This is a little overdue -- I haven't been in a blogging mood lately. Laura is off in Montana visiting her family and looking at houses in Missoula. I'm here working like normal and trying to keep the house ready for showings.
Anyway, on Monday, my parents' dog Nicky died. He was an adorable shih'tzu that they've got as a puppy, along with his litter mate Alex. At the time, my mom was reading various histories and decided to name the new puppies Nicholas and Alexandra. Nicky would have been 13 years old this October.
This is a picture of him I took last December, when we went to my parents' house to celebrate Christmas. He's in his favorite spot at the end of the sofa:
I suppose there is never really a "good time" for something like this, but it seems to me that the timing here was awful. Nicky had been having trouble with one foot for a while. They went to the vet and it was just an infection, so they started giving him antibiotics. Last week, my sister and her family came to visit, so the house was full of chaos for days. Neither Nicky or Alex are used to children, so they spent most of the time trying to stay out of the way.
Anyway, a few days into the visit my parents became very worried about Nicky and took him back to the vet. He had lost a significant amount of weight, too much to chalk it up to anxiety over the kids visiting (my theory). X-rays showed he had a tumor in his lungs and the bones in his foot were damaged due to bone cancer. It is unclear whether the cancer started in his lungs and spread to the bones or vice versa.
My parents tried to keep him comfortable and encourage him to eat. They mixed Ensure into water, but he would not drink it. Sometimes he seemed alert, but most of the time he was having trouble breathing. So, on Monday, the day after my sister's family left, they took him to the vet and had him put down.
Nicky's sister Alex still seems to be healthy, although she has started to mope. She's been with Nicky her whole life, so I'm sure his disappearance has affected her. This picture is from last Thanksgiving, the two of them together on the sofa:
This seems to be a bad year for dogs that I know. My good friend Jane lost her beautiful border collie Bandit in March. This is Bandit and Nicky together in my house. We dog-sat for Nicky, Alex, and Bandit last January/February.
They are all just really sweet, wonderful dogs. I have missed Bandit since she died; I know I'm going to miss Nicky as well.