G'Night, Gretchie-Goo

We lost our Gretchie girl today. She had been sick for a while and we just couldn't bear to let it go on any longer. By the time she died, she hadn't eaten in days and just looked miserable. I bought her a fluffy new pillow from Costco a couple weeks ago and she had scarcely left the pillow for days.

When we adopted Gretchen nearly eight years ago, she was skin and bones. She had been abandoned in a house and had not had a proper meal in a long time. Determined to make up for lost time, she promptly got chubby. We affectionately called her Fat Gretchen and sang, "Whoa fat Gretchen, bam-a-lam" to the tune of "Black Betty." Later, she slimmed down a bit but the nickname mostly stuck.

Gretchen was around two when we adopted her, and I had high hopes of competing in obedience and agility with her. I took her to lots of classes and her main response was: "No." She just wasn't having it. She did earn a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certificate, but only by the skin of her teeth. The tester was a friend of mine so she may have even thrown us a figurative bone on that one.

Gretchen was technically my daughter's dog, so I know my baby will be hurting for a while. She sent me a heartbreaking text from school earlier: "Is she already gone?" Fortunately, my daughter is old enough to understand that we simply could not let Gretchen suffer any longer. As far as what took our sassy brindle Boxer down, we are assuming it was cancer (and the vet agrees that this is a likely scenario). She was tentatively diagnosed with pancreatitis and we did treat her for that, spending hundreds of dollars and trying to make her eat prescription food. After a while, my husband and I recognized the futility of it. We knew it was something more ominous than pancreatitis. Just getting the meds into her started to feel like an act of violence. I had to force them down her throat - and this was a dog who happily ate ANYthing, including poop. It struck me today how she had come full circle, in a sad and terrible way. She was, once again, skin and bones. I like to think that the years in between were good ones, though.  We sure loved her. She had the "fastest nub wag in the midwest" and even this afternoon, her nub still vibrated when I looked into her eyes and said, "You were a good girl, Gretchie-goo."

Our Fetchin' Gretchen was feisty but sweet. She threatened every dog in our neighborhood with physical violence, but she was always a devoted companion to her people. I think she was the only Boxer we've had so far that didn't have some degree of separation anxiety. She would happily follow a treat into her crate and not cause a ruckus once she was in there. I have so many good memories of her . . . like the time I stupidly took her to the dog park and she pinned a beagle within seconds of our arrival. Okay, maybe that's not a "good" memory but it was just how she rolled. She loved our annual trip to the cabin, a place where she was allowed to lay on the couch and got to spend long, lazy days with her people. It won't be the same without her.

I hope you are well and whole again, Gretchie. We miss you already.

She barely got to wear her new holiday collar. :-(


Brenda & Nick said…
So very sorry Claudia and Family!��

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