Friday, July 31, 2009

Life Goes On

Picture is when Mugsey was like 4 months old. If you are just reading this post you have to read the two previous to understand why I'm blogging about him, he passed away yesterday.

Ok, Dispatch is being so nice to me because he thinks I am sad he actually stood on his back legs and let me pick burrs off of his chest. This is not remarkable because he stood up so long he can probably walk 20 feet on his back legs, it's he LET me pick burrs. I am much better today. The waterworks have only caught me good twice and Dispatch cuddled with me the second time. He's not a face licker but if he was he would have licked my face.

I pulled weeds in the flower bed after I watered thoroughly and it was cool, you guessed it I found something that reminded me of Mugsey. (Besides the lighting and irrigation he ate of course) I had a few pieces of black plastic fencing that I put on the front flowerbed by the sidewalk. I know you are saying ewwwww, but it was really OK when covered with plants. Mugsey didn't like it there. I have LOTS of white plastic fence in the backyard which isn't a backyard and he never bothered it. Like 8 times as much as the few measly pieces in front of the house. Anyway I found the black plastic fencing, I'd forgotten I had it as I had laid it down behind the plants to hide it from him, I kept putting it back in flowerbed as fencing, I scolded him, told him no but there was something about it he couldn't resist so I finally gave up after two years. I would say we will have a puppy soon but I would feel so disloyal. It took 4 years for my husband to replace his last dog Bandit the Australian Shepherd who tried to make a bomb by the back door (he ate an oil container and part of a fertilizer sack, voila explosives) and ate the batteries out of solar lights. Unless you count Dispatch of course. We talked about puppies and dogs and breeds of dogs, we did know a Labrador Retriever who was mean and bit children, she was also left alone quite a bit, Mugsey would maybe injure a child by knocking them down and then licking them but NEVER biting them, he loved kids. Don't know if it's the raising that does it or the particular dog or a combination, sort of the nature vs. nurture debate all over again.

We've given up saying Mugsey was just a dog, after all we are getting his ashes to scatter over the farm. Waterworks on, Dispatch wants on my lap. Mugsey was a wimp who hid behind Dispatch most of the time but once he woofed @ a strange man in the middle of the night. After that I had no doubt he would @ least act like he was protecting me. That was just the end of May when he did that. As my husband keeps saying, he was just getting to be the dog we wanted and not a puppy. He amazed people by responding to finger snaps and hand signals, I don't consciously train them like this and it's not for big things but just if they need to pay attention to me or do something. People commented how well they behaved on leashes down in Louisiana, I was VERY proud of them then as they had just been on leashes a few times in the last two years. I could even walk without them getting tangled up most of the time.

The schnauzer from across the road came over tonight, she hasn't been over for months and months, I wonder if she is looking for Mugsey? They didn't play anymore but would each sit on their side of the road. I called the neighbor who owns the schnauzer to see if they knew anything or had seen anything when Mugsey got hit but they didn't.

Someone else is looking for Mugsey too.

And looking....

They had a system set up, Mugsey would come look in the window and Dispatch would whine till I let him in. I didn't think Dispatch was missing him till I noticed he was @ the window unless he was by me. I didn't get a picture of it but Fema my cousins dog who almost lives here was looking in the window or the glass door when I had the other one open. She's waiting too.

But life goes on. Stupid dog. Can you understand why I say stupid dog. I wasn't going to get attached, I HAD my dog. I'm really glad I walked Mugsey around the RV park so much in Louisiana though, I keep thinking about the time he headed for the woods when I had him off the leash in LA just like he was @ home and had heard something calling for him or maybe home was just past that fence and tree? It was weird. He came back but he never left me like that, he was always trailing or looking and making sure where I was. I know it's not true but it's almost like he heard the rainbow bridge calling him?

Back to earth and practical matters. A grey streak came from the glass table outside this morning. It was on the roof last night and I tried to get him down but he hissed @ me, there is a tree branch that he got ON the roof with and I said if he got on he can get off or he will get hungry and come to me, my husband told me to be careful getting on the ladder but I informed him I'd already cleaned the gutters, it was sweet of him though. I think the cat is meanies kitten but I have no idea where she's been keeping him. Evidently she's been feeding him well, he's fat with thick thick fur. He is also the spitting image of my cousins cat Nathan, hmmmmmmmm. He's back in the tree tonight, won't come down but he knows where the cat food is and I will tame him more tomorrow with some canned food. He's not yellow or a dog but it's funny how he just appeared yesterday after I got home. And Life Goes On.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mugsey My Golden Labrador Update

