This is the place where I round up a corral chock-full of mixed media art, vintage collections, digital escapades, and some occasionally snarky observations about life with junk, books, rescue dogs and nearly-grown children.

Friday, April 30, 2010

On the Loss of a Good Dog

 Taco, December 15, 2001 to April 29, 2010.

On Thursday, April 29, 2010, at 6:15 p.m. I had to hold my 10-year-old Miniature Pinscher, Taco, as he was put down. My husband, Reggie, my 16-year-old daughter, Ruth, and my dear friend, Shirley, were with Taco at the end.  Dr. Ruth Ainsworth at Village Vet in Sterling Ridge administered the pink injection.  We will have him cremated.

We thought we had licked the liver infection and had him on the road to recovery, but yesterday he began to suffer neurological distress--weakness in the hindquarters, which progressed to staggering and falling, along with impaired vision and vertigo.  The Vet determined it was hepatic encephalopathy--the neurological decline that comes from cirrhosis of the liver.  Essentially, toxic chemicals were building in his brain, causing muscle control loss and eyesight stress.  Taco must have been light-sensitive because two days before, he was barking at the little light on the ADT alarm pad and the red-light in the anti-pest plug-in device.

In spite of his staggers, Taco had a good last day--he ate his breakfast with fairly good vigor, he got to snuggle with me under a blanket in the mid-morning and patrolled his yard (lurching), and he sat calmly at in Ruth's lap and let us all love on him before it was time.

We had Taco since December 2001, and got him at a PetsMart Adoption event in Louisiana.  He was a quirky little dog, but a very good dog.  He killed rats and moles, could jump five feet straight into the air, always had to work for treats, and once stood up to a husky (and lost).  He loved to jingle his collar tags for attention, and if that wasn't enough, he was a loud barker.  He was nippy and ugly with toys, especially his favorite "uggee bone."  He tore up all the blinds he could reach whenever he saw something he wanted to attack on the other side of the window.  He was bossy toward other dogs and only tolerated Cross, our little Rat Terrier Mix, although this last month, we could tell he was really quite bonded with her.  In short, Taco generally swaggered around like a buff stud-muffin in a 14-inch high,17-pound stag red Min-Pin body.  He was a brave little guy.

His six-week battle began on March 12, triggered perhaps by his nom-ing on a squirrel carcass, and cost over $5,000. However, he had improved and was eating on his own again after having to have force-fed slurry and sub-cu fluids.  We thought he was recovering.  I have never worked so hard to take care of a dog. Plus, I never dreamed I would do what I did for this particular dog (he was VERY quirky--a bite-first, ask questions later little terrier-killing machine).

Taco will be much on my mind over this weekend and in the near future as I do my part with dog adoption off-sites.


  1. Oh Cath...I'm so sorry...losing a pet is such a sad and hard thing. I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of this. I hope that you will be able to see all of the things that Taco did to make you smile (even if for awhile it is through tears). Sending hugs!

    yapping cat

  2. I'm sorry Cathi...I lost my shih tzu, Giz last April after a 3 year illness. His kidneys were shot & only working @ 15 to 25%.... we had to give him subQ treatments at least twice a week....more if he wasn't feeling well. Like your Taco, Giz was tempermental & was known to bite. I spent a forune on that dog (he was also paralyzed @ 3 years & had to have a back operation) & many people would ask why I would spend so much to keep him going when he wsa such a little shiht. But Geez, I loved him & he loved me & I'd have spent every dime I had if it would have kept him w/ me.

    My heart goes out to you! {{{hugs}}}

  3. Cathi, now I understand why you were sad over this, what a pretty dog. I just completed my post. Have a great week and thanks again for coming to see me, Theresa

  4. Just found your blog. So sorry to hear about your dog. I know exactly what you are going through. We've had a few heartaches over the years as well. Our present rescue is 2 years old and our fav. baby ever. A Rhodesian Ridge Back mix (we think) and 65 pounds, she's chewed up two bed sheets just in the last month and is crazy wild and destructive if she doesn't get enough exercise. And yet, I love her like one of my kids. Here's hoping better days are ahead for you.

  5. As a new member of Texas Blogging Gals, I just happened upon your blog. Sorry to hear about your dog, Taco. :( That's a difficult thing to go through. He sounds much loved.


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