Losing a Pet
This is Big Pig as he was ever so lovingly renamed. We adopted him almost 6 years ago. He was told to us to be a 3 year old which we found out later wasn't exactly accurate. He was more like 5 but who cares, right? We had lost a dog of almost 7 years of age earlier that year and decided to adopt instead of going the puppy route. It was a great choice! #adoptdontshop
His original name was Tucker. He was a transfer from Kentucky and was supposedly a stray from that state. He had scars on his head and one of his ears looked like it had almost been torn off. It appeared that he may have been a bait dog. He walked into the room where we were and gave my oldest son a kiss. It kind of sealed the deal. I'm looking for that picture. If I come across it, I'll come back and add it here.
His name ended up being changed to Big Pig along the way. He long forgot that someone ever named him Tucker. LOL My daughter nicknamed him Big Pig because he kind of made pig noises and also, she loves The Lion King (Timon and Pumba song). He had something wrong with his nose that would make him sneeze if he put his head back and he kind of snorted. It was just a quirk he had that we accepted. He could breathe fine so there wasn't a need to worry.
We would also call him Biggo Piggo a lot. Fatty Patty was a nickname he shared with his last brother, Murray, who passed a year and a half ago. They were both extremely food motivated, Murray even more so than Big Pig! Murray was also about 90 pounds. Big Pig was right around 70-75 for the whole time we had him.
He looked so different when we got him. Bad grainy photo but he was so dark in the face! He had no gray so the age of 3 seemed to make sense to us. He started to show his age a couple of years later quickly moving him up a couple years.
We considered him to be about 11 when he passed this week but no one truly knows how old he really was. He was tired and that was painfully obvious. Arthritis in his knees in the rear had been diagnosed last year at his check up. About a month ago, he had a limp in the front. I questioned then if it was time to put him down but he seemed to get better. Maybe we just didn't want to see that he was still favoring the front leg. Maybe we didn't want to pay attention to the fact that he was really slowing down and didn't get up as much as he used to.
His hearing was also shot and he was sleeping through storms already last year. This is the dog that had such severe anxiety due to storms that he had been on medication to try to calm him down. He would pee in the house it was so bad. He trembled and panted and drooled. And then last year, it all went away. It was obviously to his benefit, and ours for that matter.
That's the thing with aging dogs. Looking back, you can see all the gradual changes. You can see how his hearing loss impacted everyone. You can see the things that you didn't pay attention to or didn't want to. You can see that you really did know it was time but he was still so alive in spirit that it was hard to make that call.
The limp came back or rather got worse and it was no longer an option to look past it. It wasn't fair to him to suffer. He deserved to rest comfortably, especially for a dog that was a stray early in life and who knows if he ever had owners that treated him poorly. Based on the condition he was in when we adopted him, I would say he did. So the final decision had to be made. And as I sit here crying I can assure you this was not taken lightly and it sure as hell wasn't easy.
After having a loss just a year and a half ago to his older brother, it seemed so unfair to have to lose him now too. He was a beautiful soul in a dog body and just wanted to love everyone he came in contact with. He didn't bark or growl (and if he did we were in shock and laughed) as it just wasn't his style. He was a lover right up until the last minute. In that tiny vet office, he kissed my face over and over. I only hope he knows how much I loved him and still do.