My dog died the other day, March 15, 2020 around 3:39am. Ignacio Sancho or just Iggy, a Boston Terrier/Pug/Chihuahua AKA “Chug/Bug” was 15 years and 9 months old, he was my first dog as an adult, Charles’ first dog ever and we are heartbroken.
Our house was Iggy’s 3rd home in the first two years of his life, in fact I was told that he may be unadoptable due to the fact that he tried to bite the foster people’s neighbor. I found this out when they called to cancel my appointment to meet him to which I convinced them to let us meet him anyway, I felt like this was meant to be and when I saw the hearts forming behind Charles’ eyes when he gazed upon the nervous countenance of the little, weirdly though powerfully built fur ball who vaguely resembled Jabba The Huts creepy shoulder pet “Salacious Crumb”, I knew I was right.
After many beach trip adventures, a million snuggles and 3 more dogs over the years, Iggy started winding down a year ago. Last year around this time we really didn’t think he would make it to his birthday in June. There was a shift in him after my cancer diagnosis, it was like he felt he had a job to do.
As I laid on the couch trying to feel better, Iggy was always there. At this point he was a bit unsteady in his hind end but he could still get around, he insisted on being with me, it was like he was giving me energy work. My other dogs did this as well but Iggy was the most insistent. Over the summer he became more incontinent and I couldn’t let him up on the couch or the bed (he had slept with us from the first night in our house, he gave us no choice.) As his mobility declined I would make sure his bed was next to the couch. He was still spirited and stubborn, barking directions to us... BARK: Feed me. Bark: I have to poop! Bark: Lay down so I can sleep!
Iggy‘s front legs were strong until his final end and if he got tired of waiting for us to do his bidding he would scoot himself across the house, glaring at whomever he was disappointed in, he looked like he was rowing an invisible boat, it was as adorable as it was sad, that boy was tough.
I had started feeling better and Iggy started failing rapidly, call me crazy but I really feel that he felt his job was done and it was time for him to leave his poor little body. I knew when he wouldn’t eat or drink the other day that the time was close, it was time for me to be there for him. I drew his portrait, he was awake but very still. Fiona, his pug girlfriend, climbed into the bed with him, not snuggling but looking out, it seemed like she was guarding him, this was weird because she hadn’t really gotten into bed with him in months, I knew it was only a matter of time.
There is labor in birth but there is also labor in death, Iggy settled into a meditation that was going to work his way out of his body. All day he laid in his bed, he wouldn’t take food or water still and every time I tried to pet him he would shake me off as to say “I am working Mama, let me concentrate.” As night fell I moved him by the fireplace, started a fire and made a sleep pallet next to him for me. Charles sat in a chair and we continued our vigil thusly. Iggy‘s eyes were sunken in and made me think he was gazing inward really intensely. They never shut.
I woke up suddenly “Don’t worry Charles, he is still alive” I said. “Kara...He‘s gone.” I looked at my husband feeling confused, then at my first fur baby, he didn’t look dead, he was still warm...No breath, eyes closed...He was gone. I had been telling Iggy for a couple of months “ When you are ready you need to tell your daddy.” That night Charles knelt down to kiss Iggy goodnight before he took himself to bed, “Thank you” he said, at that moment Iggy changed his breathing into what is known as a “death rattle”, the finale, moments later he left his corporeal form like the boss he always was.
R.I.P. Ignacio Sancho, you will always be in my heart.
Until next time ♥️