In Memory of Little Boogie
I’m finding it very difficult dealing with little Boogie’s death. At only eight weeks old, we had to let him go in the early morning hours on Monday, after the emergency vet had spent all night trying to get him to respond to treatment. At 2:30 a.m. she called me to let me know that things looked bad, and that she recommended letting him go. I had been on edge all night, and this news sent me over. I felt like I was choking as I gave her permission to euthanize Boogie.
Boogie was my son’s puppy. Will brought him along when he came to stay with me last weekend. Boogie had been under the weather for a couple days, but we didn’t think it was anything serious. He was eating and drinking on Saturday, but by Sunday afternoon, he suddenly could not even hold himself up, and I realized that what was ailing him was more than a typical illness. Will and I took him immediately to the emergency vet, where we waited for nearly six hours after turning him over to the nurse. Finally, the doctor came out and told us they were keeping him overnight to try to get him to respond to treatment for dehydration, toxidia, hypoglycemia, and possibly parvo. It was only then we learned how ill he really was.
Will’s mom got Boogie from a breeder who guaranteed good health. Since Will had only had him for a week, it was painfully obvious that Boogie came to us already suffering from these ailments. It was also immediately obvious to us that if he was this sick then it was likely that the breeder had not raised him in the best of conditions. Needless to say, we have plans for this guy. If more puppies are being kept in conditions that would leave them open for the same fate, the situation must be corrected.
For the record, I advocate adopting your pets from the pound or from animal shelters instead of from breeders or – god forbid – puppy mills. There are already plenty of loving animals who need good homes.
I was so upset on Monday that I decided to get out of town and go see Venda in Shreveport. The night I got there, though, she discovered that she had a last minute audition in Los Angeles for a movie role, and had to fly out the next day. So, I had to cut my sabbatical a couple days short.
During my drive up there I was trying to figure out what exactly had me so upset that I couldn’t cope. Finally it dawned on me that the most horrible thing about it all was that I would never be able to let him know how important he really was, and how much he was – and still is – loved. Can anyone show me something more loyal, pure and innocent than a dog’s friendship? That little pup did more for me in the few days I knew him than anyone could have foretold, and all he had to do was be his doggy self.
Another thing that has me the really upset is that I blame myself for not getting him to the vet in time. I knew on Saturday that he should probably go to the vet, but I didn’t think it was as serious as it was. I thought he was just under the weather. I keep torturing myself with the unanswerable question of whether or not he could have been saved if I had taken him on Saturday instead of Sunday. I will never truly know, but in my own mind, I have condemned myself. So now, the last memories I have of him are of his little blue eyes looking out the window of my car as we drove him to the vet. He was obviously still aware of his surroundings, looking around at the trees and sky as they passed by. I could see him looking around and my heart broke over and over again. By the time we got to the clinic, he was completely limp. I knew in my heart that it was too late for him.
So now I’m trying to figure out how to make his little life count for even more. He made a huge difference in my life and I want to spread that around.