Bluebarrie - the cute gray dog caricatured at the left - died yesterday.
I would like to thank everyone that made a donation to help care for her. We nurtured her to a ripe old age, and the memory of that will have to be enough now...
The vX spouse and I are not taking this well - but hey, it's still been less than 24 hours. The reason seems to be that we averted her premature (and potentially very nasty) demise from her birth defect so many times in the past; she was as good as dead so many times and yet it was never final. This time it was clear very early in the process that we shouldn't even try to win the last battle against advanced age.
I am warmed by the arrogant notion - common to pet lovers - that we gave Blue a life she couldn't have had otherwise.
... some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic
But I had a good life all the way
Blue was apparently born with little or no parathyroid activity. This put us through a little bit of hell in 1993 when she repeatedly went into tetany, broke her leg, and was temporarily blinded and permanently visually impaired - leading up to a recommendation of euthanasia after her case was taken over by a veterinary school seemingly staffed by morons.
She was saved by Drs. Jacocks and McCord of Hickory Knoll Veterinary Hospital in suburban New Orleans. We then treated her with a daily preventative with over 9 years of success. As a senior she had 3 more episodes in 2002-3, which led to another treatment modification suggested by Dr. Rawlinson of Color Country Animal Hospital here in Cedar City. She had one more episode about 4 months ago in conjunction with a case of canine vestibular disease.
In the meantime, she had a good life of finishing our coffees, helping dry our legs after showers, spinning when elated, "telling" us when the phone or alarm rang, and barking at us when we sneezed or said the half-dozen or so words she didn't like.
... my sunshine in the morning
... my fireworks at the end of the day
And here I sit somewhat heartbroken. This is the fifth dog I've lost. She wasn't my favorite of those either, and she wasn't the first dog who made me first among equals within her family. Her death wasn't premature, surprising, or drawn out. Yet it is by far the hardest. Is that because she was the first dog I ever had completely in my adult life, with only the vX spouse and I to make decisions? I don't know.
Travel out across the burnin' sand.
Cross the ocean to some distant land.
We'll reach the end we'll all be singin'
And we'll all be friends.
Back where it all begins.
The Allman Brothers Band
I know I feel bad that a lot of negative behaviors were projected on her that she never carried through on - everyone always mistook her aloofness for potential viciousness or volatility, but every day she was just a sweet little dog who was content to be around us. Her personality was much lower maintenance than her body.
And of course, I'm really ticked at myself for making her go through a bath on Monday. She was always cooperative about that, but dogs find bathing demeaning, don't they?
... I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W. H. Auden
R.I.P. Bonneville Bluebarrie, February 11, 1993 - May 25, 2005