We have had our share of pets over the years. The first pet we had was a Shi-tzu named Alex. She was a really cute dog, but very hard to house train and it didn't help that I had a newborn baby (Madysen) at the time, so she drove me crazy. We didn't have her for very long though. We left her with family while we went on vacation to the beach for a week, and on our way home we got a phone call from my mother-in-law telling us that she had been stolen from the front yard (I swear I had nothing to do with it). She said that they had looked all over for her but to no avail. I cried, more out of fear of telling Amy than anything, but to my surprise she handled it quite well, probably still too young to understand.

We moved into a much larger home not long after, and decided that we would go and "look" at dogs one night and came home with a puppy that eventually morphed into a horse. Meet Hershey, our Chocolate Lab:

Hershey was mainly Amy's dog because Tyler had his own dog at his Mama Nikki's house, and Mady & Hayley were still too young to really care, however, that eventually changed and the pleadings for a new pet began. That year for Christmas, Mady got a kitten that she named Oreo. Oreo wasn't a very nice cat and tormented the little girls, often biting, scratching and attacking them for no apparent reason, but we had her for a few years and even had a batch of kittens, five total. That was a very fun experience, really. We found homes for all the kittens and had Oreo spayed (once was enough), but one of the kittens eventually found its way back into our possession (long story for another day). Meet Sonny:

Sunny was the odd one of the bunch, born with red fur while the rest looked just like their mother with gray and black fur. Sunny also did not get his mother's disposition, he was the sweetest, most lovable cat, always looking for hugs. The brief separation of mother and son was long enough for them to become bitter enemies. One day Oreo was just gone, we have no idea what happened to her but we joke that Sunny ate her because he was so huge. Not very many tears were shed, we think because of the trauma she inflicted on the girls in her early years.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I lost my mind for one brief second and purchased another dog. Meet Lacie:

Lacie has become my little buddy, and I can't believe how attached I have become to her. Even Mooch, who has never wanted us to have any pets, can be found on occasion when he thinks that no one is watching, talking, playing and even showing affection to Lacie. She is that cute.

Back to Sunny. He became the neighborhood "Tom" cat, often leaving for days, and then returning for food, rest, and to lick his wounds, but then he was off on the prowl again. After one long stint away from home I noticed that he didn't leave again after refueling, and he wasn't eating very much, but I didn't think much of it until I noticed that he didn't run up and give me my usual hugs when he saw me. When I looked closer I could tell that he was sick. Now, up to this point, the kids hadn't had much to do with this cat, but when Amy found out that he was sick she was right there with me for the trip to the vet. The vet did her usual examination, then looked inside of Sonny's mouth to discover a mouth full of sores which explained the loss of appetite. She drew some blood and asked us to wait for the results. Several minutes passed and she came in to tell us that Sunny was in kidney failure, probably because he hadn't been drinking either, and that she didn't think he would make it through the night, unless we left him there and had him hooked up to IV's to the tune of about $700.00. "No", I said, "Let's just put him to sleep". Upon hearing this Amy intervened with pleadings and tears and begged me not to do it. I explained that I wasn't going to pay that much money to try and keep him alive. After more tears, the vet agreed that it would be okay for Amy to take him home and try to nurse him back to health, but that if he didn't improve within two days, then it would be inhumane to try any further and a decision would have to be made. We brought him home with about $200.00 worth of antibiotics and for the next 10 days my sweet, animal loving Amy stayed by that cats side nursing him back to health. We have always called her Dr. Dolittle because of her love of animals. She literally made a bed out in the garage, and she would wake up every two hours to give him water with a dropper and try to get him to eat. She never missed a dose of antibiotics either.

After two days, the vet gave us a call to ask how he was doing and Amy gave her a report. Sunny had begun to eat and drink on his own and was even walking around some. She agreed to let Amy keep up with the nursing but said we should bring him back in when he was done with his antibiotics for another blood test to check on the kidneys. It looked as though Sunny was returning to his old self again, and we were so proud of Amy for all her efforts. The day came for us to return to the vet, and when she saw Sunny she couldn't believe how much he had improved. She drew the blood and we waited. She entered the tiny room, and to our disappointment, informed us that his kidneys were in complete failure and that there was nothing more that could be done. We brought him home so the little girls could say their good-byes, and it was quite tearful to say the least.

The vet asked if we would wait in the waiting room while she gave him the shot but Amy would have none of it, she had stuck by him this far and she was staying with him till the very end. First, the vet gave him something to make him really sleepy, then she administered the medicine that would take his life. My heart broke as I watched the pain rip through my daughter as she held Sunny while he slipped away. In the past 10 days she had become his caregiver and best friend only to have it end so tragically.

Amy did not want the traditional cremation disposal of Sunny, so we brought him home in a box, and had a little service for him in our back yard, under one of our trees.

In between the cats and the dogs, we have also had our share of hamsters, baby hamsters from two male hamsters (or so the pet store guy told us), one crayfish, and three tarantulas (not all at once). This is our latest tarantula, and yes he is dead:

I looked in his aquarium today and discovered him all shriveled up and when I told Hayley about it she said "Yea, he's been dead for awhile". No tears, not even a mention of it when they discovered him, all alone in his aquarium, shriveled up, dead. You mean to tell me that I have been housing a giant spider that "we just had to have" and nobody cared that he had died? Where are all the tears for this dearly departed pet?

1 comment:

Mooch said...

The Spider died?
I was not notified. Was there a burial or a flush ?


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