My first and most distinct memory is a little puppy whimper from behind the green couch in Fort Wayne. I cannot remember where I was coming from, work or the gym, but K turned to me grinning and I knew immediately what he'd done.
Of course, from the moment I looked into his big brown puppy eyes, I was in love. And he was ALL eyes back than. He weighed next to nothing and he was a wild one. K picked him because he was small and mellow. Ha. Looks can be deceiving.
He was smaller than a Frisbee. I say this only because he liked to attack a Frisbee and drag it around behind him.
He was my best buddy when K was away playing hockey. We snuggled together during sick times and sad times and happy times.
When he was very little, he would wrap himself around my neck in the car so he could get a better view and we would drive all around. He loved to hear 'let's go for a drive!'
He is whip smart. He learned to do things no other dog could do. He figured out how to escape his crate and when he young he knew easily a dozen tricks.
He always loved to be hot. Snuggled up beside the fireplace in the tiny apartment under a layer of blankets or with his nose buried deep my arm pit on the couch.
Back then he loved chew sticks and other dogs and worst of all running away, FAST, from us. His favorite place to run back than? On the golf course and bleck eating goose poo! Heh. He had a lot of baths back then.
He took getting Lucy and the kids in stride. I could tell he did not want to like any of them but they grew on him. Always the grouchy old man even when he was young! His heart warmed to the kids especially M Bug.
Lucy he tolerated at best but she is lost without him right now. She won't really leave my side which is nice and I am glad for her but boy my heart is aching for him and his pain and all that he has been through. I am trying with all of my heart to remember all the lovely moments and not the past few days and how horrific it has been to see him so sick.
M Bug and I got out photo albums last night and looked through them. I forgot we took Santana for our engagement photos. He was so little. He was there after our wedding and there are a set of photos that I love of Santana laying next to tiny baby M Bug on the floor in old house. Santana trying to make heads and tails of M Bug. How Santana loved to curl into us at night in bed... than push us off the bed! His wild streaks, turbo, and how he we could throw a ball or a toy for hours with him. Even the past few months when he seemed to be his spry old self he would actually stand at the closet door that held his toys and ask to play! He liked to walk on his leash and see the world. Sadly with the kids the past few years he walks have gone mostly away.
I wish today that I spent more time with him and not always going and going and going. Santana today is reminding me that I mind myself. I need to remember not run to far and fast all the time. That time is ever so limited. I always just assumed he and Lucy would live to be old dogs and I would not need to say good-bye until I was good and ready but I know that is not hold life works and there is no controlling what happens to any being, even myself, and most especially not my dogs whom I love like my family.
When I think of our family, it is not of four of us, but six of us. As Missy likes to say "Momma we have three girls and three boys in our family, right?!"
He is not gone, not yet. He had surgery on Thursday last week and he seemed okay. They removed a large mass from his back. An open festering wound that started as a tiny scratch but turned angry and red and eventually bloody and weepy. We tried to treat that wound with antibiotics and drops to no avail. He rapidly deteriorated over the days following the surgery and thank good for K's sister and her advice to stop the pain meds which apparently cause ulcers in some dogs. We spent three days trying to decide what to do. I am still kicking myself for not calling the vet on New Year's eve day. K talked me out of it but that evening and the following day were the worst. I thought he might die last night in our bed.
He is fighter my little Santana Banana Beans. I took him to the vet this morning in tears. They are keeping him overnight. He will have an IV, more pain meds, another blood test and x-rays of his belly. The worst news was that the mass they removed was skin cancer and they removed all of it. The other side has pre-cancerous cells. We are hoping to get him stabilized before we decide on the next steps. It was very hard to leave him with the vet this morning. I thought about asking to stay but I doubt that is a normal pet owner thing to do. I do not want him to be scared or lonely...
I am just feeling deeply sad for Santana and the kids and maybe a little bit for K and I too. I cannot imagine my life without him even when he's driven me crazy I absolutely love him, my first tiny baby that I held and nursed (back to health) and doted on, out of all four of my babies. I hope he will get better, that we will have a little bit more time wit him but I gave him the okay to let go last night, not that it is my choice, but I did tell him I love him with all of my heart and he needed to do what was best for him. Anyway updates will follow.
In better days (2008)
Santana from Missy's camera (2011)
Peepers and Lu