Trigger warning, this post is going to be about my personal journey with losing my Moxey girl.
My experience with pet loss started when I was 5 years old. My parents had to put one of our two dogs down. I don't remember much, just that they took Yoda (our dog) to a clinic to be euthanized. I was too young to understand what that meant. Then, at 13, we had to put another dog down, and again at 19... Experiencing the loss of each pet was sad, but the grief was not comparable to losing my dog, Moxey.
The Back Story:
I lost my grandpa, when I was 17, so grief was not something I was unfamiliar with. My grandpa was my best friend, my biggest supporter, and my hero. Moxey was technically his dog. Twenty years ago, I saw her at my aunts house on Father's Day and she needed a home. Little 11 year old me, asked “grandpa, can we have her”? I was grandpa's little girl. Him and I were inseparable and he of course said “yes”. To this day, I think my grandpa got her knowing she would out-live him most likely, but knowing that I would have a companion once he left. Soon after my grandpa passed, I moved Moxey into my parents house. She was my little 6 lb, ride or die Chihuahua. I did everything with her. She had been there for me from graduating elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and graduate school. We even moved out together into my first apartment. I honestly couldn't ever picture my life without her in it. She wasn't just a dog; she was my dog, the dog my grandpa got for me. I connected Moxey to my grandpa, so losing her was also losing my grandpa again.
When Moxey turned 16, that's when it started to really hit me. She was getting older and my time was limited. I swear, I woke up everyday loving her more intensely than the day before. In her last year, she lost mobility in her back legs. I was constantly adjusting to her needs. For instance, I changed my work schedule to accommodate her. I had to come up with a new way of walking her. Which meant she would walk with a scarf under her for support. Then there was the meal prepping. I would cook her meals to help with her kidney failure. Then, at times, she would have accidents in the middle of the night. The last 6 months with her were rough. I mean, really, really rough. I can't even begin to tell you how many nights I cried knowing I was on bought time with her. She was in heart failure and I didn't quite know it yet. I would wake up at least once in the middle of the night to take her out, to prevent her from spoiling her bed. Then there were the ups and downs of her not wanting to eat. She would have some good days where she ate perfectly fine, then she would have a hard day where she didn't want to eat. We did this dance for about 6 weeks. Ultimately, her life would come full circle on Father's Day 2019. I would have to make the hardest decision of my life. Out of all the days she chose to exit this world, it just so happened to be Father's Day, and I took comfort in attributing that to my grandpa, letting me know he was ready to have her back.
Going back to that night, I prepared myself ahead of time and I had a plan. I wasn't going to put Moxey down in a veterinary office. She was always terrified of the vet, so I wanted her to leave this world in the comfort of her own home. As a prepared Dog mom, I already had the 24/7 at home euthanasia veterinary service on hand. There are not many, so I am thankful for Gemcore Veterinary Services because they were able to accommodate me. In the moments leading up to Moxey's passing, I was frantic. I remember packing up her belongings because I didn't want to have to do it after she was gone. I also struggled with the decision of whether or not I would be there for the whole euthanasia. Ultimately, I decided that I would stay for the first injection and that my mom would be there for the final injection. The moment came and Dr. Gonzalez showed up around 2am in her white coat with a bouquet of flowers. Moxey was struggling desperately to breathe. and Dr. Gonzalez immediately gave her a shot that would help ease her breathing. Then she gave her the sedation shot and I said my final goodbye to her and I stepped outside to get some air.
Stay tuned for Part II...