Last Wednesday, the boys and I headed down to Chicago for 2 reasons: see family and I was attending Bloggy Boot Camp. We take Rugby everywhere and he travels pretty well. He does have some hang ups, like not going to the bathroom at ANY pit stops.
Rugby had been to my sister in laws a number of times and it didn’t phase me that anything would go wrong.
As a side note to this story, my pup started having seizures a year ago this past May when he turned 2. They came out of the blue and by the late Fall, he was on 2 different meds. He was such a good boy. He took them like they were treats.
Friday around 4am he had 2 seizures and went back to sleep. In the early afternoon he had one again. I went shopping and when I got back to the house, Rugby was laying outside the front door and it was clear he’d had another seizure.
A couple of hours later, he started peeing on their carpet! I shooed him outside. He never goes to the bathroom in the house. I went into the bathroom and saw Rugby in their backyard running like he was going somewhere.
I wasn’t really concerned because I figured since everyone was going outside he’d just continue on around the house to the front. I mean, where else would he go? About an hour or so later, maybe not even that long, I went outside to see what everyone was doing and realized Rugby wasn’t around.
We all panicked and got in 3 different vehicles and started driving all over to call and try to find him. Unfortunately, it had just passed dusk and we couldn’t see a thing. The kids walked the large property line calling out his name. In fact, Doodle and one of his cousins believe they saw him.
Liz and I called until well after midnight and no Rugby showed up.
I woke up early, got ready for #BBCCHI, and kept debating whether or not to go. I figured I’d take a drive around the neighborhood and see if I could see him. Unfortunately, nothing.
I headed off and waited to hear from the family, because I knew they’d go looking again. I got a call in the afternoon saying they’d found our baby boy. A farmer, a couple blocks over found him in the morning. He’d been hit by a car.
I stayed because I knew I couldn’t do anything back at the house. My puppy was gone. Unfortunately, the rest of Bloggy Boot Camp is a blur of emotion. After 1pm I don’t remember much of what was said.
On my way back to Liz’s, I called the people I knew would want to know and did a lot of crying.
In the morning, we all went out behind the pond where John had dug a grave and put my “ya-ya” (one of my nicknames for Rugby). Liz had kept the collar. John said some sweet words about Rugby being the “fastest, runninest dog ever”, that he was “loved by all of us”, that we’d miss him, and that he was probably running around catching balls in heaven. (I miss my doggie) The boys, theirs and mine, shoveled the dirt onto him.
Coming home wasn’t easy. Buddy kept bringing up all these memories like the time I came home from a country themed dinner and simply for the fact that I was wearing a cowboy hat, this crazy dog didn’t recognize me! He barked up a storm and it was hysterical.
His kennel is in the entry way. His toys are strewn here and there. His placemat in the kitchen begs for his bowls. Buddy wears Rugby’s collar and says he’ll keep it forever. Just fine by me.
Work today was just heavy on my heart, too. I just missed my boy, my shadow. If I moved, he moved. He slept on the floor at the foot of my bed. Every. Single. Night. He was just 3 1/2 yrs old when we lost him. Today when I got home from work I did my typical look to the entryway window where he was always standing watching me. I started crying and missing him all over again.
I almost asked Buddy if he let the dog out yesterday morning and immediately realized that wasn’t necessary anymore. The boys are doing so well, I can’t believe it. I explained that it’s totally ok to cry and that I’ll be doing it a lot. We’ll see how it goes as this new reality sets in.
I did ask them about getting another dog and their first sentences were, “eh, I don’t know, maybe” and then about 10 minutes later, “on our way home tomorrow can we get one? Where’s the pet store?” Wow, that was fast. I would like a new puppy soon, too. We live in the country and I feel much safer with a dog who lets us know someone’s around. He’ll be a fantastic companion to the boys, and everything else a dog brings into your life.