As I walked into the kitchen to put my dirty tiny mug, that once was over filling with dairy free chocolate chips, into the sink since the dishwasher is clean and my energy to empty it is not present, I see a dog dish soaking in soapy water. This is when it hits me. She’s gone. I leave the kitchen to see Orey, a round (from too many treats) Bichon Frise Shih Tzu mix lying on the back of the couch looking out the window into the night. Bobo is curled up on a chair, his fuzzy little paw is hiding his face. The room is silent otherwise. I sat down on the couch looked up at Orey. “You miss her, don’t you? She’s gone.” I whispered to Mr. Rollie Pollie. I got up because I really had to pee, my bladder really knows how to ruin the moment. Orey followed me, because of his fomo. (fear of missing out) I went back into my room, to see Orey aka Hoover licking my floor (he’s a weird dog.) He’s having trouble getting on beds, so I picked him up he smooshed onto my blanket.
October 26, 2016 at 1:30pm is when my birth giver and I drove Winnie, a mutt of unknown breeds, to the vet to be put down. Winnie, or as I called her, Winifred Johnson had many nicknames, however her given name was Winnipesaukee as in Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. She responded best to Winifred Johnson though…or Winnie.
The past couple months had been really hard for her, she was in pain, she wasn’t taking her pills, (forcing a dog to take pills is not something that wants to be dealt with) she was having trouble pooping, but more recently every time she would get up she would yelp in pain. Waking up around 2am because your pet is crying in extreme pain, because her paws hurt, is hard to listen to. It’s hard the first time as well as the last time.
Winnie spent her last day, asleep on a feather blanket I have in front of my space heater. Outside it was in the low 30’s, inside my room the temperature was near 70 degrees. I called my birth giver a couple times, the first time to let her know that Winnie had tried to get up, but ended up crying in such a high pitched yelp that my chest hurt because of having to listen to her in pain, but not being able to do much. I put her pills in some turkey flavored wet dog food, she inhaled that as if it was her last meal. Winnie always was a little turd about taking pills, so for her to eat the food as fast as she did, told me that she knew something was wrong. You could see it in her eyes as well. She took her time going down the 6 steps to get to the front door so I could take her outside to go the bathroom. Having to pause at each step for a couple moments, waiting for the pain to pass enough so she could just walk down till the next one.
I called my birth giver, in tears saying how much Winnie was in pain, she couldn’t walk down the steps, she was yelping every time she moved her paws when lying down. It was painful for me to watch. I couldn’t handle watching her in so much pain. I took a shower, but I don’t know how much of the water was from the shower head, or how much was from my eyes.
It’s not a secret that I didn’t connect with Winnie. We rescued Winnie two weeks after our first dog, Bailey died of cancer on July 3, 2004. There wasn’t much time for mourning Bailey, because there was a new dog that needed love and attention. Winnie lived on the streets for at least the first year of her life. For the next 12 years Winnie was with us, I didn’t want her to be with us, since it felt too much like she was replacing Bailey. It hurt seeing her be in the house, sleeping on our beds. Bailey used to be there. That was Bailey’s spot. Winnie was so malnourished, but we fattened her up…or rather made her a nice healthy weight. I was at a summer camp when my family brought Winnie home, so I didn’t have a say in whether or not she stayed. It didn’t matter though.
I used to go on long walks with Winnie around my neighborhood. I stopped though because a golden retriever attacked us one day. The dog was behind an electric fence, except the fence wasn’t working that day, the owner didn’t realize the dog was outside, so when Winnie and I were walking by and the dog was charging at us, I kept thinking the fence would stop it. Instead this big dog was coming right at us. I tried to protect Winnie by putting myself between the two dogs, since Winnie was never great with other dogs, living on the street she was probably in a lot of fights. Winnie however kept trying to protect me by putting herself in between me and the other dog. The owner eventually noticed and came after his dog, trying to tell me that I should bring my dog back for another meeting in a closed area. I lied and said sure, so he would let me leave. Winnie and I didn’t go on our long walk that day, we turned back and walked home. That was the last time I went on a long walk in my neighborhood. I also developed a fear of big dogs.
It’s surprisingly hard to write about Winnie and memories about her. I was telling Science Lesbian earlier how I was okay about having to put Winnie down. I’m pretty sure that was just the denial taking over, I’m excellent at avoiding my feelings for things. Ask SMFF she’ll agree and tell you how I won’t admit that I love someone until it hurts to breathe because thinking of said human hurts me. When I finally admit it out loud, SMFF is there to tell me “So you’re finally admitting it. That took longer than necessary.”
All of those pictures were taken today, on Winnie’s last day. It sucks losing a pet, and it hurts too much to write anything more.
P.S. Thank you to the vet who called her a turkey, she was a turkey, even though she was a dog, and the dog is not a turkey, the turkey is a turkey, you turkey.
Another thank you to the waitress at Denny’s, you were extremely nice, even before my birth giver told you we just had to put our dog down. I wish we could give you a $100 tip, but unfortunately we can’t. The Rudolph cup, with antlers and a red nose, was what I needed to help make me smile.
A third thank you to the elderly man who walked by our table at Denny’s. He farted quite loudly. I laughed.
And as always thank you to Science Lesbian and SMFF, for being there for me, without judgement.