11 Apr 2006, 3:37pm
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Thank you Nanny. I will miss you.

My car has been converted into a hearse and Nanny’s body lays in the back of it waiting until her grave is prepared under the noble fir tree.

She sat up and made as though to get up and greet me today when I got home.. happy to see me.. but, in the end, she was unable to get up.  Her pain and suffering when I was not around to cheer her was, indeed, quite severe.

When I had a place in the car ready for her I carried her out in a sling made from a sheet and put her into the hatchback. I was bawling, as silently as possible, of course, so as not to disturb her and ended up rolling down the window and trying to sing little songs like we used to when we would go for a drive together.

I got about 2 miles down the road.. telling her prone form she was a good girl when she started wriggling, trying to right herself.  I pulled over and helped her change direction in the back of my small car and to my surprise she stood up completely.

With the window rolled down, one ecstatic, aged golden retriever and I drove the rest of the way into town.  She wasn’t able to walk again when we got there and I carried her in through the back door to the major surgery arena and onto the exam table/scale. Not too long after resting there with me petting her face (a paltry 68.8 lbs) she went into another seizure and I saw it for the first time with my own eyes.. holding her and reassuring and keeping her from falling off the table.

Dr. Mike asked me if it was time and I nodded through my tears and said I thought so.. and told him about how this was my beautiful Dogter.  I pet her face and nuzzled her stinky ear and rubbed her back and Dr. Mike drew a vial of pink liquid, found a forearm vein, and very carefully administered the drug that ended my dog’s life.  After the end I carried her body back out to my car, alone, despite offers of help.. though I did let someone get the door and I drove home.. where I am now.. freshly out of a shower.. while my dog’s body lies in the back of my car and my little brother begins a grave under that noble fir tree.

I have a flood of memories about how I took her to the vet for the first time.. and the last time.. on my own.. and that first time, at 12 weeks, when I carried her to cross the streets.. and carried her inside and out of the vet office so she wouldn’t catch any germs.. (I carried her both in and out this time too) ..about how that was the first time I’d ever taken an animal to the vet all alone.. (this is the first time I had to take a friend to the vet to die all on my own too) and how she was the very first pet that I ever had (at my 18 years of age) that was all mine.

She was such an exquisitely beautiful dog. People stopped wherever we went to admire her.. just looking at her sleeping or chewing a toy or some other such thing filled my heart with joy. Her little quirky cowlick making a Mohawk stripe down her nose between her eyes..

Dr. Mike performed an emergency spay about 7 or 8 years ago when Beamer (the old man Rottweiler) accidentally bred her.  (I think they meant it, it was just an accident to us two-footers.)  We went ahead and filmed her hips and elbows to see if they were good enough to eventually breed her and raise healthy golden retriever pups like I had wanted to do.

Dr. Mike said her hips were superb, but in his opinion, her elbows were only fair and Beamer was displastic, so we spayed her and averted having the litter of potentially crippled pups to struggle to find good homes for.  It was the right thing to do, but it was still a sad day, I think for us both, as we would have enjoyed raising up puppies together.

Camping and swimming in the lake and driving trips continued.. and she demonstrated a tolerance which grew to affection for my own crawling pup.. and helped me to raise my daughter.

One day she must have gotten out and was not being watched.. got hit by a car or kicked by a horse and came home with damaged vertebrae. She was an instant ‘old lady’ and I nursed her through her arthritis and back pain and watched her face come into grey and her beautiful show-perfect body turn softer and less artistically perfect.

Still, she captured everyone’s attention with how happy she was.. showed off at her obedience hand signals and willingness to do whatever you asked of her.. and she and Beamer were the inseparable old married couple as she took care of him.

There are more stories.. but I’m crying again.. so time for me to go.   Thank you Nanny for being my friend and confidante these last 11 years.  Your companionship will be sorely missed.

Love, America

 
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