This has been the most tragic week for our little family. We lost someone else over the weekend. My heart is still hurting more so than I can describe. So…….I will tell you a story. A story about one of my best friends.
I met her January of 2002. She was the one who seemed most timid, that’s what made me want her more. We went to the shelter just to look around and found a group of puppies, about 6 to 8 weeks old, they open the cage and all the puppies ran out to greet us, except one. That was the one! I had to have her. That was a very lonely time in my life, she was literally all I had. I came home from school and we would play. She stayed by my side constantly and we were the best of friends. About a month or more after we got her, a friend, enjoying some Boudain, said that’s what we should name her, and we did, it stuck. That’s how she became known as Boudain, Boomy, Boomsicle, Brown Eyed Baby, Boominator, whatever, she was my friend. She trusted me, I trusted her, and we counted on each other to keep us company. Years have passed since she first came into my life. We had some ups and downs, but made it through each one. Standing faithfully at each others sides.
Saturday morning Stephen and I had to run some errands, I noticed Bailey, acting a bit strange at our back door. I went outside to greet her and see what was going on, she whined a bit, that’s when I noticed my sweet, sweet Boudain, panting, trying desperately to catch her breath, green mucus dangling from her mouth. I quickly made it to her side and touched her, she felt cold to the touch, that was not normal. I asked Stephen to get me a paper towel to clean her mouth. We watched her for a moment, I felt her chest and told Stephen I thought it might be Congestive Heart Failure. I have no idea why I thought that, but I did. We finally decided to put her in the utility room while we were gone, and I asked my brother to go check on her for me. A few hours after we left I called to see how she was doing, I asked my sister to go check her as well. A few minutes later my sister called back saying she was spitting up blood. Stephen and I rushed through the rest of our errands and made it back home. My sister came over and we tried to figure out what was going on. She called a vet, who confirmed her signs appeared to be CHF. Stephen went to put up some groceries and my sister eventually left. I broke down, hugged my sweet girl tight and made the hardest decision I could have. I called the emergency vet to see about putting her down. We took her outside, where she coughed up bloody mucus, then loaded her in the truck. At the EV they explained the possibilities, acknowledged that she was in very critical condition, but gave me a slight bit of hope. How could I not try to help her? All these years she has stood faithfully by my side, there through everything we went through together, she never gave up on me and I couldn’t give up on her.
At around 6:30 Saturday night we left the EV, Boudain would be put on oxygen, given meds, and they would try to stabilize her. Around 9 I called to check on her. I didn’t like leaving her there, I wanted to stay with her. No progress. 11:30……..no progress. I set the alarm to call back at 3:30 am. I had told Stephen I wanted to at least give her 12 hours. 3:15 the phone rings. 15 minutes before I had planned to call. The doctor is filling my ears with all this jibberish, it made perfect sense, but all I was hearing was there was no hope. I asked if it would be best to put her down and the doctor said “Well, I think that would be fair” Never once had they mentioned putting her down, I think they wanted to leave that option out, but truthfully, its what needed to be done. I woke Stephen up and we made the heart wrenching drive to the EV. The longest half hour of my life. When we arrived they had a blanket laid down in the floor of one of the rooms and quickly brought us back. The tech explained that the doc might come in, but that they would bring Boudain in soon. The doctor came in, said a lot of the things she had already said, but said that it was not looking good. Shortly after that they carried in my Boudain.
On the drive up I had mentioned to Stephen that I was wondering if when she saw us she would wag her tail, happy to see us. I said that it would make me happy to see her wag her tail one more time. The doctor said that they would give us some privacy since we wouldn’t have any once t
hey took us back to put her down. When I saw Boudain, how weak she was, how poor she looked, I knew it was the best choice. The doc said, “Now you see what we are working with” She confirmed we wanted to put her down and Stephen stepped out to sign a form. The doc said she would start preparing things and she was going to clean out Boudains IV catheter. Boudain kept trying to walk away, but she was too weak and I wouldn’t let her. She laid down for a second and I hugged her tight, telling her I loved her and that she was my Brown Eyed Baby. We got a few minutes alone and then the tech came in, just as the tech came in Boudain sat down facing away from me, she laid down and appeared to be stretching out to take a nap and that’s exactly what she did. She stopped breathing. The tech said she had started to do something and as she was walking out the door I asked what it was…….no response. I saw the bloody urine and right then the doctor had walked in and I asked again what that means and in a sweet, caring voice she said “I think she just passed” I nodded and told her I thought so too. I’ll stop here, I don’t want to share what happened next, I keep replaying Boudains final moments in my head. But, she went on her own, it was time for her, and the best part, she did wag her tail for me, she wagged it more than once as I was hugging her and trying to comfort her, before she turned away from me. I kissed her goodbye and they prepared her to come home. We came home and placed her next to Half Pint. On the way home she was in the bed of the truck, because of something that happened a few years back she didn’t like riding in the bed of the truck anymore. I found that very ironic and it made me cry more. She was ready to go, I wonder if she waited for us to be there. We weren’t even there 5 minutes and she passed. Sometimes an animal will wander off to die, because they don’t want the ones they love to see it happen to them, we think that’s what Boudain was trying to do. I think she was trying to walk away so I wouldn’t see her pass, because she stood up and put her back to me when she died. I know in my heart she didn’t want me to see it, she didn’t want me to be sad. Stephen bought her a squeaky hot dog on Saturday, she never got to play with it, squeakies were her favorite toys, I put it in with her.
I’m angry with myself, I cant seem to remember anything about her except those final moments. When was the last time I pet her, told her I loved her, what did she sound like when she barked. I cant remember anything but her stretched out on that floor, leaving me. She was fine one minute, no signs of anything, this came in an instant.
You can see that the other dogs know whats going on and its taking its toll on them as well. We haven’t seen Puppy since Saturday morning, we don’t know where he has gone. Has he wandered off to die as well? What is going on? A month ago we had 6 dogs, now we just have 2. If Puppy does not return we lost 3 dogs in a weeks time. Our hearts are broken and there is a heavy cloud over our house. This week has been surreal.
My sweet Brown Eyed Girl….I love you.
Boudain, aka Boomy, Boomsicle, Boominator……12/2001 – 9/23/2007.
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