I f you have ever owned a pet – or maybe I should say been owned by a pet
– you most likely had to make the difficult decision to euthanize them.
Last week we said goodbye to our 14-year-old CeCe.
She was the sweetest Bichon Frise ever! Though I was only around her for six months, she wormed her way into my heart immediately.
This old gal was the alpha female of our brood of three. She tolerated her 2-yearold sister Sadie – who is also a Bichon and sort of tolerated her new brother Domingo. Both younger pups – Domingo, my 13-year-old Chihuahua mix – acquiesced to her at meal time. He sometimes had to be reminded that she ate first.
She would whine to be picked up so she could join us on the couch since she couldn’t quite jump that high any longer. But her whining would be met with us having to slowly reach to pick her up, sometime following her as she backed up – a mixture of wanting to join us, but on her terms.
Our pups are self feeding – their bowls are always available, but all three are finicky eaters – until it was treat time. She was typically the first to remind us. And how she loved her chicken strip dog treats. Many nights she also would remind us that she needed a midnight snack as well. When you spoke to her, she would nod as if saying “Yes, I understand.” Or “Yes, I would love a treat right now.”
She started losing weight last month and her veterinarian told us to bring her in after a few weeks. Her appetite had waned and when she refused her beloved chicken treat, we knew she was not well. A visit to her doctor proved that she was indeed sick. She had lost more weight and they referred us to an animal hospital. Four days of IV drips and antibiotics showed a slight improvement, but an ultrasound showed that there was a blockage to her liver and her gallbladder was inflamed. Surgery was mentioned but we all thought she wouldn’t make it through the procedure and long recovery.
The tough decision was made. Dennis and I were crying our eyes out as she slipped away in my arms. You see, she took to me almost immediately. I feel she missed her first “mother” Betty, Dennis’ wife who passed away earlier this year. She would follow me all over the house, settling in one of her many beds in the rooms. She was my coworker in my home office, stirring only when it was time for her evening treat or if I moved to another room. I loved her so much. I hope Betty was greeting her as she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
The staff at the animal hospital in San Antonio were simply the best. One young lady behind the counter asked if she could give us a hug. She had checked on CeCe throughout the evenings and was so sweet and caring. In fact, they were all so wonderful.
The way I see it, our fuzzy family members bring us so much love and joy, but boy oh boy, when they leave us the sadness is so intense. So hug your pets, give them treats and hopefully, when the time comes, the trip over the Rainbow Bridge will be an easy one.
SUE BROWN is a columnist of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.