Monday, June 18, 2012

Pets Need Caregivers continued

Pets need Caregivers too - continued
In September 2011 Tippy wanted to “live“in our van.  We had a dog years ago that did the same thing near his death.  He wanted to live in the van we had at that time.  Now when Tippy wanted the same thing I knew it was not a good sign. In the cold months of November, December, and January  I had an electric space heater hooked up to an outlet in the garage with a long extension cord so she would not be cold in the van. Some mornings it was 20 degrees!  I would start the van, turn on the van's heater, and plug in the electric heater at 6 am so it would be warmer when she came out around 8 am. I put a doggie rain coat on her to help keep her warm and the belly bandages covered her groin.
 I had bed pads on the floor of the van. I fed her during the day in the van.  I could lift her butt to help her in but could not lift her down.   I had to use the wheelchair lift to get her down from the van. I used a Bed Sled to move her around inside the van.  Tippy came back into the house every day around 4 pm. 
Life was difficult for Tippy and time draining for me, but I loved her so much.
The last Saturday Tippy was with me, when it was time for her to come into the house, I used the Bed Sled to pull her over to the door of the van and onto the wheelchair lift.  I got her down to the ground and slid her off the lift.  She was still not able to get up.  I could not lift or carry her. I stood in the street in front of my house and flagged down a couple neighbors to help me get her into the house.
They carried her on the Bed Sled onto the wheelchair elevator so I could get her upstairs. I dragged her off the elevator into the house and left her lay.  Awhile later she got up and went into the living room to lie on the bed pad there.  That was where she stayed most of the night.  She was able to get up and walk to the wheelchair elevator twice during the night to urinate in the yard.  But she had such a hard time of it.  She collapsed on the sidewalk coming back to the house.  I was able to help her up but could not carry her. She managed to walk back onto the elevator and we went back into the house. 
She was the same the next day.  She wanted to go back to the van but I could not count on having neighbors handy to move her again so made her stay in the house. 
That night, Sunday, I emailed the vet telling him her condition and requested he put her to sleep the next morning.  I requested he do the job in the van so she would not get excited or anxious.  She always barked and made an excited fuss when we went to the vet.  Now I did not want to make it more difficult for her. 
The vet and his assistant were wonderful.  They climbed into the van with Tippy, checked her over and administered the drug to calm her down.  This alone nearly put her down.  Then they administered the final drug and within minutes she was gone.  So peaceful.  I think Tippy stayed on with me as long as she could.  But she was tired and ready to go.
She is now buried in our yard alongside Tobie, her brother who died 2 years ago from another disease.  I picture them playing together again with no pain of arthritis or hip dysplasia. I miss her and Tobie.
The 4 kittens I wrote about last year are still here.  The Lord works in ways we cannot imagine.  Now that Tippy is gone, the cats (they are no longer kittens) fill the void.  Don asks “where’s the cats?” now, instead of “Where’s Tippy?”

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