(written by her foster mom)
I was asked to take care of an old sick little pup who was found on the streets of Barrie and taken to a shelter in Keswick. She wasn’t doing well and they called Nasim at BUTTONNOSES to see if she could take her for the time she had left. Nasim, having such a soft heart for dogs, readily agreed. Nasim was about to go on a much needed vacation and didn’t want her to die in the shelter.
So she called me to see if I could take her while she was away. I said yes and she was brought to my home to join my other pups, Logan (a Golden Retriever), Quinn (a Yellow Lab) and Max (my recently rescued Chihuahua). Not knowing how old she was, it was estimated at between 13 and 15 yo. I’m always interested in breed mixes and I think she was a Miniature Dachshund/Jack Russell cross. She was about 12 lbs and black and white.
This poor little soul had cataracts, dementia (Canine Cognitive Disorder in dogs), pancreatitis, a level 4 Heart Murmur (that could kill her at any time) and had been on the streets for a long time. She had been without a home or a family for much too long.
She came with a lot of meds to keep her comfortable and pain free. She was a very picky eater, so I ended up making her chicken exclusively. She was such a little devil, trying to get meds into her, she had to do without at times. Being a street dog, having to fend for herself for so long, she was a biter and wouldn’t let you kiss her on the head or touch her mouth.
For the first few days she was fine…a little shell shocked and reticent, but somehow she knew I was only going to love her and keep her comfortable. She slept well in my bed and enjoyed cuddling up to me. On the 8th day, she started to whine and pace. She couldn’t settle down and her pain meds weren’t helping. I called the wonderful vet that buttonnoses uses (and now, so do I!) and Dr.Iqbal said to bring her in. When she gave her extra pain meds and something to calm her, it didn’t help in the least. She was confused and suffering and we were no longer able to control her pain. After I spoke to Nasim, Dr.Iqbal and I decided it was time to “let her go”. I cuddled her little body and told her how much Mama loved her, she was a good girl and everything was going to be okay. Once she was gone, I kissed her all I wanted to and asked my Dad to take care of her until I joined them.
Letting a dog go is the most heart wrenching thing I’ve ever been through. I cried for hours; but I was her Mama for the last 8 days of her life, gave her a home and a family…everything she deserved long before we met her. She had been a nobody dog in life and I didn’t want that for her in death, so I ordered a private cremation, a sweet little heartshaped urn and asked for her ashes to be sent back to me. Her tiny urn is now beside the urns of my 2 Labs and my Mini Dachshund on my dresser.
I wish I had known her when she was young and happy, but I’m proud I could do right by her and be her forever Mama when she needed it the most, if only for 8 days.
-Susan Hornsby, Ruthie's mom