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Veterinary Practice News Letter From The Editor: August 2010


Farewell, Mickey

I never expected to miss this dog.

She was a pain in the tush from the very beginning. A friend asked if I’d foster a young black and white cocker spaniel. I agreed and took my two incumbent cockers to meet this little girl on neutral ground.

She got carsick and vomited several times on the way home. Once home, of course, she was mine.

Her first groomer visit revealed a three-circle Mickey Mouse-shaped mark on her back. Noticing it, I said “Mickey!” and she turned to look at me. So Mickey she was.

She immediately embarked on adventures in eating things, edible or otherwise: Dog food, before I knew she was always ravenous. The other dogs’ meds. Delicacies from the cat’s litter box. Items from the trash. We supported the vet industry.

For a short dog, she was a remarkably good counter surfer. Even when she was about 12, I had to put my purse inside the linen closet at night because she would climb onto the dresser to nose through it.

Once, during the holidays, my sister rearranged her furniture to accommodate a Christmas tree. The couch was close enough to the kitchen counter that Mickey jumped for it. Her prize: a cooling pork loin roast.

It was impossible to stay angry with Mickey. Her big brown eyes and enormously long eyelashes melted my heart.

On July 5, when she refused to eat, I knew it was time. Her liver cancer had been manageable till then, her quality of life decent. Her decline was rapid. As I stroked her soft and silky head, we gave her the gift of euthanasia.

For the first time in 24 years, I have no dogs. The cat yowls plaintively. Yet the house is still and lonely.

No, I didn’t expect to miss this dog. But I was very wrong.

Marilyn Iturri, Editor


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