The cycle of Life…..Life…funny how life goes sometimes, isn’t it? Your driving down the highway of Life…not a care in the world…

You  think everything is going along smoothly and then WHAM you get hit…one bad thing after another.  You just keep getting hit, until you think you can’t take anymore….You get to the point where you almost start to find the humor in it, then you get hit with another crisis and this time you start to laugh, thinking to yourself, “Come on…are you serious?” “Is this Real Life!” okay, then “Well, keep it coming. Why not? I can take it!”  My month of September was one of those months, filled with sadness, sorrow, frustration and a broken heart.

On the last day of September, one of our pugs, we have three, hurt herself jumping from the front seat of the car to the back seat. She should have been confined in the car, we are well aware of that, but it was only a short trip, down to the gas station. Of course this happened on a Sunday, when nothing is open. There is an emergency Veterinarian Hospital 80 miles away…..but we decided to wait until Monday, when we could go to our regular Vet. You see what happened was, when Leela jumped from the front seat to the back seat while my husband was in the gas station, she hurt her back hind leg. We thought she had sprained or possibly broke her leg, neither one of us could figure out which leg it was, because she couldn’t walk at all.

I need to back up here for just a minute… Leela is a  rescue dog. She came to us from NIPRA, Northern Illinois Pug Rescue. What NIPRA does for these rescued pugs is remarkable. The love and care they show these dogs goes above and beyond. They have rescued so many pugs and given them fur-ever homes. All dog rescue services deserve a huge Thank-you. If you are looking for a charitable cause to donate money, food, blankets and/or time, I would suggest an animal rescue or animal shelter in your area. These hard working, caring people are true hero’s in my book.

As I said, Leela is a rescue dog and she has been with us for almost eleven years. She is the sweetest dog…being a rescue dog, she has had her fair share of problems. A few years ago we had to have all of her teeth removed, which isn’t that unusual for pugs but being a rescue dog, her teeth weren’t the best from the get go. Another problem she has had, is her bones aren’t as strong as they should be, leading to hip problems. So when she hurt her leg, we assumed it was her hips. Over the last few months, we noticed she couldn’t run or walk that well and it seemed like, at times, mainly at night when she was tired, she was dragging her back leg. Again, we thought it was her hips. My husband had made an appointment for her for the second week in October, when he was on vacation. Then she hurt her leg.

On Monday, October 1st my husband took Leela into the Vets office to have her hind leg checked out. We weren’t prepared for what we were about to be told. Three hours later, when my husband came home, I took one look at him and knew it wasn’t good. He mumbled something about lasers and I asked him three times, “What does that mean?” and he said that it’s her spine….they can do laser treatments on her, which might help but she is paralyzed from the middle of  her back, down through her legs……she won’t be able to walk again. The laser treatments will help, and will possibly give her some movement back in her legs but other than that, there is nothing else they can do. Because of her age and the fact it’s her spine, they don’t want to preform surgery, which isn’t an option anyway…..She will need help eating, going to the bathroom, everything. I couldn’t believe what he was telling me…I knew this day was coming, as dog owners or cat owners or any animal for that matter, we know deep down that someday we will more than likely have to put our pets down but we, as pet owners, don’t think about that…after all, it’s the cycle of life…..isn’t it? I guess I didn’t think that the cycle of life would come knocking on my door….so soon.

If you are an animal owner and animal lover, you know exactly how I’m feeling…..heart-broken. Pets become members of our family. They are always there for us, in the good times and the bad. Leela is my dog…she follows me everywhere….she never lets me out of her sight. She would lay on the bathroom floor when I showered, she sleeps under the covers, at the foot of my bed, when I’m in the kitchen, she’s there watching and waiting for any scraps that might fall to the floor or she waits for a ‘sample’ of whatever I was making. When I leave the house, she waits for me by the back door,  when I was sick, she would lay next to me, if I was having a bad day, she’d be there for me. She’s my very first dog…she is a loyal, sweet dog….I love her and she loves me, it’s as simple as that.

However long Leela has left, we are going to do everything we can to make her life as comfortable as possible. Hopefully the laser treatments will help and she’ll be with us through the holidays. Leela gave us so much and now it’s our turn to give back to her. I never knew or understood how difficult it was or would be to lose a pet…..I know now.

Northern Illinois Pug Rescue