Thursday, February 4, 2016

She's Gone...

...and that made it a tough and miserable day today because I did one of the most difficult things I have ever done, at least for me emotionally. But let me start at the beginning or at least where I came into it. Got a few text messages from my wife this morning, at about 0940, telling me that our Chihuahua, Lucy, was at the vet because our larger mixed breed, Roxie, had attacked her. The last text in those first four said "And then I need to go to the doctor". That got me very concerned and after several texts back and forth between my wife, daughter, son and I - I finally found out that Roxie had bitten my wife twice while my wife was trying to free Lucy from Roxie's grasp. As it turned out, once she got Lucy free and had bitten my wife, Roxie also tried to go after Mimi our other mutt. Roxie was our biggest dog, weighing in at about 95 pounds and weighing more than tripe that of Mimi and a lot more than any of our three Chihuahuas or my daughter and son-in-law's two Chihuahuas that were also at our house today.

I left work by 1025 and got home about 1215; thankfully my daughter as able to pick me up, at the train station, while on lunch from her job. When we got home, my wife was already there after seeing the doctor. Why she did not go to the ER is beyond me. Anyway, she suffered two puncture wounds. One on a calf and the other on an arm. She will be okay but she has developed a lot of pain in her right foot and leg. She pretty much had to dive onto Roxie and struggle with her to free Lucy and hit her right knee and apparently because of the pain she has now, her right foot pretty hard. Roxie bit her when she got Lucy away from her and right after that is when Roxie tried to attack Mimi. Mimi, having been attacked by Roxie before, was smart enough to skedaddle downstairs at high speed and my wife was then ale to calm Roxie.

You can see, from the furrows in Linda's brow, that she is pained,
both by her injuries and by our decision to put Roxie down. Linda
was in so much pain she could barely get down to give Roxie a last hug.
While at the vet for Lucy, the vet commented that as far as she knew, this was the third time Roxie has attacked like this within the last 5 years (Roxie was only 7, we had her since she was a few months old). My wife said yes it was and that it was the second time she had been bitten by Roxie. The vet recommended putting her down. My wife agreed and that was none to easy for her to do. She did not do it right then though because she had to get to the doctor and Roxie was locked in a bedroom at home.

As I said, when I got home, my wife was already there after seeing the doctor. We talked about our options and I had to agree that it would be best to have Roxie put down. She was a very lovable dog 99% of the time but became suddenly unpredictable for virtually no reason, and certainly for no good reason, and would attack like that. She bit Linda this time and a couple or few years ago in another similar event. Last time, Linda had a much worse set of puncture wounds in her hand and was lucky to not have had a vein, artery or tendon severed.

Anyway, we waited for Brendan (our son to get home). Before he got there, Linda called her brothers to see if they wanted to take Roxie after giving them a full rundown of what happened. She called because Brendan had asked us to do so but she also, on her own accord and at my urging, recommended that they both say NO! That is what they said and who can blame them. The five of us, Linda (my wife), Celina our daughter, Brendan our son, Oma (Linda's mom) and me talked it over some more. We agreed that for many reasons, not the least of which was Linda having been bitten a second time by Roxie, that Oma - who is in her eighties - would be at Roxie's mercy in such if ever attacked by her, that the other four dogs were at risk of being attacked and another very important upcoming reason that I am not at liberty to disclose right now, we needed to put her to sleep.

We brought Roxie to the vet's office a couple of hours ago; Linda was in tears, at the dining room table, when Brendan and I took Roxie to the vet. While we waited for the doc, Roxie seemed to know something was wrong but that was probably just me. She was most likely just nervous because she was at the vet's office, as she always is nervous when there. Brendan and I were there with her for about 15 minutes when the doc came into he room. We opted to stay with her through it. They literally put her to sleep with some sort of barbiturate. Then after a few final minutes with her, they injected a drug that stopped her heart, almost instantly and she was gone. Brendan and I were blubbering like lost children and I guess that about sums up what we were in those last moments with Roxie.

My Uncle Ken once told me he never saw a dog before that so badly wanted to please someone as much as it appeared Roxie wanted to please me. It kind of worked both ways, I liked to keep her happy too. Early on, I found outa lot of that was in the cookies (what we call dog treats) I gave her - much as Jack Nicolson, in As Good As It Gets, said it was all a trick, all due to bacon. Well, it wasn't all due to cookies or bacon, it had a lot to do with love too. I am going to miss her, we all will miss her - a lot.


We have had to put two dogs to sleep before, one due to terrible nerve damage, resulting from a back injury, that was getting worse. The other was due to old age problems (she was probably 22 and literally falling over a lot, mostly blind, and so on). Before today, we never had to do that for a reason like today's and add to that Roxie was only 7 or so and as I said was lovable 99.9% of the time. Even though I know ours was a good reason today - it was tough, very difficult to do. God damn, I am miserable. Then again so too are Brendan, Celina (and probably Phil - Celina's husband) and Linda. Linda was crying when we left with Roxie and crying when we got back home. She adopted Roxie, as a surprise to me (not for me), when I was out in Arizona on a detail for work. When I got home and saw her for the first time, I soon got over my shock and came to love Roxie as much as all of our other dogs.

By the way, Lucy has four good sized punctures in her neck and her sides near her shoulders. She was not injured internally as far as we know; although, my guess would be some muscles got torn or stretched badly as Roxie violently shook Lucy back and forth while in her maw. Hopefully, she will pull through admirably. That, at least, was a little sunshine - even if it came late today - after Roxie's sunset.

Later 4 U,
Glenn B

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All the best,