25 Apr 2012

Four-legged furry critter, adieu.

Luna, canine elegance.
Not a good weekend. No siree. I've been trying to write this post for a couple of days now, but just couldn't seem to do it. Opening iPhoto and trying to select photos would just make me start crying all over again... as do a number of other random (or canine-related) things.

It's amazing how a four-legged furry critter that you swore you would have nothing to do with and didn't want to care about, just manages to wrap herself around a part of your soul and won't let go. What is it with that? Not fair! I said NO when we were asked if the family should get another dog, because they lived in an apartment and it wasn't a good living environment for a medium-big dog. But my sister had been insistent for years on getting another dog, my mom fell in love with the pup, and the final straw was that it was the runt of the litter, no one wanted her, and my aunt had decided to sacrifice her if no one took her soon. So I finally said "I'm living in Belgium, not at home, do what you will but I wash my hands of it".
And for several years I actually managed to be pretty indifferent to her, it was like when you visit a friend's house and you play with their dog a bit, then leave and there's nothing there. Part of that was because I missed the crucial puppy phase. Much easier to be indifferent when you don't spend time with them as an adorable irresistible pup. But then I moved back to Spain several years ago, and started keeping the dog with me for protracted periods of time to give my dad a break from dog cares (since my sisters had both left the country and couldn't take her with them my dad ended up being the main caretaker). And bit by bit, one tail-wagging let me bring you my toy so we can play welcome at a time... I was snagged. And by some cruel irony of fate, the person who wanted nothing to do with her at the start and resisted the pull for as long as possible, ended up being the person who was with her at the end. And if possible I don't ever want to go through that heart-wrenching experience again! 
I took her out Friday morning (my parents left her with me when they went out of town for the weekend) and she suddenly emptied her bladder in the elevator (never done this before!) and when we walked out of the compound and across the street she just plopped down on her side and wouldn't budge. Trying to move her was like dragging a sack of potatoes. No amount of cajoling, begging, petting etc. would get her to move, or even lift her head or react. 5', 10', 15', 20'... I though she was going to die then and there. I went and got the car, opened the door to lift her in... and she just got up and jumped in herself?!?!?! Spent a couple of hours at the vet, completely listless (usually she's antsy in the "get me out of here" sense), like a marionette. We tried a few drugs, I took her home with me... and in the garage she does it again: plops down and no moving! I open the car door and in she goes! I have a sinking feeling that she might feel the need to be "home" so I take her to my parents' place... and no problem getting her from the car to the elevator there! But once upstairs it's lying down on the balcony, not moving, drinking or eating for the next 24h. No way to entice her to go out (usually magic words which have her sprinting for the front door). When I woke up Saturday morning she had actually peed and pooped where she lay... and not moved from there. A critically bad sign in any animal. I called my parents, my dad got in the car to come back to help me deal with it all (but 2h drive from Valencia), I called the Vet to see if they could send someone over to help me get her down to the car to take her to the clinic. And once at the clinic... well let's just say it was pretty fast. It's funny how peaceful can be so brutal.

She'd had a few bad moments last Fall because of a malformed hip, and we'd been treating her with anti-inflammatories for months... but when I picked her up at my parents' house Thursday evening she was in great form, running around outside playing her favourite game: chasing rocks! What a change one night can bring... 

begging Kat to just throw that rock already!

I have a photo of the end. My sister asked me for it. But I'm not sure I want to put it up to remember. I don't think I'll delete it. Just leave it gathering cyberdust on my computer for now. I'd rather remember her chasing rocks, or digging them out of the snow (she loved the snow the couple of times we took her to the mountains behind Alicante when they were white!).

Better yet Queen of Mediterranean!

"yes I pulled this massive thing out of the Med all by myself!"

She was the one and only canine aquatic geologist! Time and time again people were astonished to see her with her head under the water for over a minute, then come up with this massive rock and swim with it in her mouth!

She loved swimming, looked like a seal or an otter when you saw her above water.

From below beware those front claws! :p

If we were in the water then it was impossible for her not to be as well, even if she got tired! She'd go out for a minute then jump back in to play!

Funny though, she loved the water to swim in, but hated it in the form of rain and baths! :p

Although she was a big fan of the bathtub as a place to hide in whenever there were firecrackers or fireworks to be heard in the streets (the two weeks of Hogueras were torture for her!).

If something else was bugging her she's lie down with her head under something (ever since she got too big to hide her whole body under beds or chairs).

She loved giving kisses.

Loved running on the beach (*sigh* all that sand when she got home!)

Run Luna Run!

Loved her stuffed animals.

And best of all loved the forbidden sleeping with my sister in bed!

Always very well behaved, even when submitting to strange human customs...

celebrating New Year 2012

Now she's off somewhere, as my sister says hopefully with Suri her sister, running.

Farewell Luna querida. Te echaremos mucho de menos.

LUNA  May 20 2002 - April 21 2012


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for the pain you feel. I lost my little Nikky 6 years ago, but he lives forever in my heart...as Luna does in yours.

  2. You made me cry, too. She was a beautiful creature, and she brought so much love into so many lives. She left doing the same thing, I can attest to that because she has touched my heart, too. So sorry to hear of this, Cris. Sending you cyber hugs.

  3. Sorry to hear this - she looks like a lovely dog.

  4. Oh, Cris. This breaks my heart...it reminds me of my own cherished Blackie (yes, that was her name).

    At least she had a wonderful life and lived it to the fullest. Muchos besos y abrazos, querida.


  5. Thank you all very much! Have been feeling weird all week... every time I go over to my parents' place I half expect her to greet me at the door. *sigh*


  6. What a beautiful, and heartbreaking, post. Its always so difficult to lose a pet. All the photos were lovely. I hope you have a nice weekend.

  7. I'm so sorry for your loss! I've only had to go through the loss of one pet and I know how it can wrench your heart. It'll get better and you'll have stories to tell about her for the rest of your life! It sounds like she was a wonderful companion.

  8. I am so, so sorry. We had an Irish Setter for 15 years and I was with here at the end too...it is heart wrenching for SURE and I bawled all the way home. They become a part of you for sure, and even though it has been years since she passed, I still miss her.

  9. Again thank you all for your kind words!


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