Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pepper Potts and Rosie

I gotta make this a shorter than usual post. To do otherwise would just depress me. It was a crappy weekend, and The Smith Family has had a tough time of it.

This past weekend Kat and I agreed to dog-sit for my nieces' and nephew's "New" dog, Rosie. "New" is in quotation marks because she was new to our family, but she was actually 3 years old. Rosie and my dog, Pepper Potts weren't from the same litter, but they were the same age, from the same breeder, and I thought and referred to them as cousins. My parents also have a dog from the same litter that we know was Pepper Potts brother, Buddy. So this isn't a post about dogs, it's about family.

Rosie grew up on a farm and was used to being around other dogs and children. The sounds of the city of Chicago were totally unfamiliar to her, staying with us. Someone on the block set off a firecracker just as I was going out for a smoke. I feel guilty. Had I just nudged her away from the back door she'd still be with us. But I didn't, and she took off through the yard, into the back alley, down the street, and down a bunch of more streets.

Katie and I were out until after two o'clock in the morning searching for to no avail. I had Pepper Potts off of her leash because I thought she might she might be able to smell her way to her cousin. That didn't work. Rosie got hit by a car almost two miles, and some major Chicago streets away. We only found her body because some nice lady saw that her tags were still on and called the owner, my brother.

Needless to say, we spent most of Saturday in tears. Katie lost her childhood dog in the same way when she was young, and I can only assume it was probably worse for her.

We miss you, Rosie. We barely got to know you, but we loved you.

Saturday night we ran into some more bullshit.

I gave Pepper Potts a bath, and dried her off. After I put her down I saw that she wouldn't put any weight on her left  hind paw. With Rosie's death still on our brains, Kate agreed to go straight to UIC's animal hospital. They gave us a prescription for doggie morphine and other drugs. But it didn't help. By Sunday morning she couldn't move both hind paws. She couldn't wag her tail. She wasn't eating or drinking, and she couldn't even go potty.

Sunday we were able to take her to our regular vet, Banfield Pet Hospital via Petsmart. We upgraded our pet plan to include x-rays and MRIs. The results were No Bueno. Pepper Potts slipped a disc and had a bone spur that crippled her. Apparently, that's not unusual for long, skinny, hotdog-shaped dogs. Especially for the Cockapoo, variety.

According to the doc, (almost an hour late), our only option was surgery. Surgery prices started at 6k. After the initial care we'd still have had to pay for aftercare, physical therapy, pain meds, and who knows what else. That is way out of our price range. Kat and I want to buy a house. We want another kid. We wanted to get another dog. None of that could happen if we were to drop that much money on surgery.

So we had to have her put to sleep. One of the hardest things I've ever done in life, was giving her hugs and kisses, knowing that she was getting a lethal injection an hour away.

Fucking hard. She was my best friend.

I've been trying to figure out my favorite moment with #PepperPotts. I can't do it. She was too much apart of my daily routine. Every moment, of every day she was by my side. Every walk that we took. Every ball that my son hands me. Every piece of food that my boy throws on the floor. Every time the child points at a picture, or a dog on tv. It's fucking hard.

I guess if I had to pick, it'd be the mornings. Pepper always slept on the couch, or in bed with Katie while I watched The Tonight Show. Kate leaves for work around 7am. I get up around 930am when I hear the child screaming through the baby monitor. When Isaiah starts screaming, Pepper Potts would run straight to his bedroom door. After I open the door, she ran straight to the crib. Then these two goofballs would make out, lick paws and hands, smell each other butts, and pretty much act the fool. Isaiah Jedi still tries to find the dog when he wakes up.

We can't get another dog until August. We're going to Dallas, and it wouldn't be fair to make a pup fly, or stay with friends or family. No matter what kind of dog we get, Pepper Potts will be my favorite.

Isaiah is my blood, my love, namesake, and my heart. But I can't wait to get a new dog. I want a beagle.

Alright, that was much longer of a post than I planned. I guess I got emotional thinking about my dog. Thanks as always for reading. I'll see you next week.


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