I think I nearly killed my best friend
by, January 25th, 2009 at 01:28 AM (566 Views)
I'm really upset about this. You guys don't know it, but my life is completely controlled by Shih Tzu. A LOT of Shih Tzu. At the moment I live with; Rugby, 6; Lucy, 5;Cookie, 5; Chloe, 23; Ugly Puppy, 6; and Popple Jane, 9 months. I had Bandit, 17, euthanized Friday morning. (Yes, Chloe is really 23 human years old.)
I rescue these beautiful dogs from various situations. Generally, people see their photos as show dogs and think that's what they're going to get. Yeah, if you get a show quality Shih Tzu and spend at least 2 hours a day grooming it. Oh and never let it walk on carpet or outside. That causes split ends. Shih Tzu are beautiful animals bred by Tibetan monks specifically to be companion animals for the Chinese Royal family. Mao's Cultural Revolution wiped out all but around 10 of them in the 50's. They were considered 'decadent'. Yeah, whatever.
So, all of my dogs have a "history" so to speak. For some it's just neglect or abandonment, for others abuse. Because they are bred to be human companions, they aren't really pack animals and don't have the usual dog mentality. They are totally focused on humans. Why they continue to trust after horrific abuse is a mystery to me.
Cookie Marie came from a local dog pound. A ten year old boy attempted to drown her and broke her beautiful tail in three places. His Mommy dumped her at the pound because Cookie Marie bit the little bastard. I've had her FOUR years. To this day, I can't give her a bath without her screaming (yes, screaming) bloody murder the whole time. Actually attempting to groom her results in painful bites. I can understand that. So, I sedate her. Unfortunately, she can be completely unconscious when I begin and within seconds wide awake and trying to eat the clippers. My wonderful veterinarian told me that I could double the dose of sedative, an extra half pill at the time if Cookie raised hell. So, I ended up doing just that. Over a two hour period, Cookie Marie got double her usual dose of this medication.
OMFG! She went limp in the bathtub and began breathing loudly and harshly. I shook her (shook her shoulder while she was lying on her side, not like penises do to human babies) and yelled at her and I swear she had something the looked like a seizure to me. Her eyes were partially open and she urinated all over the grooming table. Then she got so quiet that I could barely tell she was breathing. Let me tell you, I groomed that dog faster than I've ever done it in my life (and you can tell it, too!), and just held her in my arms all night long. She urinated three more times in her ,?sleep?, unconscious state, anyway, and occasionally would have that same tremoring that looked like a seizure. She'd get super stiff, her eyes would open and roll up and she'd make strange noises. Then she'd go limp. Normally Cookie Marie snores quite loudly, but she never did.
By 9:00 this morning, she seemed to be sleeping 'normally', but deeply. I could wake her, sort of. She seemed to know what was going on when I woke her, but she'd go right back to sleep. By this afternoon, she had woken up, drunk a little water, eaten a tiny bit, and peed all over my bed for the millionth time. Tonight, she can walk again and is herself in terms of personality. She's still mostly sleeping or just laying around. She's washed her hands and her cooter (Shih Tzu have a 'thing' about clean hands). As I write, she's attempting to dig a hole in the hardwood floor under my desk. Thank goodness. (The floor is over a hundred years old. It can take it!)
Cookie Marie was an antisocial, hateful, ugly-acting creature when I brought her home from the pound. She hated everything and everyone for two years. But since then, she's become my shadow. If I leave the house, she goes, too. She sleeps between my arm and my body, with her head on my heart. All night, every night. I don't know what I would have done if I'd killed her. I trust my vet, but that was a horrible experience. Especially after holding Bandit in my arms Friday while he died.
Because of my history with humans, I really, really am connected to my dogs. My husband says I spend around $500.00 a month on them and that's probably about right. The kids have wondered what I would do if it came down to feeding them or the dogs. Hey, my dog food is healthier than anything we eat around here. Put a little milk on it! It cleans teeth, too! I'm joking, but I really DON'T do well with humans and my dogs are trustworthy and help fill that need we all have for a bond.
I just needed to let this out. Even if nobody reads it, letting it out helps me to let it go. Thanks.