My mother's dog died yesterday morning.
My mother had flown out on Thursday to visit with her brother in the windy Midwest. I've mentioned before that her brother was found to have colon cancer and had surgery this summer. He had quite severe complications, additional surgeries, paralysis, physical therapy, and spent over 90 days in the hospital.
My mother really needed to see him.
My mother really didn't want to board her dog to go visiting, but she did. She said her 14+ yo shitz tzu, Nina, was bounding around like a pup Thursday morning. Nina loved when the weather turned cooler. About five years ago, my mother feared Nina's quality of life was too low; she was in arthritic pain, but prednisone did wonders and it gave her five more years.
My mother's flight was early Thursday, so she had a friend take Nina to the vet for boarding. Somewhere in the transition, nobody gave the vet the phone number where my mother would be. The dog, who did not like going to the vet, went into cardiac arrest very soon after arriving.
She was not a sweet or cuddly dog. She was a pain and liked to inflict painful bites to mother, vet, groomer, grandmother. I'm not sure if I ever even touched the dog. Nonetheless, my mother loved her.
The vet, who really thought ill of my mother for not visiting her sick dog, misunderstandings abounding, kept Nina alive through the weekend, making special trips in to check on her. He said he knew she was ill because she didn't try to bite him once. When my mother arrived to pick her up Monday morning, the vet pulled her aside and gave her the news. He told her that he feels like the stubborn dog lived only to see her return.
My mother took Nina home and snuggled together with her on the couch. Nina got down eventually and asked to go outside. She definitely had her wits about her. Then my mother put her back on the couch and my mother heard her gasp, knowing it was the big one, Elizabeth. My mother took her back to the vet and tough little Nina still had a faint heartbeat, but my mother asked that she be put down.
My son made her a card last night. I'm not sure what else to do. I feel like my mother is so lonely because her best guy friend moved away over the summer and my grandmother is withering away with A1zhimer's. I know she doesn't want another dog, but sometimes I wish we could move down there to give her some company.
With my cat now rounding 18.5 years, I understand the dilemma between having a life and caring for an aging pet. I've not visited family in other states because I do not want to disorient my precious cat.
I am so sorry about Nina and what she meant as a companion to my mother. She said they gave her flowers at work today, so I'm glad they're there for her.