Ever since our dog Dixie died last January (which I didn't write about at the time because it hurt too much and we were dealing with the failing health of my grandparents), our other blue heeler Sassy was just not the same.
We had both dogs for 11 years, and Sassy was full grown when we got her so we guessed that she was at least 13 years old. For a while after Dixie died we just figured she was depressed. Then we passed off her lethargy and not-so-spunkiness as old age finally settling in. But over the last few months or so she really took a turn for the worse.
Some days she would have a very hard time getting her back legs to hold her up. Other days Russel would have to coax her to eat. But this past weekend her face was really swollen and she wouldn't eat at all. We thought, "well, the bees are out now and maybe the goober ate one that was aggravating her and it stung her." (wouldn't have been the first time!) But this morning when Russel tried to feed her again she wouldn't even get up. So we took her to the vet, where she would get up and walk some, but her breathing was pretty labored. (like we had been out running and playing) When the doc examined her, she told us that she had lymphoma (cancer) and all her lymph nodes were very swollen. She said that she would only get worse and that since she was already to the phase of not wanting to eat, it would probably be fast and ugly. So we did the best thing for her and let her go. We got to stay in there with her and talk to her and pet her as she passed. But that really didn't make it any easier.
Even though the old goat was a pain in the rear... She ever liked to stay in the pen and would jump the 5-foot fence just for spite. And when you went inside to get the leash to take her back to the pen, she would stand in the ivy & underbrush just out of reach. Would pee on the porch all the time. Herded you all the way to her food bowl poking her nose into the back of your legs if you walked too slow. Always had to stand behind you. Wouldn't fetch a ball to save her life, but would run out and bark and nip at Dixie every time she was bringing the frisbee/ball/squeaky back to you. Sneezed with me during pollen season. Had the most annoying high-pitched bark for a 45 pound dog. Wouldn't let you pet her without wrapping her front legs around your arm. Usually let her ears droop down so she looked like Yoda. Would shake the fool out of her stump of a tail every time you came home. And just in general wanted to be a part-time free-roaming "How you doin'?" gal -- part-time lap dog. She will be missed.
- ▼ 2011 (34)