Monday, August 16, 2010

Good-bye to our faithful friend


Today we said good-bye to our precious Herbie the Love Pug.

My kids bought Herbie for me for Mother’s Day 2003.  They pooled their allowance money and went in pursuit of a pug, as I had always wanted one.  They found Herbie at a pet store where the owner said that he was 7 years old and that she was getting rid of him because he wouldn’t mate.   Oh, and he had a cataract.  And a skin condition which she said was because he had been pecked by an emu…..So, here came Herbie home for Mother’s Day and straight into my heart.  The vet examined him the next day and said, “This dog is 12 if he’s a day.”  So, he lived to be somewhere around 18 or 19.  Not bad for a $70 dog. 

We had not had him a month before he began losing his feeling in his back and soon he was incontinent and had little use for his back legs except for balance.  Upon exam, the vet said that sometime in his recent past he had been abused.  Didn’t slow him up a bit.  That boy could beat us to the refrigerator on most any day until recently.  For a while he had to wear little shoes when he went outside as he drug his back legs and they would get skinned up.  His vision was poor, but he made up for it in hearing, and we often joked that he could hear us pulling into the neighborhood and the curtains would always be stirring in the front window when we pulled up.

Somewhere along the line, Herbie went from being my dog to being my youngest daughter’s.  None of us saw it coming.  He used to alternate nights sleeping with the girls, and one day he just started sleeping with K full time.  As he has aged and his needs have become greater and greater, K has tenderly cared for him day in and day out.  When most of his teeth went bad, she started fixing broth for his food and feeding him by hand.  He wasn’t happy if he couldn’t sleep with her, so because of his incontinence issues, she had to get up several times in the night to change his pants or change the bed.   Over these last 6 months it became apparent that Herbie lived for K.  If she wasn’t here, he wouldn’t eat and rarely looked up.    We all began to realize that as K’s time to leave for college was approaching, so was the end of any happiness for Herbie.    We cajoled him and begged him to hang on for the last couple of weeks as she really wanted him with her as long as possible before she left.  He was tired, but he gave his best effort to snuggle into her when she came home each night.  We all knew that he would die of a broken heart very soon after K left, and it was her decision to let him go before that could happen.    Today she dressed him in his most handsome pants, wrapped him in his favorite blanket, and kissed him good-bye.

Oh, the stories that Herbie left us with.  Someday we will laugh about his little bossy cranky demeanor.  But tonight I am just so lonesome for him!


Elizabeth Akins, RDH, BS said...

Love to read Herbie's story. I know you're so sad. Thinking of all of you and the loss of this dear family member.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Dear Sue, I grieve for the loss of Herbie to your family--especially to you and K.

Here in our house, we know keenly your loss because it has been only slightly more than a week since we lost Angus, our 12 year old Scotty. Except for slight weight problems in his later years, Angus had been healthy until last year when he shattered his left front leg and had to have pins in it.

He recovered but began to lose control over his kidneys. Then, about a month ago, he got a tumor that we thought was benign. Instead, cancer spready rapidly throughout his system.

Miriam still cries. I know Herbie will be greatly missed.

Queen of Fun said...

My dear Sister-Friend
My heart aches for you and your family.
Don't wear mascara for at least a week.
He was a gift that taught us all lessons we needed to learn.
CS Lewis believed dogs will be in heaven and I'm hoping he was right. God must have known that we needed an example of unconditional love in this mean old world so He gave us dogs?

donna said...

Dear Sue, this is the first blog post I've read in about a month but I'm so glad that I didn't miss this touching tribute to Herbie. He was something special, wasn't he? My love to you and all of the Love Pug's family.


Allison said...

i'm so sorry about your loss. hang in there!