Two years ago Mark went on his very first trip to Africa. A day before he got back our beloved basset hound Snickers died. She was old (13) but had not been ill so it was somewhat of a surprise. I was here alone to deal with the heartbroken kids and all of the details. I still get grief over the fact that I forked over an extra $60 to have her ashes returned.
Since then we have still had Winston, a 15 year old cocker spaniel who technically is my in-laws dog. They kept Snickers for us about 5 years ago while we sold a house, moved and installed landscaping – a 18 month process. When we reclaimed Snickers, we inherited Winston as well. It didn’t seem right to separate the two friends. They made a good pair. Snickers was half blind and Winston was pretty much deaf.
We have had an ongoing joke whenever Mark leaves the country that the dog will probably die while he’s gone.
I’m not laughing anymore.
Mark left on Sunday morning for almost 2 weeks in Ethiopia. Monday night while I was watching TV Winston began to make strange and pitiful noises. There were no apparent injuries that I could tell. He was walking around some and drinking but wouldn’t eat. It was so sad. I called my MIL and told her “I think your dog is dying.”
Now I understand some people might have rushed her off to the vet but honestly, it was 10 p.m. at night and I was not getting 4 kids out of bed and dragging them with me, much less paying for emergency vet care for a dog who’s time had come. I remembered that we had some pain pills from a sore she had a year ago. I wrapped it in some bread and tried to get her to take it but she wouldn’t.
In the morning she was still alive, still making random sad noises. The kids all asked what was going on and so I had to explain to them that Winston was probably very sick and that MeeMaw was going to come and take her to the vet today. “Is she going to die?” Natalie asked with tears brimming in her eyes.
“Sweetie, I think it might be time. I don’t know if the vet will be able to do anything for her and if he can’t, they’ll put her to sleep.”
Noah was the most upset but I had tears from Natalie and Beza too. I knew Beza would be thinking about her dog in Ethiopia who she talks about sometimes. Luke didn’t seem to care or see what the big deal is. I guess he’s not a dog person.
After I dropped the kids at school I went by to get some dog shampoo so I could try to clean Winston up. He hadn’t had his summer grooming yet and had gotten in the mud several days ago. I was afraid the vet would call doggy CPS on us.
When I returned, he was laying in the same spot he was in when we had left, dead.
I called my MIL. Her cousin was at her house and so he volunteered to come out with her, get the dog and bury him back on their land where he’s buried several dogs. I was glad I didn’t have to explain the whole “cremation” thing to the kids again.
There were more tears that afternoon when I picked them up from school and told them. Noah was the most upset.
They seem okay now. Haven’t mentioned him much since then.
So either Mark doesn’t travel anymore, or we go dogless. I vote for the latter.