Roxy: Farewell

It was
only 2 weeks…exactly 2 weeks…that we fostered Roxy and in that short time I
fell in love with her.  Unfortunately for me, Roxy got adopted and went
to her new home today.  I didn’t realize that the home inspection had
been done yet and I didn’t know know that the new person adopting her would be
there today.  I took Roxy to the adoption event and this very nice
woman came up and asked if I was Scott and I said yes, and she sat down beside
me and pet Roxy.  I had a feeling that she was the new adopting
person.  I never even caught the woman’s name.  She was very
nice and she was concerned over how much I adored Roxy.  I think she
had been forewarned that I was attached to the little pooch.

I
asked if she was the adopting family and she said yes.  I got a little
sad but concentrated on getting the paperwork and getting her
transferred.  Inside I was crying my eyes out.  We got the
paperwork done and went inside and got her a new collar, leash, bed, crate,
food, bowls, and toys.  I just focused on getting the new stuff for
Roxy.  I got her all checked out and took Roxy to her car, loaded her
up, and said farewell.  I left in a hurry as my eyes were watering up
and I started to cry.  By the time I got back to the petco, tears were
streaming down my face and I was doing everything I could to just return the
cart and escape without being seen.  Mike caught me and didn’t really
know what to do but he knew I was leaving.  I hurried to my truck and
sat there and just fell apart.  I could barely see and started the
truck.  I wiped my eyes and started home.  I cried the entire
way home and cursed every person on the road.  When I got home I just
fell apart.  I have been crying for the last hour and cannot
stop.

I have to be the biggest wimp in the world.  I
sit here shaking like a leaf with tears streaming down my face.  I am
trying to understand how this little dog was able to get to me so
quickly.  I think it is because she had the same personality as Grendel
and was as soft and cuddly as Grendel. 

Grendel was
a shihtzu mix that I got in 1991.  She was a pure bred shihtzu that my
vet helped me get from a breeder that had a bad batch of puppies.  She
was slightly deformed such that her ears didn’t sit right and stuck up a bit,
she had a 1/4 inch overbite, and her back legs were crooked.  She was
dumb as dirt and it took years to get her moderately house trained. 

She would have accidents occasionally if you didn’t watch her
carefully.  But, she was the most loving and co-dependent dog I have
ever seen.  I loved her so much.  She loved to be carried
around cradled in my left arm like a baby and would fall asleep in my arms
whenever I held her.  I could carry her everywhere and she was
perfectly calm.  If I put her down, she stayed right by my
side.  She trusted me and adored me. 

On the
day before Thanksgiving in 1999, I came home from Costco with a load of
food.  I had left Grendel and Jafo (my other dog) in the back yard
(fenced of course) as I was only going to be gone for a short time. 

When I got home, I walked around the side of the house to call the dogs and both
Jafo and Grendel were on the back deck.  They came running as fast as
they could, and when Grendel was about half way to me, she just stopped and fell
over.

I dropped anything I had in my arms and ran to get
her.  She was laying there like a limp rag doll and I picked her
up.  She didn’t move and it was like picking up a toy.  The
little dog only weighed about 12 pounds.  She was not breathing, her
tongue was blue, and she wet all over me.  I pushed on her little chest
hoping that I could get her to take a breath, and after what seemed like an
eternity, she gasped for air, and started to move.  She was likely
disoriented and she wiggled erratically.  After holding her steady for
a while, she seemed to recognize me and she calmed down.  

Being that it was a holiday, I couldn’t take her to the vet
so I just watched her closely through the holiday weekend.  As soon as
the Vet opened, I took her to the vet to be checked out and they said that she
had a heart attack.  They said that a specialist for pets would be able
to take her in the following Wednesday, so I took her to the
specialist.  I liquidated $4000 of my Sprint Stock options at about $60
each and paid about $2000 for a sonogram and more for various other
bills.  The conclusion was that she had a malformed heart valve and as
she got older she developed a heart murmur and was weak whenever she exerted
herself to much.  They put her on 3 medications to help control the
buildup of fluid after the heart attack and they said that she would live for
maybe another year.

Mike was not living with me at
time.  He moved in a couple of months later in February of
2000.  Mike has a PhD and a MD in Neurology.  He understood
everything the doctors had said and when he moved in, he would get out his
stethoscope and listen to hear heart and tell me to adjust the medications based
on the sounds of her heart.  Through this constant adjustment, we kept
Grendel happy and alive for another 3 years.

Shortly after all
of this happened with Grendel, the telecom industry went belly up and all of my
stock options with Sprint became worthless.  Had I not paid for
Grendel’s medical issues with proceeds from the sale of options, I would have
lost them anyway when things fell apart.  So, there are certainly no
regrets on having all of that treatment work done on Grendel. 

So, back to the reason that I am writing about
Grendel.  In April of 2002, Mike and I bought this house in
Middleburg.  It was more than either of us could afford alone so we
split the mortgage 50/50.  Sprint was going down hill fast and my
division was in the process of being eliminated.  On August 9, 2002, I
was laid off from Sprint with a very nice package and a non-compete
agreement.  Over the 2.5 years since Grendel’s heart attack, the
medications were becoming less and less effective and she was developing fluid
in her abdomen. She was shaped like an egg and the Vet could do nothing but draw
the fluid off monthly.  This was rather painful for Grendel and she was
now looking like she wasn’t enjoying life.  So, I made the difficult
decision and had her euthanized on August 14, 2002.  Mike was out of
town on Business travel and did not return till the weekend.  I was out
of work, and so there was no-one to see me cry for 4 days straight.  I
just couldn’t stop crying.  Every time I turned around I missed the
sound of this little dog wheezing along behind me.  Every night I
missed the sound of the little dog honking during fits where she couldn’t get
enough air.  To this day, my eyes water and I get sad whenever I look
at a picture of Grendel or write about her like in this entry.

Kira is a wonderful dog, well mannered, doesn’t destroy
anything, and is a good companion.  But she doesn’t give a rats ass as to if I
exist or not.  She hangs out with whoever is closest and she doesn’t like being
pet.  She doesn’t want to be held, and she pretty much does her own thing. 
Quite the opposite of little Grendel.  So, here comes Roxy, with all of the
personality of Grendel, loves to be held, is soft as cotton, and seems to love
hanging out with me.  Roxy reminded me of Grendel in almost every way… the big
difference… Roxy was brilliantly smart.  She wasn’t house trained because she
had never lived in a house.  But in 2 weeks we had already gotten her partially
house trained and taught her how to use the doggy door. 

So,
as I sit here crying my eyes out, I have to wonder if I am crying over Roxy or
crying over Grendel.  It has now been about 2 hours of crying and I guess I am
running out of tears.  I just keep picturing Roxy…every time I left her to get
paperwork, she pouted and when I returned she got so excited…and when the new
owner pulled away in her car, Roxy sat in the back seat struggling as best she
could to push her face through the glass window to get to me.  The little dog
seemed to truly recognize and care about me.  I really miss that!  I really miss
a dog that really truly loves me.

Thanks for reading…I
won’t be fostering another cute lovable dog for quite some time.  This one hurt
way to much.

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