A longer teaching gig was shortened on Wednesday. I was so stressed but ended up running errands with Mabel until 9:30. She did not like late cuddles...they were never long enough for her. I made her mad when I got home and realized the other school district had been calling and calling and knowing they must really need help, I logged on and took a job with them. I had two to choose from and quickly surmised that the one that started at 6:40 in the morning was a 20 minute shorter workday. I took the job, we cuddled and I was up at 5:30...Mabel Lou was grousing. She hated me working away from home and I've hated it too!
I drove to school and the secretary told me I wasn't on her roster. Huh??? I logged into the computer to find my job was actually Friday! Needing money and not wanting to drive home and make Mabel Lou upset if I had to leave again, I checked my messages...the better paying district had been calling all morning! I called into their system...over and over and over. It would not let me in for 20 minutes! Finally, I got in and... all assignments were booked. Feeling like such a loser, I went home.
My girl was thrilled to see me. It was a dreary, damp and chilly morn. We curled up on the sofa and napped for hours! And that was the beginning of our end.
Mabel made a valiant effort to give Otto Rotto a good tussle a few days before she passed.
I got up and started cleaning the pool. Mabel was out in the yard with me, eating grass. Par for the course for her. She ate grass every day of her life. I always joked that grass was her favorite vegetable! I noticed her coughing....not trying to throw up, just clearing her throat. I thought a piece of grass went the wrong way.
I came in to try and list some beads. Since I have a taller desk chair, Mabel can no longer spin me around when she thinks I've been working long enough. So she scooches closer and closer until I can no longer put my legs down! She did this over and over... and then she started trying to puke. I rushed her outside, thinking she just needs to puke and all will be fine. But nothing came up. I worked for about 30 minutes and went out to get her. I was surprised she wasn't on her bed. I thought she might be sunbaking on the side of studio.
But as I called her, I heard something by the pool. She had dug a hole under the prickly palm where Mallory hatches her ducklings! This is strange. And still, she was trying to heave.
As I'm am a neurotic pawrent, who thought nothing of going to the emergency vet in the middle of the night only to be told my dog has gas, I try to restrain myself from that these days. My finances won't allow it. I phoned Hank and Sue's mom and left her a message to "call me and assure me my dog is not dying." Little did I know...
Mabel and Otto at the pond almost two weeks ago
I kept puttering in the pool, decided to get lunch. As we waited outside the restaurant, I curled up on the floor of the jeep with the girl. She was not a happy camper. Still gagging! We get home and I had to beg her to get out of the car. She pooped and I did a happy dance. "There! That's got to make you feel better!"
I situated my lunch on the floor so I could read my ipad... and then something my brother in law had said during Mabel's last weird stomach ailment popped into my head. Bloat. But he always told me I would know... they hurt; they complain a lot. I found myself on the ASPCA Bloat page. Symptoms were:
- Distended abdomen
- Unsuccessful attempts to belch or vomit
- Retching without producing anything
- Excessive salivation
- Shortness of breath
- Cold body temperature
- Pale gums
- Rapid heartbeat
Waiting for her waitress to bring her an order of pancakes a few weeks ago
This Is Not Good
I rushed in the vet and they took her from me. No kisses like every other time she's had a procedure. Xrays confirmed bloat but didn't show the twist in the stomach. My vet told me we would know in five minutes if he could get a tube down her. Fifteen minutes passed. Half an hour. Somewhere in there the date slapped my brain. May 8th. Maggie May died on May 8th. Oh no. They move me into a private room. If it were good news, they would have told me in the lobby. This is NOT good.
My regular vet, not the one doing the surgery, came in and told me there was too much dead tissue to tack her stomach up. This was something the surgeon likes to do so bloat never reoccurs. I sent a text the Rottrover's mom and asked her to join me. Minutes later, the surgeon comes in. "Is she still alive?" I blurt out.
"Yes, but her stomach is dead. It went too long without blood flow. I've taken a needle to it to try and find something to save...but there's nothing. She can't live without a stomach."
"Okay," I said calmly, resigned to the inevitable.
"Do I have your permission to eu...."
"Yes, yes," I interrupted him. Shaking my head NO, I say, "Yes."
They brought me forms to sign my friend arrived I asked to see Mabel down the long hallway through the hospital rooms and into the surgery suite we went all a blur. As the surgeon steps aside, my eyes lasered onto May. My sweet Baby May. Her eyes were open, her tongue was ajar. I collapsed on her head wrapping her in my arms. I sobbed and whispered sweet nothings. I instructed her on how to behave around her sisters who passed before her. I reminded her that her sisters both came to visit me after they passed and that I expected the same of her.
I pulled back, leaving snot on the side of her face and realizing I had a string of hers attached from her nose to my boob. I blew my nose and grabbed her feet to breathe them in, three long deep breaths of their precious earthy smell.
The rest of the day was a blur. Calling friends, telling my mother her baby was gone. Blog announcement, prepping my daily blog to give me a few days off. I forgot about blog feeds on facebook... the comments there overwhelmed... and I was worried about the less than 10 I would get here! OY!
Bart and his mom came walking in the back gate and amazed me. Bart is trained to not lick humans. But he knows I love kisses and will give me one...just one. He came over and licked and licked my face... he sniffed my t-shirt all over... Mabel's snot on my boob and her blood on my sleeve. Then, he made a bee line to the prickly palm that Mabel had tried to build a place for herself to die. He stayed there...sniffing, then scratching, then kicking and sniffing some more. Finally, he peed all over that spot! Then he made a beeline to the 2nd spot Mabel had tried to curl up and repeated it all. When he was done, he went to her bed and curled up with a deep sad look on his face. He didn't look for her...he just KNEW.
Watching him, I thought of all the events that conspired so that I had the day off. I'm horrified that Mabel could have been all alone....it was bad enough that I was here and could not even realize how sick she was. And the thought of finding her under one of those prickly palms is more than I could bear. I was supposed to spend that day with her and be with her until I had to let her go.
I've got so many pics of my girl I've never shared...this blog could go on about her for years. And it very well may.