We had a great time at Christmas. I finished a few presents, and let go of hoping I'd get the others done -- what a relief. Why in the world do we we put so much stress on ourselves? Everyone was happy with their gifts, and I was really excited about mine. I received a Nintendo DS, and I've already bought several games to play. I love this game system -- I can play it anywhere, and the games I bought are variations of old favorites.
The dogs had a great time. They were fed much and much loved. We traveled home on Saturday, spent Sunday resting, and then Doodlebug passed away on Monday morning. I'm in shock still -- it just doesn't seem real.
I woke up at 5:00 Monday morning and petted him. He wagged his tail and licked my hand. I told him we could go back to sleep since I didn't have to work. At 7:00 when I woke again, he was sitting on the floor beside the bed. I immediately got up and got dressed, but when I walked over to him I noticed that something was really wrong. He tried valiantly to get to me, but his entire back end was paralyzed. I wrapped him up and rushed him to the vet. He was gone before 8:00. I don't think he suffered -- the vet said he couldn't feel anything. At that point his heart was beating erratically and his breathing was labored. His heart stopped the instant the vet put the needle with the euthanasia drug into his vein -- he took two more breaths and then he left me. I tried to comfort him -- I hope he wasn't afraid.
Doodlebug was the best little dog. I always say that Chelsea is my heart, and she is -- but Doodlebug was the love of my life. He was always there for me, and he very seldom let me out of his sight. During the last few months, I started moving his little steps from room to room so that he could join me in the chair or on the sofa. We took the steps with us on our last trip, and he slept next to my youngest granddaughter. He wore sweaters constantly the last several weeks because he was always cold, and they were sweaters I knit for him. He seemed to love them, and he looked very dapper in them. He didn't make much noise and didn't take up much room, but there's a very large presence missing in my house. His heart and soul were larger than life, and his passing leaves us empty and sad. I took Chelsea with us to the vet -- partly to hold me together on the drive there and back (I knew in my heart I'd be leaving him there), but mostly so that she had the chance to see him and smell him and know that he was gone, which she did. She grieved very hard for a few days, and is just now starting to eat and drink normally and be interested in going outside again. She's taken to lying in his spot on the bed and under my desk. I haven't been able to fold down his crate and put it away, and I found her inside it the other day, sleeping in his bed. He was always underfoot in the kitchen, hoping for crumbs to fall from the counter. I find myself still looking down before I move -- still trying to avoid stepping on him.
They say rescued dogs are grateful every day for the person who took them in. I was so thankful every day to have him in my live. I'll miss him for a very, very long time.