I was with Mugsey this morning @ 10:15 when he was put to sleep. He was worse. I asked the vet about other treatments but he said there was no hope, if it was his dog he would have him put to sleep. The vet had taken Mugsey to his HOUSE to put him in the hot tub twice because he thought that might do some good and would help him be more comfortable @ least. The vet shed a tear too. He said a cart was an option but I knew Mugsey wouldn't be happy and he was incontinent and just miserable.
Mugsey was fine, not scared, the medication made him shakey. He wasn't as good though as when I took him in. You never realize how much of your life is tied up in an animal till you lose them. I complained about him flopping over and hitting the box springs on the bed from the floor every night and jarring me awake. I would love to feel that again. I petted him for like 20 minutes before the vet got there and every time I would stand up from crouching down he would try to stand up to go with me. That was the worst I think.

I am fine. I've talked to my husband several times today. We are getting Mugsey's ashes back and scattering them over the farm where he loved to run (husband insisted even though it costs more and husband is shall we say thrifty). I hugged the vet and I am NOT a hugger. The vet tried to give me a beagle that was throwing a fit because she didn't like being cooped up and tried to give me a white lab that someone had dumped by his house pregnant last winter. My husband said he wants a puppy IF we get another dog soon. I can't hardly bear the thought but I know there are 1000's of puppies that need homes.

I'll never forget when we got Mugsey I was delivering lunch to the crew when they were cleaning up after Katrina. My stepson said what about the yellow puppy when I got there, I said what yellow puppy, I saw him and that's all she wrote, my husband fell in love instantly too, he's the one that suggested I look @ him to his son. Mugsey turned into a sweet lovable clown that got in trouble quite frequently but we learned to adapt. When he wasn't doing his jumping running dance of joy around the car when I got home I thought something was wrong. I wish I'd petted him more and given him more treats. I got a garbage bag out and saw a cabinet with big dog treats in it and no big dog.

I think I feel guilty because I didn't always put Mugsey first after he was grown, but he liked to be outside and he came in when we were home, he would get in trouble for chasing cats and dragging things in the yard, his pile of treasures just disappeared recently, rocks, sticks, bones, and empty plastic bottles. He was my husbands dog too but he only had him overnight by himself once, he's been with me the rest of the time. I feel bad too because it was my husbands dog (supposedly) and my dog (Dispatch) is fat sassy and healthy. I've got more pictures of Mugsey than any other dog besides Dispatch and I've had 3 times as long to take pictures of Dispatch. I've cried more for Mugsey than I ever have any other dog too (and most people who have died), but usually if they are killed or die it's quick. I feel bad because I didn't buy him more stuffed animals to destroy, he loved nothing better than to chew a hole in a stuffed animal and start pulling stuffing out, would keep him occupied for hours.

I must get to other things, I've been trying to work and cut back on bad habits and loafing (reading and napping), I need to make today go by fast.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Labrador Mugsey

It has been over a month since I blogged @ all. I did comment on a few blogs but I've been busy to say the least and decided to give myself a little vacation. The last few days I didn't think I could write on here without breaking down again but I'm alone now and can wade through it. My birthday, my grandsons birthday, and his sisters birthday are all 3 days right in a row. We were celebrating them last Friday night @ my daughters house with lasagna and 3 kinds of birthday cake. My other daughter was here with her new puppy a yorkie/poo. I put Mugsey my golden lab outside when we left to go celebrate, he likes the air conditioning but he likes being outside playing too, I did consider leaving him inside with Dispatch but with the new puppy in the bedroom thought it might be too much, I really wish I'd left him in now. I know you know what's coming and I sound like I'm making an excuse but I've only seen him in the highway once and that was 2 years ago crossing to go see the neighbor dogs, he's never gotten even close since then to my knowledge. The highway is like 100 yards from our house, we have no fences and I've never seen Mugsey anywhere on the farm except @ the two houses and ponds when we go.

We got home Friday night and no Mugsey, he's sometimes down @ my cousins house in THEIR air conditioning or just being spoiled down there so I didn't think much of it. We watched a movie the kids had gotten for their birthday and I went to bed, still no Mugsey, I called and called and walked around the house, found a missing kitty but no dog. I laid down but couldn't sleep so two grandsons and I went driving and walking for awhile till after midnight. My cousins dog was outside so I knew Mugsey wasn't in there. Not much we could do till morning.

