August 3, 2019 Susan

Brahma died at home early in the morning on May 25, 2019. For the previous five or six days, he stopped eating + drinking.

For a few weeks prior, he got very weak, and started crossing his back legs + falling over.

I took him to the vet a few days before he died to get a fluid shot, since he wasn’t drinking, and also his urine was pretty pungent, and I wanted more Enrofloxin, the miracle antibiotic that always brought him back to life.

The vet was not our usual doctor, + she came out to tell me, “Well, it’s probably getting to the end. He’s cold. He’s lost more weight.”

She said I’d need to make a decision. I said, “I’m taking him home.”

“Well,” she said, “it could happen quickly, or it could be long + drawn out, and he could be in pain.”

“Do you think he’s in pain?” I said.

She shrugged. “It’s hard to tell. He has a terrible UTI and that is cascading bacteria into his body. He can’t be comfortable.”

“How long are we possibly talking here,” I said. “I mean, he hasn’t eaten in days.” She shrugged again.

I left with my little Pookie all hydrated + another round of the antibiotics that have historically reanimated him. Very briefly the fluid seemed to make him rally.

But it was useless. He would not open his mouth for anything. I managed to get one crushed Enrofloxin into him. Even though the weather was warming up, I turned on the panel space heater for him. I squeezed Genteal into his eyes, because he stopped blinking.

Back around Christmas time, I’d gone to a holiday dinner/party for the Hilltown CDC, where I am a board member. I sat next to one of the architects who does some occasional work with the CDC. She told me about her remarkable children. Then she asked if I had kids. I said, “Pugs. I have pugs.” I told her how old they were. Buddha is 16 and Brahma is 15.

We talked more + then she leaned into me, and said, “You will be devastated when they die.”

I said, “Maybe. Or maybe… not.” About a day and half before Brahma died, I laid next to him on the living room floor, and then I cried, wept all over him. I knew it was coming. I don’t have too many regrets about him, but when he was a puppy, my life was a mess. Dad was dying about 50 miles away, and we had a new puppy to housebreak. I lost it one day and screamed at Brahma, who’d peed in his crate. Despite all that, Brahma was MY dog. I did all the training with Buddha, but Buddha prefers Don. Brahma was mine, despite all the crap we all endured in 2004, which was absolutely the WORST year of my life.

When Don came upstairs on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, put his hand on my shoulder + said, “Brahma passed,” I did not shed a tear. I was all business. I took Buddha downstairs where Brahma lay lifeless on the couch, and showed him. “He’s gone.” Then I called the vet. They said we could bring him there and they would freeze him. It was a holiday weekend. Once there we ordered an urn + a cremation. Then we went out to breakfast.

A week later, we had an urn with Brahma’s ashes. Some times I touch it + tell him I miss him.

When we came home after breakfast, I threw away Brahma’s diapers. Don was a little upset by that, but I was unsentimental. Why on earth would I want to remember the last two years of pee soaked diapers next to the toothbrush on the bathroom sink? I gave his chipped food bowl + Kong toy to Goodwill.

I washed + dried his favorite toy. That is what I have kept. Brahma’s favorite little elephant.

So much time wasted online searching for more of those little toys, perfect for pug mouths.

What I do miss was Brahma when he was young, all dark + black, his little body racing around an AKC agility course at breakneck speed. I miss the walks… He dropped out years before Buddha, but even Buddha eventually put on the brakes.

I miss his smile, and him sleeping all night under the covers, by our feet. How could he breathe under there?

I miss a million other things about him. But he lived 15.5 years, which I understand is pretty typical for a pug. I called our breeder + she said many of the other dogs had already died. Brahma lived a good long life. We did the best we could, bought the best food we knew of, groomed him, kept his eyes, despite many abscesses. We were at least that awake, he never lost an eye.

Despite all the health issues (ugh, periodontal disease + spinal dysplasia in the last few years) Brahma always had the sweetest disposition. He will always be with me. My Sweet Wuggums. You will always be in my heart.

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