My pug, Mugsy, is getting on in her years. She will turn 13 in just a couple hours since she was born on the 1st. I figured she has a few more good years left but…she has been ailing pretty hard as of late. Her posture has been drooping, she has been losing her bowels, and her trachea is narrowing which causes harsh breathing issues. She is also actually on a special diet, and has been for years, that costs about $90 for one 25 pound bag of food. Luckily that food lasts a while but…I digress. She always has to have this bland diet and now that I can feel the inevitable approaching, I don’t see a reason to continue that diet religiously. I decided I was going to give her a left over burger we had. An entire burger…as a gift, a special treat. It was just the meat, not the bun, but I gave it to her.
As she started to dig in with a huge amount of zeal, my hubby and family commented that I shouldn’t do that, that I ought to cut it up first, or that a whole burger will just kill her. Mugsy never wants to chew, and I figured if I cut it up she wouldn’t chew but swallow the pieces, and she was already chewing the burger just fine since she had to just to get it to size for her mouth. Anyway we were talking about this, debating about how she never gets any special “people food” due to her diet but my hubby’s parents dog gets her own McDonalds burgers ordered just for her…and how I felt Mugsy deserved some kind of dietary happiness since the end was surely coming soon…and then my hubby’s father cried out… “GET IN HERE! Seriously, she’s having a seizure! SERIOUSLY!”
So we all leap into the kitchen and she’s thrashing about on the floor. My husband grabs her and we instantly figure she must be choking but she’s fighting and clamping her jaws…and you just can’t pry open pug jaws since they have no nose to grab onto. Her whole body is seizing up in his hands and then he lied her on her side and she goes completely limp. He takes the opportunity to open her mouth and jam his fingers down her throat. He pulls out this long wad of meat as long as a hot dog and lies her down on the floor on her side. Her paws flop, her head rolls, her tongue is lolled out with her eyes dead-locked open…and I knew it was over. It just had to be over and I just killed my own dog. But she gasped, and her body suddenly woke back up and she started to breathe again. We massaged her belly hard and rubbed her down, trying to get her back and slowly she seemed to revive. Eventually we got her to stand up and she was none the worse for wear. Everyone went back to their everyday business and laughed it off, and made jokes about my stupidity. But me…I went off alone.
The entire thing has lingered with me. I still feel horrible with myself and my own dumb actions. She isn’t just “some dog” to me, she’s my baby…my best friend. She’s been around since before I got married. She moved into 2 homes. She was here before the birth of my son and lived with me through major deaths in my family. I got to see her grow up since her third day of life:
And got to own her since she was but a few months old:
People who love their pets will know what I mean when I say my dog is my family. Shoot, my dog has been there for me more-so than many humans from my family. And in one single act of pish-poshery, let’s just give her something awesome because she’s old and deserves it at long last, I could have lost all of that. I don’t know how others can’t be shaken by events that so wholly encompass them but I do, and they stay with me, and I seek to find meaning behind it all. I don’t really know what the point of this story is other than to say to be grateful for every minute you have, because things can change in a split second and turn your world up-side-down. This new year, make your moments count with the ones you love.