathy and I and infant Matthew would take Puff for a walk to the Dunkin Donuts and get donuts. On the way back, I’d throw Puff pieces of donut. Puff was bright and happy and my dog Tuffy reminds me a lot of him. One year when we went back to New Jersey to visit, Puff was all skin and bones and couldn’t even walk half a block. He had some sort of cancer and he passed away within a month.

Puff 198? - 1999. Puff loved to walk to get a Dunkin' Donut.

  I’ve known this day was coming with Queenie, but it is still very hard to face. I’ve made up my mind that if she is in a lot of pain or can’t get out of the way of going potty, I’ll take her to the vet for a shot. I don’t think I’d be too upset if I woke up one morning and she didn’t. I’ve learned to be pretty callous in these matters when a decision was asked of me. In 1991 my grandpa(96) was dying of cancer. My aunt asked me if she should put him on life support and I told her I didn’t see the point of it. When my aunt was in the hospital with terminal cancer 5 months later she signed up for life support before she asked me.