In Loving Memory of
Mr. MaGoo (1986-2003)
My sweet Little Hammy, napping on his favorite afghan on daddy's recliner. Though cataracts had dimmed his eyesight, nothing, not even his illness, seemed to dim his adorable Happy-Hound Dog personality. And he was still quite the handsome dog for 17 years old! Just look at his shining, gleaming fur.
A Few Images of Hammy
The Table-Dancing Dog...
...Caught in the act...in 1997
At age 17, he no longer could get up on the table, but he still danced as always on the floor. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. I called it his little "buffalo dance". How could a dog be so adorable? Even when he was very sick the last few days of his life, his courageous heart was still there, and his tail wagged to beat the band and his eyes still glistened with love. He was still my sweetheart of a pal to the very end. I will NEVER forget you Hammy.
Ice Storm - Early Dec. 2002
Hoggie-Doggy loved to nose around in the snow. It was just beginning to snow, and there was but a little dusting on the ground, but The Hog had to go out and snort around in it. Hammy's legs were only about 4 inches long, so when the snow was deeper, the Ham-Hock made three tracks in the snow wherever he waded through it. You figure out why...<teehee>
Sad to say, that our dear little Hoggie-Doggie passed away on March 30th, 2003,
after a valiant battle for over a month with kidney failure and resulting complications.
Needless to say, my family is terribly sad.
Hoggie fought a valiant fight for three weeks, but he was in such pain that I finally felt it was time. I couldn’t stand to see him suffer and he not be able to get around that last morning. He woke up with some sort of paralysis in one back leg on the morning of March 30th, 2003, and I watched him suffer all morning, unable to walk and wincing in pain. Scott took him out in the front yard to go potty and he sat in the warm sunshine and basked, his nose pointed upward and eyes squinted, loving every second of it. They spent a good hour together before Scott brought him back inside. I watched them together, but stayed back aways, giving them "special" time together. Mr. Magoo had lived ten years longer than most dogs of his size do, the vet had told me a few days before that. It was pretty astounding that he should live to be 17 years old! On the average, a dog of his size could only expect to live about 5-7 years, he told us. Hoggie lived to be 17 years old! He lived a good, long, Happy life. Still, I wanted him to go on living, and resented Death trying to take him from me.
I hope he is now with my son, Charles, as he was Charlie's pal in life. Hammy was so sad after Charlie was taken from us all. Once, several years after our Charlie was killed, we took MaGoo with us to town. We stopped at the video store to pick up a few movies - I waited in the truck with Hammy. As we sat in the truck waiting on Scott to return, I noticed some young teenage boys, skater kids, coming up the street, walking along the road in our direction. We were parked well into the parking lot, about 100 feet from the road, and they were perhaps 1/8th of a mile distant from where we sat. One boy in particular had caught my eye, as he reminded me so of my Charlie - his stance, his build, his clothing and the way he wore it, and his walk was identical to my son's. Even the way he skipped around the other boys, teasing and being silly, like my Charlie did with his friends. I smiled remembering my son, who was so like that - so full of life and so blithe, but little tears filled my eyes, wishing he was my son walking along there like that. Crazy thoughts fled through my mind. What if it was Charlie? What if that boy in the car wreck had not been my boy? I knew in my heart this was not true, but still, I nearly ran over and checked to see if it was him...silly as that seems. And then I noticed that Magoo had also spotted that boy, and his nose was pressed against the window and his tail was up in attention, curled over his back and he wagged it as dogs do sometimes, when they are hopeful about something, or in greeting their family or even another dog they like. And then he began to have a fit and bounce around inside the truck, all fifty pounds of him bouncing around all over my lap! He yelped a little yelp and began to bark at the boy. The boy did not pay him any attention, so he barked louder and louder. I rolled the window down a bit so he could sniff the air and catch the boy's scent. He thought that boy was Charlie, too, I knew he did, but I could not convince him otherwise. It made me cry all the more, for then I realized that Mr. Magoo had never forgotten "His Boy", even though it had been so many years that had passed.
