I learned a lot this week. What happened, you ask? We all know that when we learn something it often comes as a result of a painful experience. Scooter, our beloved 5 yr old Chihuahua, died on Friday. We actually had to put him to sleep, but not until after we kept him alive for several days with efforts from Gem Vet Clinic and West Vet Hospital. Scooter was just too young to die. He had an infection that involved most of his digestive tract and we lost the battle. Had he been strong enough, and if money was no obstacle, we may have opted for an operation even though I still feel he would have succumbed to his illness . I always thought people were crazy to get so attached to dogs. They just become part of the family and you learn to put up with all those aggravating things they do because of all the wonderful things they do. I was in favor of putting him to sleep when he first got sick just to avoid a big vet bill. But If that had happened then some important moments in our lives (particularly Mark's life) would have been lost.
Scooter was Mark's dog. He picked him out from a litter of puppies and I picked out Bear. Bear and Scooter were brothers. Mr. Bear was small and thin with a shaggy, red coat and a lion-like mane around his neck. Scooter was bigger with a sleek white coat and tan markings.
Mark and Scooter began their special relationship. He kept Mark company these last few years as he watched TV in the evenings or sunned in the yard as Mark mowed the lawn. You get the picture. They had a special bond. Bear died almost two years ago when he escaped out the front door and met his fate on a busy road by our house. Bear was a cuddly lap dog but Scooter was a nervous dog and couldn't sit still long enough to sit in laps. He just wanted to lick, everything, which is kind of annoying. He licked Geordie (our big smelly dog) every chance he got.
Talking about Bear brought back a fun memory. They used to "spar" or as Mark would call it, Gladiator Fights. Bear was faster and could out run Scooter. Scooter was bigger and could beat Bear up if he wanted to. Bear would run and finally Scooter would catch him. Then they would bite at each others legs, just in fun. Then they would dramatically stand on their hind legs, face each other off and paw at each other while making serious little munchkin growls. Then the show would be over and they would go to their separate corners to fight another day. They put on quite a show, all for our entertainment. At night they cuddled together in their dog bed.
Friday night before we buried him by his little brother, the family gathered together and talked about all our favorite memories of Scooter. The cutest was when Marcus got him to howl or sing to the music. I think it happened by accident one day, while Marcus was singing and playing his guitar. Scooter just started to howl. So they howled together for awhile until Scooter would stop, looking bewildered. Pretty much Marcus was the only one who could get him to do that. Many times a day, I heard Mark greet Scooter with, "Cooootieeee". I will miss that.
Thursday night it was decided that if Scooter hadn't improved by morning we would let him go. He fought hard but wasn't any better Friday morning. Mark went to the Vet hospital with the boys to say their last good-byes and take him home. Scooter had IV's in his arms as he lay burrowed in blankets inside his cage. He was heavily medicated and looked tired. He hadn't had any solid foods for six days. The boys took turns holding Scoot in their laps and said their good-byes. Now this is the sweet part of the story so get ready. As Scooter lay limply on Mark's lap, with tear-filled eyes he said "Scooter, I'm so sorry I have to let you go...you know dad loves you?". Just at that moment, with what little strength he had left, Scooter stood up and turned around. He put his little paws up on Mark's chest, brought his face close to Mark's and peered into his eyes. Then he laid back down. There was no doubt in anyone's mind Scootie knew what he was saying and was answering him. Yes he loved him, and yes it was OK to let him go. I would have hated for Mark to miss out on that moment.
See you and Bear later, little fellow!