Sunday, September 4, 2011

Okay, here's what happened with Penny...

Hey, everybody, it's me, Lana. I know a lot of you are wondering exactly what happpened with Penny, so I am going to tell you.

You all know from previous posts that she was having trouble getting up and down the steps. Well, I had her convinced, finally, that we should go out through the garage. I had it down to a fine science...I asked Patches if she wanted to go outside through the back door and then as soon as she went through the door, I shut it and told Penny to come with me. It took a while, but she finally got used to the routine. After several times of going out front, she became afraid of my security light. It doesn't come on immediately when you go out in the driveway...it has to detect body heat first. When it came on after we were already out there, she bolted for the house with me in tow.

She was having a very hard time getting up from a sitting position, even on the carpet. Her sight and hearing got really bad and she was doing poopies in the house during the night. Up until last Wednesday morning, the biggest problem was her breathing. She was panting constantly and by last Tuesday, I could tell that she was wheezing with every breath and it was a struggle for her.

On Wednesday morning, she insisted on going down the back steps, so I held onto her harness and helped her all the way down. I went back up the stairs so I could see her better. She always took a tour of the perimeter of the fence and I watched her go most of the way around and then she disappeared. It wasn't quite light outside yet, so I couldn't see her once she went into the woods, but I should have been able to hear her walking in the leaves. I couldn't hear the leaves nor could I hear her breathing. I ran in the house and got a flashlight so I could find her in the woods. I located her and when she saw the flashlight, she headed for me, but I could tell something was wrong. Her back legs, one at a time, would fly out behind her and then she would drag each foot through the dirt. I watched her do that all the way to the house and I could tell it was involuntary. When I finally got her to the steps, I put my hands under her and lifted her up each step. Fortunately, she was still in control of her front legs and she helped me the best she could.

Once she was on the wood floor in the kitchen, her legs just didn't work at all. She would try to get up and then just do the splits with her back legs and she kept looking at me like she was saying, "HELP ME, Mom!" The first thing I did was call Wendy and she said it didn't sound good and I needed to get to the vet right away. Well, there was no way I could get her into my Tahoe alone, so I called my neighbor and he came over and put her in there for me.

When we got to the vet's office, one of the girls at the desk carried her into a room for me. Once the vet came in, he took one look at her and said, "I'm soooooo sorry". He said she was in heart failure and probably wouldn't last anymore than a day or two. At that time, I made that dreaded decision that none of us want to make. I just couldn't let her suffer anymore. I also decided that I was going to stay with her to the end. I had never done that before...I had always said my "goodbyes" and left before he did what he had to do. He gave her a sedative first and I was kind of wishing he'd give ME one! Without going into the sad details, my Penny just went to sleep while I petted her head and the vet talked to her constantly. It was a very sad and yet peaceful experience. Even as hard as it was, I'm very glad I stayed with her.

Now, it's very strange only having one dog in the house. Patches just isn't herself yet, either. She's sleeping a lot and not playing with her toys at all. She sleeps part of the night in Penny's bed and part of the night in the living room. She's free-feeding for the first time since she came to live with us. I put her food in her bowl and it might take her several hours before she eats all of it. I'm used to seeing it devoured in less than 30 seconds. I guess she is grieving too!

Thank you to all of you who have sent your condolences to us! I want to get around to each one of you and thank you personally, but I'm just not sure I can do that at this time. Between my profile and all the groups I belong to on Facebook and my blog, I think there have been about 200 peeps and pups that have commented and I really appreciate every single one of you! Somehow, it helps to know that others care! That's why I am so glad I belong to Dogs with Blogs and about 99% of my Facebook "friends" are "dog people". Thanks to all of you for your support! And a huge thank you to Wendy! I don't know what I would do without you and I hope I never have to find out!

Lana (and Patches too)


Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! So sorry to hear the loss of Penny. For sure you have lots of precious stuffs to remember Penny forever. She lived a great life with you. Sending you Lots of Golden Thoughts and LOVE. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Gus said...

We know Penny will be missed, but she will always be alive in your heart. The muzzer has promised us that she will stay with us if/when it has to be our time, and we know that Penny knew you and her vet were with her at the last.

Gussie and Teka

Dexter said...

Oh how sad. Little Penny's body just gave out. She needed your help to make her final journey and I am so glad you were there with her. I have always stayed with my dogs when they have been put down and I think it is better for me that way. To hold them, to feel their spirit leave, to know they are at peace, to say goodbye.

All my love,
Mango Momma

Duke said...

We're glad that you were with Penny at the end. Our hearts are breaking for you. Run free sweet Penny.

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Jake of Florida said...


Thank you for sharing those heartbreaking moments with us -- you know how much we care and it helps to know just what you and she went through -- it has to have been so frightening for you both.

Patches is certainly grieving too, poor baby.

We're sending you our love and continued thoughts to help you get through this loss.

Woofs from the Barkalots,


Kari in Alaska said...

We are so very sorry for your loss


Sally said...

Run free sweet Penny, we will all miss you. We send big hugs to you and Patches -

Sally, Paddy and D

Wyatt said...

Oh Lana,
I'm so sorry to hear about Penny. I don't read all the facebook entries and I'm sorry we are delayed in sending our condolences.
Our hearts are with you during this difficult time.

