Just as I was recovering from being sick and not able to eat, I woke up at 2am with both Kira and Goof laying tightly against me. While it is normal for Goof to sleep near me, Kira doesn’t like to be within 2 feet of anyone and never against them. Both were shivering.
We normally keep the house on a schedule to save energy and let it drop down to 60 at night. But when I checked the thermostat it was down to 53. I pushed the temperature up to 68 but nothing happened. It was 19 degrees F outside.
I put a small blanket over Goof and one on Kira. Goof stayed curled up and slowly stopped shivering. Kira kicked her blanket off and kept pressed against me shivering.
First thing in the morning I called the AC repair company that installed the unit 2 years ago and they said they were booked but would try to find a way to fit us in for an emergency visit. We pay $400 a year for a maintenance contract that includes the cost of any emergencies and adds a bit of priority to us.
During the day we tried various things and found that it we flipped the emergency switch by the unit that it could be brought back to life for about 15 minutes. I didn’t think it was particularly good for the unit to keep flipping that switch. So we found that going to the thermostat and turning it to off for a minute and then back to heat that it would run the same 15 minute cycle. So, all day long the dogs huddled together and shivered while wore long coats and kept cycling the unit. We got the house up to about 63 by 5pm.
At about 6pm the repair person arrived and after about 30 minutes of testing he found that a protective switch was failing and told us that we could keep cycling it without damaging it. We got the house up to 66 but it will drop again. We got out a little oil space heater and have put it in the room with Kira so that she won’t shiver so bad.
I haven’t eaten anything in 4 days but today I finally made some eggs and was able to keep them down. It always messes me up when a dog goes down. Somehow these critters just get to me and I cannot handle their exit. I know what we did for Remy was right. He would have slowly died from not being able to eat. I just hate doing it. I think I get more upset as I get older.
Life is getting a little back to normal for me. For the first time in a week I didn’t accidentally put Remy’s bowl out. Every day this week I have fixed 4 breakfast for the dogs and then fussed at myself for putting a bowl down for Remy. I made some eggs and kept them down. This has been the worst birthday that I can remember.
But life goes on. Goofy McGoofface is curled up under my office chair and Kira is sleeping soundly. It is 26 outside and the house is below 60. It is going to be a bad winter.
On Friday Remy stopped eating and got lethargic. Then Sunday I heard him fall at about 3am and got up to find him laying in the floor in the kitchen. I would have stayed home with him but I had to lay off about 1/4 of my staff so it wasn’t an option to stay home. I carried him to his bed and got him a bowl of water which he seemed happy to have. He drank 2 bowls of water but still didn’t get up before I had to leave for work.
I have been through this enough that I knew it was the end. I hugged him and said my goodbyes. Mike was able to stay home from work and called the vet. The vet came out to the house and Mike held him as they put him down. He had esophageal paralysis and there wasn’t anything that could be done.
Here is the last picture I have of Remy. He is the yellow one in the middle. This was just before our Stump burning party. He was waggy and healthy through Thanksgiving and overnight he just changed.
Remy was the first rescue dog that got us involved in HART (www.hart90.org). He was a really good dog. He was a weak alpha but he never had accidents and never destroyed anything (other than when his tail knocked stuff off of tables). He was about 9 months old when we rescued him from hurricane Katrina in 2005. He lived 11 years with us.
Remy started life in a difficult situation. When we got him, he had been trapped in the floods and had learned to fend for himself along with a dog named Riley. During the first few months of having him he was running in the yard with the other dogs and his foot broke for no apparent reason. He fell over and we ran to help him. You could feel the bone grinding but he never bit us or lashed out while we were checking out his foot.
Remy was the only dog that couldn’t be taught not to bark. He would wake the house up if you didn’t get up to give him food. And the entire time you were putting the food in the bowls, he would bark. It was frustrating but now that he is gone, I miss it. Every morning and evening I still get out food for him and then have to kick myself because something is missing. It is a dog that is missing.
Friday came along and I was off for my birthday. I had Mike cancel dinner as I just am too sad to celebrate. My father died on my birthday and it seems that my dogs die close to my birthday. I think I have had one dog (Grendel) that didn’t die right near my birthday.