December, in addition to it being a crazy busy month, was a sad month for us as well. After 13 wonderful years together, we had to have our sweet Slippers put down.
For a while she just hadn't been herself. She had slowed way down, which is normal for a 14 year old dog I think. She had pretty severe arthritis in her hips and it was quite difficult for her to get around. She was on several medications to help ease the pain, and though we knew she was sometimes uncomfortable, she greeted us every morning with a wagging tail, a beautiful smile, and enthusiasm to start a brand new day. Early in December, though, things changed. She was breathing funny, coughing a bit as though she had a dry throat, and we noticed that one side of her torso had become quite enlarged. Kevin took her to the vet where they told us that she had fluid in her lungs. They drained the fluid and prescribed lasix and sent her home. It seemed like she was better for a day or two, but the coughing returned and, within a few more days, so did the fluid in her lungs. We called the vet again, and they gave us more lasix and we tried that…but it wasn't working.
When I got home from work the Friday evening before Christmas, there was no one to greet me at the door and I knew something was wrong. I went to the living room where I found Slippers lying on the floor; she was alert, but not moving. She'd lost control of her bowels and looked kind of dazed, I thought - and still think - that she had a stroke. I went right to her side and started comforting her telling her it was okay, and petting her gently. Within a few minutes Kevin got home and came in and found both of us sitting on the floor. He immediately got down on the floor and we all three sat there for a while. Kevin and I took turns sitting with Slips and trying to clean up the floor around her. The whole time she was very calm, but didn't make any attempt to move - we determined that she probably could not move on her own. We both tried to get her up, but it almost seemed as if she didn't want to move. Both Kevin and I were devastated. We knew that we had a very difficult decision to make, and we just looked at each other and started crying.
One of our neighbors had told me about a year before about a vet that comes to your house to euthanize your pets. They can stay put and be in the comfort of their own homes, without having to get into the car and head to a vets office that is cold and unfamiliar. Kevin and I called several services and found a vet who was willing to come out that evening. I won't go into details - it still crushes me to even think about it - but we were satisfied that our baby Slippers lived a good, long life with people who took good care of her and loved her immensely. Kevin and I were both able to be there with her and comfort her as she drifted into a peaceful sleep. We will be forever grateful to have had Slippers in our life. She made us better people.
For the remainder of our winter break, we both pined for a dog. We both just feel that a house is not a home without a dog. We were betwixt and between wondering if we should wait longer, or if it was okay to begin looking for a new buddy. We finally decided that Slippers would understand, and maybe even help guide us to find her sister or brother. A new doggy out there waiting for a mommy and daddy to adopt and love him or her, just as we had Slippers all those years ago.
After a few false starts, I'm happy to say that we finally found the baby girl for us. We found her in a nearby shelter where she'd come in as a stray. She is three years old, black and white like her sister, and we fell in love with her instantly. We had to wait for several days before we could adopt her, so we visited several times. She was a bit frightened at first, but warmed up to both of us right away and we knew we had chosen well.
So there you have it…the Tail of Two Doggies. Sisters forever linked together by one mommy and daddy. Love you both!