The Puggle

We had a rough night because Bella – puggle extraordinaire – threw up all over the bed. Then I woke up a little later because she wet the bed. Our bed. When we scooped her out, we found out she couldn’t use her legs.

Long before Joe was sick, I used to get into bed and put my cold feet into the small of his back. He hated that. He’d grump at me and tell me to stop because it ruined his whole snuggle into bed routine. I informed him there would be a time in our lives where I wouldn’t be able to do that anymore and he’d be sad. He told me not to jinx our lives.

Clearly that went the wrong way.

I got Bella shortly after we moved into what I wanted to be our happy family home where I would raise the girls into successful, happy adults. Although she was Jay’s dog, she came to live with us before he did. I told people I got her used, and that’s why she had so many bad habits. One of which was sleeping in our bed. I’m about kennel training dogs.

Every night I’d scoop her into our bed, and she took up so much room. This 35-pound puggle easily took up a third of the bed. She would snuggle into my legs and really lean in. I disliked that. Many nights I couldn’t get comfortable because all of my leg space was occupied by an aging, emotionally needy puggle. Probably how Joe felt when I stuck my ice feet into his back when we got into bed.

Every time we took her to the vet, they told us to cut her food back. She was overweight. Which, she was a puggle and if you bread two dogs with obesity problems, you get a puggle. (Alex’s observation) Last fall, after she was diagnosed with kidney disease, we decided that she could eat whatever she wanted. We started giving her people food and turned her into a people food begging monster. She’d flip her food dish at us and we, naturally, filled it back up. The directive to keep her at a cup a day went out the window. She was allowed to be fat and happy.

Z named her princess-baby-cupcake. It’s what we called her, although my family teased by reissuing the name princess baby butterface. She didn’t care. Mostly because her grasp of the English language was rudimentary at best and she couldn’t understand the difference.

Although I got her used, she was truly my dog. She followed me everywhere, even when she struggled to get up the stairs, she would follow me up and down as I went back and forth between my office and the kitchen or living room. At night, I’d scoop her into our bed. Jay told me that when she was a puppy, she could make it up on her own. Those days long behind us.

This morning at the vet, the doctor told us that we could consider leaving her with them – they would do an MRI and try to treat whatever it is that’s keeping her legs from working. Jay and I declined. Like I said, her English is terrible and if we left, she wouldn’t know why. She’d feel abandoned when she needed comfort. I wouldn’t be able to explain that it was for treatment. I couldn’t leave her alone when she was most scared and in pain.

When PBC (Princess-Baby-Cupcake) first came to live with us, she was supposed to be Z’s dog. That’s was Z’s intention and certainly mine as well. I took Z to PetSmart and she declared that pink was her signature color (shout out to Steel Magnolias). Z picked out a pink and brown collar, a pink bowl that said princess, a pink food mat, and a new pink bed. We made a new tag for her collar with Z’s phone number, followed by Jay’s number, then mine.

When Z passed, I didn’t change the collar. First, I just couldn’t. It was her gift from Z and I wasn’t going to disturb the workings of the universe. Second, she was old – she wasn’t going to run away. She needed to stick by home, near me. It didn’t matter that Z’s phone number was listed, no one was going to call.

Last fall, when we went to Alabama for Thanksgiving, I got her two new beds. One for my office, one for under her perch in the kitchen. She loved her kitchen spot – it was where she could see everything. Her bed was broken in, but she wasn’t about to abandon it, so I just put the new bed under the old bed so she’d have more cushion. She liked that.

When she was younger, occasionally we’d come home from work to discover that she’d moved her bed from the kitchen to the sunlight in the family room. I always loved that, because although she was a little bit of a dummy, she knew what she liked. And she like sunning herself.

After we decided we weren’t going to further treat PBC, I snuggled her tight while the techs came into the room to place an IV. The doctor came in later. She’d mentioned Bella was the first dog the vet had ever spayed. We didn’t request this vet in particular when we made the appointment. That was just what the universe worked out for us. And, I suppose the vet too. We signed the paperwork for an individual cremation, and I held her little life in my arms while the medications were administered to put her to sleep and then to stop her heart. And even though I couldn’t explain what was going on, she did snuggle her head into the crook of my arm and lived her last in my love.

Zero Stars. Do not recommend.

3 thoughts on “The Puggle

  1. LeAnne DeGood February 24, 2020 / 220202America/Detroit

    Brought me to tears, our dog is really Bryce’s dog so this spoke to me and I fear the time we will have to make this choice and experience her loss. Sending support and caring as you work through another loss and connection to Z.


  2. Sarah Harrington February 24, 2020 / 220202America/Detroit

    Oh Amy I’m so sorry… I can’t even imagine you guys without her in tow. On the bright side,I think she will meet Cletus in heaven, and if ever two dogs were soulmates, you know it was those two. Sending love to you all.


  3. Lori Lundy February 25, 2020 / 220202America/Detroit

    Amy Dear,
    I am so sorry to hear this news about Princess-Baby-Cupcake. (Zero Stars-Do Not Recommend) Your family was so fortunate to inherit a “used” puggle though and she was one lucky pup.
    I do understand your pain of losing a dog so lovingly linked to Z.
    Scout was our boy’s childhood lab. He was allowed to jump up on only one piece of furniture-Logan’s bed. He was a great source of comfort to Logan and to us after Logan died.
    When Scout got sick and we had to euthanize him, it was awful. I was thankful though that we had him with us, to love us, and remind us of the happy memories, if only for a few extra years.
    You have my love and empathy Amy.


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