Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saying Goodbye to a Our Best Friend

I was on vacation for the last three day's with some of my bff's at Hershey, PA.  We went to see Joyce Meyer along with shopping and chocolate.  It was a very spirit filled three days and I was very uplifted.   But today, when I got home I went out in the yard to greet Digger, our dog.  Digger is usually happy to see me after I have been gone for awhile.  Heck he was even happy to see me if I went out the back door and came to the front.  You would think I was gone for weeks.  But today was different.  You see, Digger was born with a congenital hip problem, he had no ball and socket joint at his hips, which we did not find out about until 3 years ago.  When the vet told me, I couldn't believe it.  Since I have had Digger all he has ever done was run.  He ran grooves into the back yard.  He was King of the back yard watching over the neighborhood and barking at strangers and just about everything else.  .

We had Digger since he was 9 months old, we got him in September of 2000 so Parke figured we would call him the millennium dog and celebrate his birthday every News Year Eve.  Every year we would yell Happy New Years and then Happy Birthday Digger and he would run circles around the house.

Winters were steadily getting harder for Digger.  We would have to make an annual visit for pain medications  and about 3 years ago I started walking him every day so I could monitor his hips.  Every morning once around the block.  Digger loved other dogs, we would stop to see several of them sometimes.  His buddy Bandit down the street would wait for us every day at the fence.

A few weeks ago Digger started to stumble and fall.  At first I thought he was just not watching were he was going.  We found out he was blind in one eye.  But it got worse and we called the vet.   I thought maybe there was something wrong with paws, maybe his nails were too long, but after many tests they told us his hips were worse and there was nothing to do but keep him comfortable.  We  got some pain pills and after a week or two we had to stop walking him around the block, even though every day he would still stand at the door waiting. 

Today when I got home though something was different, I called and he didn't come, he was just sitting, his eyes said to me "Mom, I can't make it right now"  I went out to him and he stood then and made it just barely into the house.  I wanted to believe he was okay but he had really gone down hill in the last three days.  Parke didn't want to tell me while I was away. 

We went food shopping and them when I got home he had not eaten, I changed the food in his dish and called him but he wouldn't step into the kitchen.  Even though we had rugs covering the floorhe would slip out there. So I took his food into the living room.  I watched him and my heart broke, he got his front paws up but drugged his back end over to the food. 

I called Valley Central Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Whitehall.  I told them it was time to say goodbye. They were caring and compassionate.  They explained everything over the phone and I took him right over.

  Digger got up one last time, because I had the leash in my hand.  That dog was determined to go for a walk, but I lifted him into the car.  They came with a gurney to get him out because he would not have been able to walk on their floor.  They took him in the back and took us to a special room. I cried so much I could hardly breath.  I thought I was at Brubakers.  Big wooden chairs and lots of tissues.  They brought Digger in and I took his muzzle off.  He wanted to get up, he kept lifting his head up as we talked to him, and then it was time, and it was quick.  I cried some more while I petted him.  He looked like such a rag-a-muffin, he would not let me brush him these last few weeks. 

But that's not what I am going to remember.  I am going to remember the dog who like to herd things into a circle.  Who liked cats, bunnies and birds, but not opposums.  The dog that, like his name suggests, dug holes all over the yard - even up to last year when I saw my bushes in the backyard leaning to one side because he dug a huge hole behind it.  The dog that was  scared of squeaky toys and thunder.  The dog that would put his head on my shoulder when I was outside trying to read and his paws on my lap when I was trying to watch TV.  The dog that loved toast with peanut butter.  The dog who never let me eat pretzels alone.   The dog that drooled every time he would smell another dog on me.  The dog who use to run and greet me, running circles up and down the yard when I would come home, sliding to a stop and rolling over to pet his belly.  The dog with crazy eyes who would always got so excited about anything and barked at everything.

Yes, I will remember my "world's best dog" and I told him so tonight.   Run with big dogs in heaven sweet Digger, I will see you again.