I got up before kids who were sleeping on the floor in the family room and my daughter was with me, Mugsey was outside by the car door and she was laughing @ him because we had been SO worried. He sat up but never got up. I have NO idea where he was or how he got to the house but her little dog seemed to have trailed him down the driveway later that day. I think he was in a fairly deep ditch right across from our driveway, we looked further on down the ditch but not in the very bottom of that one. I also think a delivery vehicle hit him in our driveway and drug him over there but I could be wrong, the vet assistant said he had been hit on a gravel road and our driveway is gravel. It makes no difference, he was rolled under a vehicle and the vet said it's a miracle he's in as good as he is and he made it back home in pain which breaks my heart because I didn't find him that night.

I fell apart, I admit it, this is my husbands dog but he's mine too. He's ate more lawn fixtures than you can count and insists the pump is NOT going to stay in the yard pond but he is only 2 years old. I called the vet and then called the emergency number, the vet said bring him over and we have normal office hours today, I'd forgotten and called the emergency number. We got him in the car, he didn't seem to be in any pain, just couldn't walk. We never thought about him biting because he was hurt which seems stupid now but we just got him on a blanket and slid him in the back seat. My grandson went with me, my daughter was going to go but I was able to drive and the two little kids were still there.

We got to the vets and it probably took an hour before they came and got him out of the car, they did come and look @ him and see he was fine, not in shock and not writhing in pain, just tired and not walking. We waited, I tried not to cry, I NEVER go anywhere without a little eye makeup on but I knew it was pointless to even try to put it on till yesterday. The vet assistant finally came out and told us they thought his hip bone had sort of separated, not fully but they thought that was causing him pain and not to walk and we could go home and he would be fine soon. They would do further x-rays and call if they found anything else but he needed to be @ the vets over the weekend.

I know this is long but it's how I tell a story. My husband was fine, called several times though. It really helped having the kids @ the house (the picture above is a wienie roast about a month ago, notice Mugsey right in the middle) but then there was other things happening which just added to the bad things, lets just say it wasn't a good birthday weekend. The vet called later in the day, I didn't think he would call so late and I'd convinced myself he wasn't going to call with bad news. Mugsey had twisted his spine and that's why he couldn't walk, they weren't even sure the hip was separated. NOTHING was broken. His spinal cord is intact, the vertebrae show they slipped around a bit and it was swelling there. Thus he couldn't walk. The vet said prednisone and rest till Monday and we would see. If it continues to swell where his spine was twisted it will eventually paralyze him is my understanding.

Monday the swelling hadn't gone down and had gotten a little worse, his spinal cord is still fine, he has reflexes and wags his tail but just can't use his hind legs. The vet said give him a couple more days, he's doesn't seem to be in pain and it will either get better or worse and we might try acupuncture, surgery is possible but not a good alternative or really an alternative, he would probably still be crippled. So we are waiting for Thursday, the vet was supposed to call the accupuncturist to see if she thought she could help. He is too big a dog for me to carry all the time, he has to be able to walk and run or he won't be happy.

Why did I choose to write this now? I called the veterinary clinic while ago when it started thundering to tell them Mugsey is afraid of storms and they needed to go reassure him and tell him it was a party, he is better if you do that, I was having him chase balls and saying it was party time when it thundered, Victoria Stilwell is right it does get their mind off of the storm and makes it a happy time instead of stressful. BTW while we were in Louisiana the dogs and I were addicted to animal planet. I took Mugsey for walks around the RV park so many times I got the beginning of shin splints.

I have gotten almost all the way through this without crying but a few times. I need to be able to talk about this without breaking down in public which is quite embarrassing and isn't doing the dog any good. I never realized how fond of Mugsey I was, I was always griping about him but I was the one who raised him and took care of him and gave him baths (most of them, my daughter gave him the last one). Dispatch is OK, the other puppy was here and distracted him from missing Mugsey since the puppies favorite pastime was trying to hang off of Dispatches ears by his teeth, kept him distracted. He does seem to be looking for Mugsey when we go outside though and he knows when mama is upset and follows me like velcro.

I have no great moral out of this experience other than to hug your pet, toss a ball for your dog tonight or give it an extra pat on the head. And hope for good news Thursday. This is a picture of him in Louisiana @ the RV park. Sorry it's so blurry but another phone picture. He had FINALLY learned when we stopped on a trip and got out and I said go potty he was supposed to.... well go potty.