I put my Chihuahua down 30 minutes ago and my heart is broke. I didn’t realize I would be this sad but then again, I would be a psycho if I wasn’t sad. The vet was an absolute angel and so sweet to me, I’ll explain my gratitude later in this post.
For the past year, Chichi has been hacking and hacking. When I took her to the vet they said little dogs often get collapsed esophagus and that it wasn’t painful for her. So for the past year and almost on que, when we would sit down to dinner, Chichi would hack like a 400lb man then make this sound like she was spitting a hawker. To say it was the perfect appetite suppressant was an understatement.
I wanted to jump off a bridge. Chichi had shit and her hair was so long, that it stuck in her fur so I scooped her up and took her to the boys’ bathroom. She needed a hair cut first, or what everyone else refers to, a hair cut by a blind woman with no hands. I heaved a few times as the shit dropped to the floor. I gave her a bath and didn’t realize how skinny she was until she was wet. It broke my heart as she was all skin and bones.
After she dried off and was back downstairs, she began to do something I’ve never seen her do. She just stood in the same place and stared. I’d put her back in her bed only for her to get out and continue the process over and over again.
Something was different today. I couldn’t put my finger on it but something was different. For starters, I got up at 6:20 when I could have slept in. When I came down, Chichi was laying on the floor, looking up at me. I picked her up and placed her back in her bed. Again, she got out and began her starring thing. Since this wasn’t going away, I began to Google this symptom and found that this is a sign of canine dementia. I didn’t even know dogs could get dementia. Other symptoms Chichi was exhibiting is she stopped coming when we called her name and accidents all the time, no matter how many times we let her out.
This morning, I was in the front room with the 9-year-old when I heard my husband and son holler for me to come in. There by the table, laid Chichi with her little arms splayed out in her own piss, unable to move. I picked her up to get her out of her pee and she just laid on her side with her rib cage protruding. Her breathing was labored and she was miserable.
I just wanted someone to tell me what to do. I’d never been through this before. Growing up, my pets were either euthanized without my attendance or they would “go for a ride in the country”. Never to be seen again.
I called an emergency vet place and I burst out crying. I was hysterical getting the address and answering questions. After the call, I walked back in to Chichi.
“Chichi, I am so sorry. I am so sorry I wasn’t a better dog owner. I am such an ass hole. Chichi, I love you!” I wailed, paying no attention to my oldest in the room.
“God, please take care of my dog. She’s a good girl,” I said as I stroked her fur.
At the Vet
I held Chichi in a beach towel while memories came and went. As a memory appeared, I would cry. This went on for the entire 20 minute drive.
To say the vet staff was kind would be an understatement. See, I wasn’t a good dog owner after my sons were born. I let Chichi’s maintenance go. I was incredibly embarrassed and afraid they would reprimand me. Despite deserving it, they showed nothing but sweetness and empathy.
After taking Chichi to put a catheter in her arm, they brought her back to me. The catheter was attached to her little arm via a girly, sparkly, purple bandage. This made me cry as Chichi was my girly girl.
I had the option to leave and let them euthanize her without us present. Or we could be in the room while it’s happening or I could hold her while it happened.
I chose to have her die in my arms.
“She shouldn’t die alone,” I told my husband. I didn’t know if I could handle it but she deserved to be held while this happened.
The vet walked me through the process as she held the 3 shots in her hands. One was saline, the next was a shot to make her go to sleep (I can’t think of the name right now) and lastly, a pink death serum. Had she not taken the time to explain all of this to me, I don’t think I could have held her.
Her little head dropped. I kissed it and cried.