Life has this horrible habit of sneaking up on you. Just when you think everything’s going just fine, you got through Christmas, you did some real work on and around the house and now you’re getting all set for the start of the New Year and looking forward to another birthday.
And then, one of the dogs starts moping around and won’t eat anything. You know it has to be serious for this dog to turn down any form of food as she is an overweight, fat little Dachshund that delights in eating anything that the other dogs leave or that I happen to put on the floor in front of her.
BeBe is seventeen and a half years old of which I have had her probably at least fifteen of those years. I got her from a friend whose marriage was breaking up and she needed a home for her two Dachshunds and I ended up with one of them. We have between BeBe and myself, buried six of her buddies in the intervening years and now, the only ones left from the eight that were living at the same time are Richie and Ginny, both considerably younger and both rescue Dachshunds. We have gone from an eight dog family to a two.
BeBe started to have breathing difficulties a couple of days ago and then stopped eating. I knew after having buried so many dogs over the years that her time was near and that I needed to make that short trip to the vets, once again. So, after making a big fuss of her and crying tears of sorrow for what I knew would be the last trip to the vets for this little girl, I called ahead and an hour later, put her in the car and kept her on my lap for the short drive.
When it was my turn to be seen, I stood up ready to go into the examination room, suddenly she gave a little moan, bent back her head and died in my arms. Dr Donop, forever the most sympathetic of doctors, examined her and just to be sure, gave her a sonogram and then pronounced her dead. The entire staff were very sympathetic as they boxed her up for me and Dr Donop carried her to my car.
When I arrived back home, the two remaining dogs both knew that something had happened to BeBe and both acted differently than they normally do. It was as though they were trying to pass along their own doggy sympathies for the loss of our mutual friend and housemate. They both paid special attention to me and both stayed close.
Richie, the male, helped me to dig a hole beside Abigail, Manley and Minnie who are all buried right next to the big pond. They each have a little doggie garden statue of their breed with their collars around them and the whole area is stacked with rocks just like a cairn. Now, I need to get another Dachshund statue for BeBe.
I would like to say that life goes on which of course it will. But it will be just a little emptier than before and there will be one less little mouth to feed and to look after. Losing a dog at any time is really tough but to lose two dogs in less than six months is heartbreaking.
There is sometimes a plus side to losing a pet. Things like not having to worry about a more aggressive dog like Abigail stealing the others food or chews or discovering that the “accidents” in the house are not so frequent. In the case of BeBe, she had developed a bladder control problem which I discovered when I made the bed the other day to find that the mattress was ruined and now I need a new one. It would not have been worth buying one until after BeBe had passed on but I had no idea nor did I wish for it to be so soon. This also means that the two remaining dogs can now go walking as a manageable group. On a more practical note with her gone, and with me eighty years old, it is one less worry for me if I should happen to die before the other dogs do and just a little easier to make “arrangements” for the future.
I will miss BeBe. We have been together for many years and seen other dogs come and go. It was not like she was super amusing like Richie or soft and cuddly like Ginny but she had her own attributes and a place in my heart.
Sleep well Beatrice. We will miss you.