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A Long Goodbye

I haven't felt like writing here for a while because I wanted to write something about my Peanut and haven't been ready.  I am writing this for the process of personal healing, I guess, and for a record of my time with my loyal friend, although a stupid blog will hardly do a great dog justice.  


Peanut puppy

Peanut the pug loved to be out in the yard and was my best gardening buddy.  She loved to be anywhere her family was, actually, she was just a great companion dog.  She was a part of our family for 7 fun years and my Hubby and I called her our firstborn child.  For the last 7 months of her life she was having intermittant seizures.  They were scary as hell to me and sad because not only were they stressful on her body, as evidenced by her pounding heart, sore muscles and lack of balance afterwards, but she would go temporarily blind for a minute or two after an episode as well.  We would try to keep her from falling or bumping into things during this time, but it was tough since when she came to she was usually pumped up with adrenaline from the stress, I guess, and she was hard to keep under control.  The seizures usually happened at night, which meant many middle of the night trips to the emergency vet in the Twin Cities, and many ghastly vet bills.  I would worry about her having them so much I'd have trouble sleeping, and every time she'd twitch or just roll over to get more comfortable (she used to sleep in our bed with us), I'd jerk awake and turn on the light, panicked she was having another one.  The neurology department at the U of Minnesota told us she might have a brain tumor, encephalitis, or epilepsy, and helped us choose a treatment plan for her which after months of trial and error evolved into a routine of 5 pills a day which seemed to have things under control for a while.  I naiively believed, or maybe just pretended, that the problem might be 'solved'.

We were able to have a pretty good summer with our furry friend.  Peanut spent lots of days out in the garden with us eating strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, lots of time laying in the sun watching the Girl play, took many trips to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and even went camping with us again, this year in our new camper.  She didn't chase squirrels anymore, didn't really care if we went for walks anymore, just liked to take naps in the sun or on somebody's lap.  She didn't have as much energy as she used to, but every once in a while she'd get a dash of her old crazy and tuck her tail and run in circles in the grass around the Girl until her tongue was hanging down to the ground, panting.  Man, that dog had a long tongue.  Man, could she make us laugh.  Man...I so loved that dog. 

Peanut's problem was not solved, apparently.  She had her biggest cluster of seizures ever while visiting Grandma and Grandpa's house one weekend.  An extra dose of her meds did not break the cluster like they usually would, and we took another middle of the night trip to the vet.  A sedative calmed her for a while and we went back home again.  I remember cuddling with her on the couch that last night, and she couldn't get close enough to me.  She would wake up, look at me, crawl up next to me until her head was snuggled up under my chin and soon she would be having another seizure.  I think she was in pain and scared and wanted me to fix it and I felt so helpless and sad that I couldn't.  The seizures continued, and so we made the impossible decision later that morning, October 1st, to take her back in to the vet to have her anesthetized.  I felt like it was the right decision at the time, I really did.  She was banged up from running into stuff blind, seizing about every 15 minutes, I had been up with her all night and was so scared, holding her and crying, it was heartbreaking.   Now that she's gone, I feel both relieved and unspeakably awful for feeling relieved.  Doing that to my loyal dog is something I will always regret.  The vets say her prognosis was not positive and she would have progressed and succumbed eventually to whatever it was that was causing the seizures.  We will just never know what it was for sure. 

Peanut is buried in one of the flower gardens that I planted years ago at my Mom and Dad's house.  She loved to garden.  I know some people would say she was just a dog.  Those people are hard-hearted fools.  I do know losing a dog is not the same as losing a human loved one, but still, I feel sorry for the person that has never known the love of a really good dog. 



Gooseberry Falls, MN, 2007.  Our truck broke down during our honeymoon on the North Shore and my parents had to come rescue us and trailer our truck home.  Peanut came to the rescue as well : )

Couch time


Hiking at Interstate State Park

 
That's a big pregnant belly, and a tasty grilled cheese sandwich Peanut is begging for.  Less than a month later, Peanut jumped on my lap on my huge belly and (I thought) broke my water.  Our Girl was born the next day.



Camping near Whitewater State Park MN, 2010


I don't care, I just think this pic is hilarious


Peanut Christmas 2010






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