October 5, 1995 – August 23, 2008
Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Horatio (quoted above) knows our pain. To say it was unexpected is an understatement. We’d both been in and out of the house on Saturday, but around 7:30pm, while trying to feed the dogs, the Knight noted that Mugsy’s tongue and such were barely pink. The short version is, Mugsy couldn’t eat, and was in serious respiratory distress. I rushed him to the emergency vet, where they very literally snatched him from my arms and put him on oxygen. Before the vet tech finished collecting the history from me, she was called to the back, and moments later, the vet came out, mostly to ask if I wanted them to try CPR if it came to that.
The Knight was at a fire (our local Taco Bell will be closed for a while) when I headed into town, but was back at the station when I called. He got there just in time to review the X-rays with us. There was no real sign of degenerative disk disease; he had one spot of arthritis on the lower-most portion of his spine, but that was it. Emergency vet’s best guess was that his back issues were the result of a series of strokes, all impacting his spinal cord. At any rate, he’d lost the ability to empty his bladder, and there weren’t any real treatment options, not for regular day to day management.
I wish that vet would start her own practice. She and the tech were remarkable in their care of Mugsy and their compassion for us. We have great vets now, but these two are truly a gift to veterinary medicine. They reassured us that we’d gone above and beyond in trying to help Mugsy make the most of his time with us, and that this REALLY was the right decision for Mugsy.
Bless his little heart… To the end, my little man was focused on me. He licked and licked my face, and even the Knight allowed Mugsy to lick his face several times. I assured him that he’d soon be running with Fred, and Pop would probably be on hand to throw the ball for him too. (Funny how more than one of you also suggested that as the word trickled around late last night and early this morning.) I don’t think more than a square inch here or there was untouched as Mugsy left his broken body aside. The vet, the tech, the Knight and I were all RIGHT THERE with him. As with Fred, he left us very quickly, not leaving any time for regrets.
What truly moved us beyond measure was the offer – and of course, we eagerly accepted – of a clay imprint of Mugsy’s paw. Clay Paw Kits and the emergency vet’s thoughtfulness in offering such a service, meant more to me than even the Knight understands. (Photos tomorrow or Tuesday. Our print is baking as I type.) In a touch of providence, Rosanne had gifted me a kit with the very same purpose just yesterday.
Sissy is okay. Last night was very hard on her; she kept looking for Mugsy, and wore me out asking out over and over. This morning, two dear friends came over to help the Knight bury Mugsy next to Fred. It’s no longer Fred’s Garden. If anyone has a short but sweet suggestion for a name, I’d love to hear it. We’ve added quite a bit to the garden this afternoon, but again, photos will come later. The inlaws have also reminded me why I love them so; Sissy will be allowed to go to work for a while. She’s going to miss him for sure… we all will.
I don’t know what’s next with Mugsy’s Mobile Mission. I don’t even know the status of his wheels. Ideally, we’ll be able to cancel the order. I’m going to see if the local shelter can use his weewee pads, diapers, and lift strap. Sissy literally took his crate pad as her own; I had removed it from his crate so all the Knight would have to do is fold up the crate and put it away, but Sissy took the pad in her mouth and headed for her own crate. Sweet girl…
So, that’s that. Our vet did absolutely nothing wrong, missed nothing obvious. Mugsy was just a tough little solider, who hung on as long as he could, and even managed to give us some extra, sweet memories the last couple of weeks. We were blessed to have him in our lives.