A little over three and a half years ago, we had a new addition come into our family.. not really by choice or even thought, but by fate. That’s the only way I can think that we ended up with a matted and ruffled long-hair chihuahua. You see we live out in the sticks on a small farm in Kentucky, where the coyotes roam free and the life span of a small animal at night is definitely limited, but still one fall day as my husband worked in the shop he saw a small tricolor varmit headed his way. Though he said to it, turn right, it turned left and headed right to him.
My oldest was thrilled when he called and told her about it. Came right down to the shop and picked him up. Cleaned him up, cut away the mats and was happy to find a good looking baby underneath. From there she begin to think names Goliath, Gurgi Von Varmit… and then I arrived home from a friends and the varmit looked at me and I looked at him and we knew that he had come on his long journey to find me. Sometimes things are meant to be and he was meant to be my baby. Soon Gurgi von Varmit became Gurgi and finally Bitty.
For the next six months we worked on manners.. seems that having found me, he decided that he was the only one that could have me and when he was in my arms he’d growl and sometimes snap at someone who wanted my attention. Doing alpha dog over a twelve pound chihuahua is pretty strange. But slowly he learned that biting wasn’t ever an option and that growling wasn’t the way to express himself. Though he still would growl if you kissed him to much.. even with me. Oh he’d try to hold it in.. as you kissed his belly again and again and love him proper… but in the end it would sneak out. And somehow, that made me know he was okay.
About the time that everything was going well in the manner department.. he had his first seizure. So begin the next phase of the journey as we learned to resuscitate him. After a visit to our vet we discovered he had a serious heart murmur. No doubt from the condition that his teeth were in when he came to us. To much wet food, no cleanings or care . During this time he started vetmedin which helped, less seizures and more time between them.
Having days when I could loose him, made me thank heaven for every day I had with him. I couldn’t have lost him then and dealt with it. I remember the day when he had one of his seizures and I’m trying to get him to come back saying “Don’t go to the light, don’t go to the light..”. I know what responsible adult says that? Apparently I do when enough stress is applied.
He totally and completely took over my heart. With his little grrs and his adoring eyes, he stole a piece of my heart and showed me I could still love even with a heart as shattered as mine. I didn’t think I could or ever would allow someone in so completely after my son died, but apparently even broken hearts love as deeply as whole ones.
It came apparent last fall that Bitty wouldn’t be with us forever, when he started the cough and spitting foam. Having lost a dog to congestive heart failure before I knew what it meant. And even the vet who was generous enough to give us some Lasik to ease his time told us that. I was surprised when he lived to see Christmas and even more surprised when he lived long enough to make it to Florida with us. For a time, things seemed to be going really well, then about a week ago he had another seizure. Though he seemed to be okay the next day, I did notice he seemed to move slower and rest more. Then yesterday, he didn’t want breakfast. I left to drop Scot off to go metal detecting and when I go back he had thrown up his meds and was just lying so still. So for the next three hours as I waited for Scot to call to be picked up and held him close and talked with him. And I told him that it was okay to go to the light, that he could run and jump and not have any problems he did.. that I loved him and I was so grateful that he found me. And that he was welcome to visit anytime and anyway he could… and while I talked with him. I begged the angels to take him home.
When Scot called, he went with me. Silently laying on the seat, not moving. Together, we petted him and told him we loved him. Then we went back to the camper. Then night was filled with a lot of cuddling and love. I knew in my heart if he lived through it, we would be taking him to a vet’s for the final release in the morning. He passed in the wee hours after in exhaustion I slept. Part of me, thinks if I hadn’t he wouldn’t have let go. Though part of me is so relieved that his suffering is over, part of me is so shattered. And yet, even with this outcome I’d live it all over again for a moment to hold him again. My Gurgi, My Bitty.. Thank you for finding me, for teaching me that even shattered hearts can fall in love … run free my little one.. you deserve it.