I got the call at 6:30 AM. "Fuzzy has been crying all night. I gave her one of my pain pills, and it didn’t help. Do you think it’s time?"
I first met Fuzzy in 1999. She was eight years old then, and coughing. She was developing congestive heart disease and had some airway problems. Fortunately she responded pretty well to medication. Her owners gave the medicines faithfully, twice a day, every day.
Then in July of 2005, she developed diabetes mellitus ("sugar diabetes"). Again, her folks were committed to her care. They gave her insulin injections twice a day and brought her regularly for monitoring.
In the last six months, she wasn’t doing as well. Being sixteen years old with long-term heart disease and diabetes just wasn’t a good combination. Her windpipe had become so weak that it would collapse almost completely if she started breathing hard. It looked like a pencil-lead on her X-rays.
You can see these things coming, but you’re never ready. Fuzzy’s folks were committed to doing everything that they could for her. Dedication like theirs is always humbling to me. I see the dog for thirty minutes, as often as needed, but they do the care every day. As long as Fuzzy enjoyed life, they were willing to do whatever she needed. Unfortunately, there comes a time when all you can give them is a final release.
It was time. She’ll be missed.