Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Decisions...

Before you begin to read this, I'll apologize now for it being really long. If you keep up with our family, you know that we have 2 four legged children that we have had for 8 1/2 years. They have been with us for 2/3 of our married life. For many years, they provided and filled the void of not having children and actually helped us to learn some parenting skills. I know, you laugh, but caring for inside dogs at times can be just as much responsibility as our Brownies. Until about 2 years ago, we didn't have a fence in our backyard. So, at least 3 times a day, either myself or Daddy Brown would walk our pets around the backyard to allow them to do their business. In the Spring, Summer and Fall months, we would take them for walks down the road to give them some extra exercise.

Bubba and Sissy came from a Boxer Rescue locally. We knew we wanted a male and female dog. We wanted them to be each others companion. I had my eye on two very large boxers. Weighing in at 80+ pounds each. Daddy Brown had his eye on Bruiser and Shasta, this was Bubba and Sissy's name at the rescue. They weighed in around 50 and 45 pounds respectively. They were smaller and even though they played a little rough with each other, he felt that handling 2 - 50 pound dogs would be easier than 2 - 80 pounds dogs. Have I mentioned I married the smartest man on the universe?

We brought Ben and Sarah home, a.k.a. Bubba and Sissy. They came into our new home and ran all over the house smelling everything. We ran upstairs and jumped around with them in the bed. We fed them their first meal and they fought over the food. We separated them and for the first year of their lives in our house, we fed Bubba in the house and Sissy in the garage. We made a special meal for Sissy every day. She has a tremendous under bite and so the rescue recommended wet and dry food. Bubba has food allergies and is allergic to plastic. His food bowl made him breakout with "doggy acne" and he can't eat beef or chicken proteins.

So, life with Bubba and Sissy finally settled in. We went to work in the morning and tried leaving them in the house. Monday and Tuesday's were always perfect. Wednesday's, we would always regret leaving them in the house. Their first Christmas, Gran Gran had given me a hot chocolate/popcorn/movie gift. It had assorted flavors of hot cocoa. You would think leaving it up in middle of the table would be a sign that this was not for dogs. However, they had a full 8-9 hours to plan and execute their take over of the hot cocoa...and they succeeded. We came home to HUGE hot cocoa stains in our beige house. Not only had they busted into the cocoa, but then they laid on the floor licking and wallering it into the carpet.

We had a VHS tape stand in our living room. All my favorite movies were stored here. One day we came home and they had opened, eaten and ran through the house at least 10 or 15 VHS tapes and the house was draped in tape. As we were yelling at them and cleaning up the mess, one movie uncovered under the mess was left completely untouched. Wanna take a stab at the name of this saved and honored VHS tape? "ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN" Seriously, can they read too? It made us laugh so hard and still does.

We finally resorted to putting them in the garage during the day. We put a couch out there and Daddy Brown fashioned some pretty fancy dog beds out of PVC pipe so they would not have to be on the floor. I also used the garage for storage of my paper products. I have a little bit of a hoarder in me. I like to buy on sale and I like to buy a lot. I had purchased enough toilet paper and paper towels to last to the next coming of Jesus. We came home one afternoon and it looked like it had snowed in the garage. Nearly every roll of toilet paper and paper towels had been ripped to shreds. What fun they must have had. We joked many times about putting up a video camera so we could see what they do during the day...but we never did.

Over the last year or so, Bubba has been experiencing little strokes that have progressively gotten worse and more frequent. Last Thursday, he had a full blown seizure. I knew something was up when he followed me into the kitchen and his feet kept slipping out from under him. I picked him up and put him on the couch. The Brownies were running around not really paying much attention to what was happening. I held him and rubbed him and thought, ok, it's over.

Then, he jumped down, walked around the table and it began. I made Big Brownie get up in the chair and I put Little Brownie in his high chair out of harms way. Sissy came near and laid down in the floor. Bubba's arms and legs stretched out as he lost control of his muscles and he began to cry. Then, he began to scream. He lost his bowels and his toes curled up. It was the worst doggy seizure I'd ever seen or heard. I called Daddy Brown and thankfully he was less than 3 minutes from the house. I called the vets office and they said to bring him in. As Daddy Brown walked in, I'm in tears and upset. Bubba is just laying in the floor. He was still somewhat unaware of what was going on. Daddy Brown picked him up and took him to the vet. I was sure he probably wouldn't be coming home. By the time they got to the vet's office, he had recovered and was acting fine. They drew blood to sent to the lab. Daddy Brown brought him home so we could talk about how best to care for our Bubba. We heard from the vet the next day and he either has cancer or a brain tumor, or both.

I've never been a fan of putting an animal to sleep. However, the vet said it was not advisable to leave the boys alone with Bubba in case he has another seizure. Seizure can cause uncontrolled behavior and if one of the boys got curious and got to close...who knows what might happen. There isn't really anything we can do to heal our Bubba, only make him comfortable at this point. Any measures taken, would really only prolong the inevitable. I wish we would come downstairs and find that he had passed in his sleep. Unfortunately, that's not realistic. As responsible pet owners, we have to make decisions...the tough decisions.

We've picked out Bubba's final resting place in the backyard. The place he loves to lay when the sun can warm his little body. The place he can graze on his favorite grass. The place he loves to watch the peaceful breeze of the wheat field gently sway in the Summer and Fall. These are our final days with our Bubba. We continue to feed him boiled hamburger and rice for his meals and for dessert "Frosty Paws" (found in the freezer section at the grocery). It's been a tough weekend. Daddy Brown and I love our Bubba and Sissy almost as much as our Brownies. They have provided us with so many wonderful laughing moments. They have loved us unconditionally and loved our Brownies the same. The next few days will be even tougher as we get closer to his appointment. When he is finally at peace, I know he will run and play in heaven because...All Dogs Go To Heaven!


3 comments:

almost five said...

Oh yes they do! What are the chances?!

This is a hilarious and beautiful picture of your Bubba! Your whole family is sure to treasure this for many years to come.

Thinking of you all week!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about and sending up prayers for all of you today. We will all miss Bubba.
Lots of Love,
GG & Pops

Anonymous said...

So happy you had the time with Bubba and so sad now at your loss.
suz