Yesterday, I had to send my baby to the Rainbow Bridge. I’ve written a couple posts about him, in both the neuro and mobility sections. Igor was a 1? year old pug that came to me as a foster nearly 2 years ago. He was picked up as a stray and turned into the Humane Society. They estimated him at at least 10 years old and considered him geriatric. Naturally, the pug rescue got involved, and I, a foster parent, took him in.
He came to me half blind, deaf, probably with half his teeth, bad hips, and with an old spinal injury. He was somewhat incontinent and wore diapers and belly bands. His back legs shook a lot and knuckled when he walked. He simply couldn’t do stairs and hated wood and tile floors. Sometimes, I’d pinch his toes and his other foot or his tail would jerk. He was, indeed, a special needs dog. I didn’t realize at first, but he was. I named him Igor, after the movie, Young Frankenstein, as he had a bad eye and funny hobble. Is it Eee-gor? Or Eye-gor? (It’s Eee-gor.) Over the months, and with exercise and love, Igor packed on some weight (healthy weight!), regained control of his bladder, and much of his bowels. There was still the occasional accident, which eventually got worse. But, he would happily play with his toys and snuggle with the other foster pugs. One fall day, the rescue called to tell me he was mine if I wanted him. I literally danced around the living room, while he looked at me like I had 6 heads.
We moved apartments and houses, but no matter what, it was always us two, together. We went to adoption events, we went to the park, we went on nearly-mile-long walks. We went to friends houses, sleep overs, even to the dog friendly bars. We had a holiday cookie party and he dressed up in his finest bow tie. It’s safe to say, Igor was the most handsome date I could ever have. He had his very own collar and special tag made- the greatest gift a man can give a dog. Once, we went to the beach and Igor “swam” in the ocean as the sun set over the horizon. Once, we both dressed up as pirates for a “pirate and pooch” party and won 1st place! He had a bum eye and drunken, wobbly gait, so it was perfect, of course. Igor went to work with me for several months. He slept on his blankie while I manned the phonelines. We even got into a car accident (minor) and while I freaked out, he barked his head off at the officer taking statements. He met my parents (his grammy and grampy) and finally, my brother and his fiancee. They doted on him with treats. At the last rescue event, Igor marched across the stage in the Parade of Rescues, and was interviewed for the local news channel. They posted his handsome, one-eyed, snorting face on the internet for all to see.
In the past few months, Igor started having…digestive issues. I’ll leave it at that for the squeemish crew. His legs seemed a bit weaker and he tired a bit more quickly, but still loved his walks and loved to visit with the neighbor children. I took him to the vet, tried some added fiber. It made perhaps a bit of a difference, but he still had issues. By this time, he’d loss all bowel control again and was wearing a diaper much of the day. Eventually, I noticed that he was starting lose bladder control, as well… Soon enough, he was wearing a disposable diaper to soak it up. Often, he would not even go potty outside, just walk along side me and sniff the grass. One morning, we woke up and took a walk. After, I put him on the porch (as it’s easy to clean up) while I made my coffee. The next thing I saw was Igor scrambling up the step to the kitchen, trying desperately to use his little, old legs to get away from the mess he was making all over the porch. We went back to the vet, and tried medicine this time. His bloodwork seemed ok, but over the next week he still had issues. He even stopped eating much of his food, including the wet food given to me by the vet. He’d lost about 1-1.5 lbs in a month. Then almost another pound in a week. It seemed what was going in, was coming out. Without being used. Yesterday, I took him, and let him go. We snuggled and snuggled, then he had a delicious breakfast of mac n cheese and turkey, and one last trip to the dog park. I held him tight as he passed from this world to the next. I told him about the rainbow bridge, that he should be excited. I know that right now, he is running around with full use of his legs. He can see, he can hear. It’s always sunny with plush, green grass and shady areas to rest and snore for a while when he gets tired. He can eat all the bon bons he wants and never get too fat or too skinny. It’s perfect, and so is Igor.
I’ll never stop missing him. He is more than my dog, but my baby. I love him more than anything else in this world and the next. He never could tell me his story or what was wrong. Where did he come from? Was he hit? Was he abused? Why didn’t the meds work? Was his little body just failing him? Was it cancer? Was he in pain? If he was, he certainly didn’t let me see it. He was content to be with his mama, even if it meant essentially starving. The last gift I could give him was not to let him do that. Not to let him waste away. All I’ll ever know is how loving he was, despite his obviously difficult obstacles to overcome. The only thing he ever gave me was unconditional love, and I can’t help but give it back. He really was a special, special baby that can never be replaced or forgotten. I’m just happy I could help him see the good in this life, before he moved on. And I’ll meet up with him at the Rainbow Bridge.
I love you, Igor,