We sent a friend home on March 4, 2013. She was a black pug with a very white muzzle, 16 – 17 years old, half blind and half deaf. She had a long tongue which hung out of her mouth. She had trouble walking, could no longer run or climb stairs, and had a fish tail walk. A compressed disk in her back a few years ago had affected the use of her back legs. She moved into our house with our son and Tidbit, a fawn pug, a few years ago.
She barked — when she needed to go out, was hungry, thirsty or wanted a cookie. In other words, she had a good quality of life. The human’s in her life were well trained.
She didn’t mind going out in the rain, liked to eat the snow and loved to take showers in the summer and eat popcorn anytime. Car rides were a joy, as well as spending time in the country.
She was small but mighty. She thought she could eat any dog that crossed her path. Luckily since she was small, we picked her up. Left to her own devises, she charged after the four footed dog that crossed her path. She did not care how big it was — a German shepherd or a poodle; she wanted to take them all on.
It was no longer necessary to put her on a leash when she went out. Daily walks increased in time. It wasn’t unusual to spend 20 minutes nudging her up the sidewalk. She only took a step or two before we needed to nudge her again. She didn’t like to stay in the back yard. She always wanted to experience the world around her. We never knew what it was she saw, heard, or felt but she liked to stand and meditate — watching the traffic, feeling the vibrations of passing vehicles. The icy sidewalk was hard for her, she couldn’t get traction.
She was an inspiration. With her many problems, she just kept going. Monday morning, I took her for her morning walk. The sidewalks were clear of ice and snow. To my amazement, she actually took more steps than usual before taking a break.
Our son noticed a lump on her back on Sunday night. He wondered if cancer had returned. He decided that we would keep a watch on it. A doctor’s appointment called my husband and I out of the house early on Monday. While we were gone, Lexie kept barking. Our son surmised that the lump was not allowing her to get comfortable. The vet agreed, it was pressing on her kidney.
Since we weren’t home to say good-bye, Monday night I heard her bark four different times. When I told my husband, he said he heard her barking too. She just wanted to say goodbye. After I verbally acknowledged her bark, I haven’t heard it again. Monday night into Tuesday, 10 inches of snow fell. At least she didn’t need to try to walk in that.