Sue, Wyatt and Stanzie

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

Oh Lana...we know how hard it was for you to post this, but somehow it comforts us to know dear Penny went to sleep with you beside her. We know how much she loved you and Poppy and Patches. And we know she is with Poppy and her beloved "Dad" now!!

It will take time for both you and Patches to grieve for her. We all heal at different speeds...be gentle with yourself!

My dogs will eat slowly if they are by themselves, but if other dogs are around, they just inhale their food. We know Patches will be looking after you as best she can in her Dale way...

We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers!

Caring barks...

Scruffy, Lacie, Stan and Marilyn

the many Bs said...

oh Lana & Patches, we are so sorry for your loss. you absolutely did the right thing though and saved Penny from suffering any longer. we're sure that she appreciated you staying with her until the end. she is now running and playing with Poppy at the bridge, all legs working, and no pain. she is licking her Daddy's face and full of love. we wish that we could say something to cheer you up. it just takes time. just know that we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers and we are here for you.

woofs from the Bs and our hapless human, peg

Angus said...

We heard about this sad event over at Maggie and Mitch . You write about Penny wih such tenderness. Only dog owners will know and understand what you are feeling today.

The Thuglets said...

One of the hardest decisions we ever have to make about our much loved family members. It is however one last gift we can give them to let them go peacfully and with dignity knowing they are much loved.

We too always stay with our dogs cradling and loving them in their final moments, heartbreaking as it is. It never gets any easier!

Lana & Patches you are in our thoughts.

Karen & Alan

Big Nose Pokes
The Thuglets

My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Hi Lana and Patches, my dad says that as tough as it was, you did the best thing that you could have for Penny. We know that in your heart of hearts, that you would have given your right arm if that was the price to have saved Penny. But obviously there wasn't anything more that could have been done. And so you gave her what we all wish for in the end - a peaceful transition, with the ones we love nearby, from one side of the veil to the other.

Asta said...

Auntie Lana and PAtches too

I know youw heawt is aching howwibully. Momi says it huwts so much you can hawdly stand it when you lose a fuwwkid, but I know that Penny thanked you and is smiling fwom heaven ..you gave hew the last best gift a Mom can give..you made hew pain and suffewing stop and now she is fwee to wun wif all ouw angels and hew Dad..She will always be wif you..that I know and she felt youw love to the vewy last bweaf hewe on eawf..it's not goodby fuwwevew, just fow now
sad smoochie kisses

Mimi said...

My mom person & I are very sorry about your loss. We are saying pawerful prayers for your hearts to heal.

Nubbin wiggles & hugs,
Oskar & Pam

The Black and Tans. said...

Lana we continue to think of you and Patches every day. We are so pleased you have Auntie Wendy as a special friend, she is such a lovely person.

Patches remember to give Mummy lots of cuddles.

Molly, Taffy, Monty and Winnie

Fred said...

We are so sorry and know you will miss Penny so much! Thoughts and prayers with you and Patches.

Sunshade said...

Lana, we are so sorry about what transpired before Penny's passing. However, you made the right decision and I know Penny appreciated that. She knew you did everything you could and more for her.

We are here for you if you need us. I hope Penny bounces back to her happy self soon.

Elaine, Sunshade & Jaffa

Sally Ann and Andy said...

Could Sally And I come up on Sunday to visit? Maybe we could bring some treats out for both you and Patches.

Inky and Molly said...

Since we have read your post we have all been crying. We hope that will take some of the pain out of your heart...
Love, Elfi, Inky & Molly

Huskee and Hershey said...

Oh Lana.. my heart aches for you. I was replaying the scene of the entire episode in my head and I just couldn't stop the tears.

I am glad you were there beside her when she took her last breathe.. hope she is now with her Daddy and Poppy.

Run free, Penny.. we miss you dearly and till we meet again, sweet pal.

bbes tribe said...

Sorry for your loss of Penny. Letting go & being with her & loving her in her final moments was very hard but special. Remember all the good and precious times knowing she is in a better place and running free and is pain free. Our thoughts are with you and Patches..

The Duke said...

Woofs, licks and Aire-hugs to you all. Thank you for letting us know about sweet Penny.

Eric said...

I'm so sorry Lana about your sweet and lovely Penny, my heart aches just for you.I'm sending you many comforting hugs and I'm sure too you and Patches will comfort for each other.

Love B + Eric xxx

hkairedalespack said...

We are so sorry to hear about Penny. Lana, you did everything you could possibly do for her. Sending hugs and heartfelt condolences.

Miley, Mariah, and Pat

animal lover, quilt lover said...

Hi Lana,
How old was Penny?? I just went through losing my Bambi with congestive heart failure too!! I love the painting you did of her by the way!!! Sue was so sweet to have that done for me.
Bambi was 13.8 years old. I surely was hoping for 14 but she was ready to go.
I am so sorry for your lose Lana. Patches is in morning too!!! It is so hard to lose one!!
xx, Tinker & Fern

Rudy said...

So very sorry to hear about Penny! Patches will mourn just like a human will :( Sending hugs your way.

Rudy and his mom

Finni said...

Oh Lana, we're so sorry to hear about Penny!
Hugs, headrubs and nibbles
Finni, Nelly & Elke xxx

Shane Kent Louis said...

We're sorry about Penny, don't worry everything will be settled. Sending you our sweet prayers for your Paw Family! :)

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