Today we said goodbye to our old boy! The little stinker has had quite a life, probably 20 lives at that. And has brought so much greatness in to mine. He has faced the odds head on with a wagging tail and came back stronger every time.
I know I've said this before but bare with me: We found him in a ditch, as a tiny puppy with no hair, scabbed skin, broken rib, torn spot in his eye, mange, bugs, and burned feet.
The neighbor called animal control but left me with the dog that she named Spunky because of his Spunk for life. Little did I know how my life would change after that moment.
Animal Control guy showed up and said he would be put to death immediately. What the what?? Ummm No!. I didn't let the man take that feisty little thing that was running around with a wagging tail in spite of all his misery.
The hubs said we weren't going to keep him... Welll... OK!
First Vet said he wouldn't make it through the night, so he gave him a free shot and said if he survives the week, bring him back for another. Well he did... We brought him back for weeks and months of care. The Vet said he would forever have problems, wouldn't live past the age of two and his growth would be stunted to 20lbs.
Special baths, wearing doggy cloths, hand fed, fixed wounds, loved on him, paid 1000's of dollars in vet bills, started puppy training and knew that he would be ours for as long as that tail was wagging in circles. He grew to about 55 pounds. But a year later all the medication brought about infection.
Allergies set in and a septic infection had taken over his blood stream. My husband would tell me to get rid of him. My in-laws would say "I bet you won't ever do that again" referring to taking care of a sickly pup. And others would think I was crazy. While my co-workers would donate to his vet bills and encourage me to keep going. He won the hearts of many with his circular motion tail and goofy face.
That tail wagged in circles, and he wasn't about to let anything get him down. He would look at me with those eyes, wag that tail and go grab a ball. As if to say "No really, I'm fine Mom, don't worry about my bubbly swollen gross skin or infections, I'm good, let's play"
FIVE vets (yeah, I wanted to find one that cold fix him) later all saying he would die soon and there was nothing more they could do for him, I found out about Holistic remedies (thanks to my Mom's Michigan Vet).
I studied, researched, learned all I could... This was the beginning of my "natural remedy cabinet"... Looking back it amazes me how much that cabinet has grown.
I made his own food filled with holistic drops. I learned about probiotics, and immune boosters. Within days his skin was clearing up, infections gone,... Eventually I would find a new dog food that he wasn't allergic to and watch him thrive without allergies for years, he was amazing. Little did I know then how important food was to our overall well-being.
Healing him showed me that I could heal myself with food, and my get healthy journey began!!!
The next Vet said that he wouldn't live past the age of Seven because of all his ailments early in life. Oh but he did, and he was a hoot. The silliest most loving dog I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He would sit in your lap as if he were 6 pounds. He cuddled up next to me and wouldn't let me out of site EVER... He would rock baby Veg's swing, play ball with toddler Veg, and protect us with all his might.
He LOVED to play in the snow.
People would say... OOH, he is dangerous to have with a child.... you MUST get rid of him:
Yeah OK!! What ever you say!!
But when he didn't walk one day, I thought for sure that was it.
I took him to a Vet that ran some XRays. We found that he had arthritis, hip displaysia and a ton of bone spurs with broken spots that healed wrong from his abusers (before we found him). They said we should probably put him down as he would start to get aggressive with all that pain.
Ummm NO! His tail was still wagging and we had a deal. That when his tail stopped wagging, we would know. I found some joint fix-it natural chewy things, he was walking by the next day and running up and down the stairs like nothing was ever wrong. (that was 6ish years ago) He never showed an aggressive anything unless a stranger tried to come in our front door then his bark could deter them.
Some dogs beg for food, my dog would beg for hugs.
He'd run up and down the hallway 40 times in a row for no reason and then stop to chase mystery bugs. He'd tear up every toy EVER provided and yet would give gentle giant kisses to any human that would allow it.
When our Chelsea Dog passed away I was told that Spunky would move in to "Alpha" and become aggressive.... Yeah, OK!!! What ever you say!!
Later he would get in to some garbage that blocked his intestinal tract but he came back. He came down with Vestibular disease after a kennel stay, and kicked it. Another time, he ate chocolate and raisins which required charcoal treatment, he had an ear fill up with blood which we healed naturally, and most recently had a spell where we thought he was gone for good. But NOPE... He jumped up and wagged that tail against all the odds until today.
Today I came home from a workshop to find his eyes not working. Something had popped in his noggin and he was totally blind. His body shaking uncontrollably, and his tail certainly not wagging. Last night he was my usual cuddle bug, but today was the day we said goodbye.
Dwelling on him being gone, doesn't give credit to his life.
I know some may think he was just a dog, but to me he was so much more.
His life taught me that strength can't always be seen. That people will doubt what you have inside and you can prove them wrong. That doctors don't know everything and modern medicine can't fix everything.
He taught me what it was like to be a Mom before I became a Mom. He showed me how to trust my instincts, disregard people's words that aren't positive, not allow anyone to get you down, heal with foods, find holistic paths, and gave me 14+ years of warmth and cuddles. That canine wasn't just a dog, he was my little hero. And that won't change.
My memories of him and all he did for me won't change.
I believe people and animals are brought in to our lives for a reason. Even when you don't understand why but at the end of Spunky's life, I know for certain why he was there .
He was my Hero and he taught me how to live!!!