In August 2001 our first child (Hans, a dachshund) passed away from complications of Cushings Disease at age 11. Michelle went from never wanting another dog to wanting another dog NOW in a couple of weeks. We wanted another dachshund, however all we were finding were older, mean dogs in shelters because they didn't play well with others, especially children. After a couple of weeks of looking we found a dachshund / beagle mix with a Beagle rescue that was described as "stand-offish." We knew that was just the dachshund in her, however beagle people have a little different standard of socialness for dogs. Dachshund people appreciate a dog with a little bit of attitude. Anyway, after going through the adoption process we were approved, and Michelle and 5 year old Delaney went to pick up Isabelle from the Vet that was boarding her for BREW. Although I wasn't there I'm told Belle made a beeline for Delaney in a crowded waiting room and settled into her lap like she was greeting a long lost friend. So the decision to bring Belle home was kind of easy.
Their first Christmas with us - 2001
At this point, you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with Fenway. Well, somebody at the Vet's office talked Michelle into bringing Fenway (his name then was Norman) home to foster him, just as a trial for a couple of weeks. So basically, Fenway was the player to named later in a trade deadline deal that got us Isabelle. Belle was a stray, Fenway was dropped at a shelter in WV by a hunter that said he wouldn't hunt. I can believe that, Fenway wouldn't hurt anything, not even a rabbit. Seriously, a rabbit built a nest and gave birth in our fenced in backyard, a yard patrolled by two beagles.
2013 - Looking good for a couple of senior citizens
So that's how Fenway became a member of our family. He remained a member of our family right up until the cancer I discussed here finally got the best of him. Many friends told me I "would know" when it was time. My stress oscillated between a fear I'd be putting him down too early, just out of convenience to us, and a fear we'd make him suffer because we couldn't make the decision. However, this weekend it just became obvious to me that the peaks and valleys of slowing dieing from cancer had levels out into a steady decline, and that we weren't doing him any favors by extending his life further. A check on the scales showed him under 20 pounds, and that sealed it for me. He was wasting away, and it was time to end his suffering.
The people at the Vet were wonderful, as you would expect. They gave him Rolos as a final treat, because why not give a dog chocolate in final moments? It's the ultimate forbidden treat for a dog. I had a momentary issue while waiting alone while they were putting the catheter in him. The room got hot, I got dizzy, and I had to sit down before I fell down. It passed in a few seconds. A couple of small crying episodes in there, and and I managed to get through the procedure ok. As we exited the exam room there was a young family with a small girl and her dog, and the last thing I wanted was for them to have to explain to her why that man was crying. So I held it together long enough to pay the bill and pretty much lost it as a crossed the threshold of the door. I had to sit in the car for a few minutes before I could drive.
*His last photo - a selfie from the Vet appointment he wouldn't come home from (3/2/2015)
Isabelle keeps wandering the house and appears to be looking for Fenway. She is the same age as him but you would never know it. She is quite spry for a 15 year old dog. I hope she stays that way for a few more years.