But as the boys approached the road front nearer to us, I could begin to see that he did not look like our boy in the face at all, He did not have the face of an angel as my son did, and his eyes were dark, not sky blue like the heavens above. I looked toward MaGoo whose nose had been pressed so hard against the window, and I saw that MaGoo could see he was not our boy, too, for his little tail that had come to full attention, curled high up over his back, began to slowly sink back down to it's normal place, and he sighed a sigh and made one last little muffled yelp, and he curled up on the seat next to me, his head on my lap, and all fifty of his pounds seemed weighted fully in those big front feet of his and they were pushing full on my lap, and I swear, there were tears in his big brown orbs. I sobbed more than ever, and hugged my little Hoggie - partly to let him know how much I loved him, and partly because he had not forgotten "our Boy", and partly to console his breaking heart, and mine.
Hammy was a very special little guy. Every where I took him, people loved him. He was friendly and good with other dogs, as well. He was patient and long suffering with the grandchildren, just as he had been with my children when they were growing up. He had been there for us all! But he never forgot a person or dog, but the person or dog had ever acted with aggression toward "His Kids" or me in any way, he NEVER forgot it nor forgave it.
It is just so hard, even still, to realize that "My Little Hoggie" is not with me at my side any longer. He was one of the family...one of my kids, nearly. I miss him so much...and I will always miss him, I suppose. My little five year old Granddaughter still tells me sadly from time to time, how much she misses Hammy. God, how he adored her! But I am glad he no longer has to suffer. I kept him alive for three weeks, flushing him twice a day with Sodium Solution I.V., after his Kidneys and liver had failed, and for awhile, he seemed to get better. But further tests showed the numbers had risen dramatically and that he was not getting better. He just felt a little better. The Vet put him on medication for the pain - the kind they give to cancer patients. I hated to give it to him because it really made him woozy and it seemed to scare him. He always felt really good right after the flushing though, and I took him for his regular walks on the leash every day, as long as he was able. Mike, our other dog, would go along happily too. It was a great time and they enjoyed it very much. But the walks had to be shortened every day or so, and soon they began to be too much for my little pal. After nearly 4 weeks into his illness, I had to halt them altogether.
And then he had a turn for the worse, and tremors began in his hind legs and I could see he was in great pain. It had finally gotten to him, my poor little Happy Hound Dog. Even so, with all his suffering, he still was wagging his tail and gave me a big slurpy kiss that morning. We spent a long time with him that morning, and it was with the saddest regrets that I finally told Scott it was time. I was thankful that it was a warm and sunny day that day. He enjoyed every second of the trip in the car to the vet's, and we sat outside for over an hour with him. Scott put him up on the back of the car and we held him so he would not fall off. He loved sitting on the car in the sunshine. He seemed his old self once again...alert, happy to be with us. His big black, bear-like nose worked the air, taking in all the smells, and he watched every car that passed by on the road with great interest. I wondered if maybe we didn't need to be doing this after all. Maybe we were being too hasty here. After all, what right have we to decide who should live and who should die anyway? Isn't that God's decision? Shouldn't he be allowed to live every drop of his life to the fullest? Isn't it a sin to rob him of his life, even if it is in pain, it is still better than death!!! He sat there happily licking my face and hands, his nose once again pointed toward the sun. And then the sodium solution I had given him in the I.V. that morning, began to wear off, and all the strength that he had mustered began to wane. His legs gave out and he slid down onto his belly on the car. We had to support him at that point and his legs convulsed a little and he winced. I saw that he was in pain, and my flickering hope that I had felt only moments before, was immediately extinguished. He had fought a valiant fight, but it was time. His time...and I knew that he knew it, too. I wished it could be me and not him...and I cried in anguish deep onside my heart, but would not let the tears come. I sat there like a stone - not seeing, not feeling and not wanting to...just rigid. My little Piggy, my Hoggie-Doggie, my Hammy-Mammy, was going to be out to death, however "humanely" they told me it was to do it for his sake...or death would just take him anyway, they said, and he would do it slowly but surely, and in great agony.
How I hated life...that it robs us of the ones we love so much - that there is such suffering. Such a cheat is Death!
And life goes on around us, even at that moment, and we resent it for doing so, oblivious to our pain and sorrow and loss, and indifferently, it goes on, and no one else notices the vacancy. It was the same as I felt, and still feel, about losing my Charlie. How dare they go on living and how dare they be happy, when he lies cold and still and the warmth of his once hot little body slowly ebbs away as a tide. He smiles no more. He lights up my life no more. The emptiness I feel is too much to bare, and his vacancy can never to be filled by any other!
I hope they are together, now, the Boy and his Dog, as they were in life.
What a great little guy. What a courageous heart. I will always remember you, Hammy!
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