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My sweet Sarah in her younger years

My sweet Sarah in her younger years

All Photos are from our family album

The Story of My Sweet Pug, My Sarah

This was originally written on the one year anniversary of my dear sweet pug Sarah’s death. We had her euthanized as I held her, March 29th, 2014. Many of us have had to endure the euthanization of a beloved pet and it’s one of the hardest things you will ever do. I still grieve her passing. Sarah was such a good little dog. In her young years she was feisty and loved to play with her toys. She had a whole basket of them and she’d put her paw on the edge of the basket and push down to spill all the toys out. Then she’d go through them, one by one, turning them over with that little flat nose. After she’d checked them all out,  she’d choose the one she wanted. A favorite, often chosen, was a plush orange Halloween pumpkin. It originally had a squeaker, but that didn’t last long, because she’d bite through the squeaker in any toy pretty quickly. But she still loved the pumpkin and wallowed it all over, chewing on it, licking it like it was a baby, and sometimes batting it around with her paws. Another favorite was the brown and white floppy cow that she’d toss around and then run and pick up. She’d play this way for the longest time, or sometimes she’d want me to toss it for her. UGH, it wasn’t pleasant to handle after she’d chewed it, but I did it for her anyway! She’d run and grab it several times and then settle down with it, holding it with her paws. Pugs use their paws and claws like little hands and it’s so cute to watch. Sometimes, she’d doze off for a nap while holding a toy. If there was someone visiting, she’d play, act silly, and do anything to get their attention. And get the attention she did, because how could you ignore that sweet baby face?

 

Sarah's toy basket and favorite toys

Sarah’s toy basket and favorite toys

 

How Sarah Came To Live With Us

 

We got Sarah through a newspaper ad in our local paper. The ad said she was not yet a year old, was spayed, and they wanted $250 for her. I called the number and made an appointment to see her. When we got there, it was a very nice home in an upscale part of town. The lady and her 3 little boys met us at the door and invited us in. The boys had a pug on a leash and they dragged her around with it, and she was panting and wanting to stop, but they wouldn’t let her, just kept dragging her. The lady said they had gotten her as a companion for their male pug, but it wasn’t working out and the two didn’t get along. I asked if she could be allowed off the leash so that I could see how she reacted to me. They took the leash off, and this little out-of-breath pug jumped into my lap and there she stayed, as though she was in a “safe haven.” She seemed excited but so tired out and she needed to catch her breath. She didn’t make a move to get out of my lap and kept looking at me, face to face, like she was asking, “Are you my saviour?” My answer was a resounding:  “Yes, I am.”

 

Sarah and me when she was still young and feisty.

Sarah and me when she was still young and feisty.

No Price Haggling

I didn’t even haggle over the price. I pulled out my checkbook, wrote the check, handed it to the woman and said, “I’ll take her.” And my little Queen Sarah Rala (her AKC name) went home with us that day. She was very nervous in the car, I kept her on my lap trying to calm her down. Once we reached home I showed her her water, she took a few laps, went and laid down on the carpet and slept…and slept some more…for 3 days, groggily, she ate, drank and slept. After that, she woke up and began to relate to us. It was like she was exhausted, and I guess she was from being literally dragged around on a leash for hours. She must have gone through that every day since they got her.

 

We Had Such Fun!

 

Sarah began showing her little idiosyncrasies;  she did not want to sit in my lap, but on the arm of my recliner. That became her “perch” and until she grew too old to do that, you could always find her there anytime I sat down. She would lay there sprawled out on the soft comfy arm of my La-Z-Boy and sleep with her legs hanging down on each side of the arm. The minute she felt me move, she was up in a flash, ready to accompany me to wherever I might be moving to, even the bathroom. Yes, going to the bathroom with any privacy was a thing of the past for me while I had Sarah. I see many cartoons on Facebook about this, but it’s true. dogs DO believe we need their accompaniment wherever we go. When she was ready to go outside, she would do a whirling dervish act, around, around, and around as we went to the door. We had lots of fun together and she loved me as much as I loved her. Pugs are truly the “clowns of dogdom,” because they love to have fun and play and the more you enjoy it, the more they do.

 

My Sweet Sarah comfortable at home

My Sweet Sarah comfortable at home

 

Time Slips Away and So Does Her Health

 

Our friend of many years, a veterinarian, kept her healthy, until one day late in her life, she began vomiting, being listless and drinking a lot of water. We took her in to him and he ran some tests and discovered her blood sugar was very high, she had diabetes. He kept her for almost two weeks, fighting to get her sugar level down to a manageable place. Finally the day came when we brought her home, where she was on a strict diet and insulin shots twice a day. She was about 12 years old then.

At that same time, she developed hypothyroidism, which required daily medication.  I also began to notice she played less and slept more and one day I realized she was developing cataracts. She could no longer see well enough to play with her toys, plus I think she just didn’t feel well enough to do so. She was about 13 years old then, and would finally go totally blind, as a result of the diabetes.

I began guiding her to her bed beside mine, because she couldn’t see to get there.  I led her to her food dish at the usual place in the kitchen. At this point I believe some dementia had set in too. Getting her outside into our fenced yard was becoming more difficult and eventually I had to resort to a leash to get her outside, where I’d leave her on her own. But once she was out, it got to the point that she’d lose her way and not be able to find the door when she tried to come back. Before this, her normal way of letting me know that she had to go, was by lying at the door leading to our laundry room, which  led to the back door. After her vision failed, she could no longer find that place. Her world was all dark and she didn’t know where she was.  She  began urinating on the floor, wherever she was, which was not a normal thing for her. She was housebroke when I got her. Cleaning up urine from the kitchen floor, I noticed how sticky it was…that meant her blood sugar was tremendously high. She now walked with her head hanging down, her tail tucked, not curled over her back as it used to be. She ran into things if I didn’t guide her. She looked miserable.

 

   She no longer kept her head erect, her tail did not curl over her back. Her legs were going out.Head no longer erect, tail not curled over her back.

Her hind legs were going out

 

My Sweet Sarah Is Gone

 

The day came when her back legs would no longer support her and her blood sugar was tremendously high, no matter how we fed her or diligently gave her insulin. She had no quality of life whatsoever, and once again, we took her in to our trusty veterinarian friend. This time, he looked at me sadly and said, “Nancy, don’t you think it’s time?” I knew she was suffering, and it was selfish of me to keep her in that condition and I agreed. I held her and loved her as the fatal needle was applied. Through my tears, I told her repeatedly “Mommy is right here, I love you little girl, rest now, rest!” And just like that, she was gone. She was 15 years old, it was March 29, 2014, and at the time of this writing, it’s been three years ago. But I still mourn the loss of my friend and companion and I always will. She was dear to me, kept me company in lonely hours; when I was sad she was sad with me, when I was happy she was happy with me. I miss her so much and maybe more so, since I knew she would be my last dog. My health is failing and it’s not fair to the dog or to the other people who would have to take care of her.

One more thing; oddly enough, the date of her death was also the anniversary of my dear mother’s death, 19 years before. Needless to say, that day is extremely hard for me.
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