Huron Plainman | A Penny gone, but not easily forgotten

“My best friend through it all
If I die before I wake up
Feed Jake”
“Feed Jake” – Pirates of Mississippi

We call our pets by many names – fur babies, four-legged children, and when they misbehave, perhaps more colorful names.

The fierce loyalty of our pets is something we wish we could dedicate to just one other human on this planet, but our pets seem to find a way to give that level of devotion to the whole household, be it one, two or ten.

It makes sense that the loss of a pet is devastating and difficult. However, even for someone who makes a living by putting events into words, I sat in front of the computer for several days trying to find the words to express this exact loss.

When I first met my wife, she had a picture of a toy poodle as the home screen on her phone. It took some time to find out that it was a poodle that she had loved very much and had lost.

So when we made the decision to add a dog to our family the first year after buying our home, I searched and eventually found Toy Poodle puppies for sale here in Huron. The first visit we had, we picked up one particular puppy.

She peed on my wife. She licked my face. We were in love.

My wife felt that if we were going to have more than one dog, we should start them both in the house at the same time to ease any dominance issues in the household. She asked for my favorite dog breeds and quickly determined that a 200 pound dog next to the toy poodle could be a dangerous combination.

This is how we became a family with a pug and a poodle.

Naming her was a discussion. My wife loved ironic names. His former poodle was named “Kitty”. I had none of that.

I joked that a poodle was a spoiled dog and a spoiled dog should have a spoiled name, so I suggested “Penelope” (apologies to all Penelopes reading this!), but that was not agree with my wife.

We negotiated to reach Penny, which I will always claim was an abbreviated version of my original suggestion. She says it had more to do with being a character on a TV show we enjoyed.

Penny has become a vital part of our household over the past six years. Unlike our pug, who saw the idea of ​​foster children “more people to play with me,” Penny was initially hesitant to trust the miniature humans who invaded her home.

Once she did, however, she quickly became a favorite with foster children and eventually daycare children, as she appreciated attention and responded with loving attention right away. .

She always thought she could take on any animal of any size, barking intentionally at the TV whenever a cow, horse or other dog was on screen.

We joked that one day we were going to take her to my parents’ farm and let her experience a cow face to face for a little shock value.

We never had that chance.

Around Christmas last year, Penny fell very ill and lost a lot of weight. We finally took her to the vet when she was too lethargic to stand.

What we found was that she had an insulinoma, which indicates the presence of at least one tumor in her pancreas that caused her to overproduce insulin.

As advanced as things were, there really was no cure. We could give her pain medication and encourage her to eat as much as possible to counter the excess insulin in her system that is cutting her appetite.

The first two months of this year were spent balancing the meds so she was just comfortable, with incredibly frequent urinary crashes around the house from the extra insulin in her system.

This settled her system until the end of April, when she started struggling to eat again, very obviously uncomfortable, and withdrawing more from the children in daycare and even our own children. She started having accidents while just sitting on the couch, something that had never happened before.

We were given the option to mix and match drugs again that would simply prolong his life by a few weeks or months, but my wife and I painfully made the decision to end his pain.

An appointment was made for the day after the end of the course, and we just hoped that she would not pass before this date. Luckily, she didn’t.

Thursday evening, we explained to our children what would happen on Friday morning. They were distraught, as expected, even though they knew she was in pain.

Friday morning rolled around, and once we were in the vet’s office, Penny was in my arms, snuggling up as she got a sedative injection and the kids began their goodbyes.

The family gathered as she lay peacefully asleep, caressing her and guiding her across the Rainbow Bridge.

Many tears were shed in the days that followed and will likely be shed again in the days, weeks and months to come.

Every time I whistle, I immediately realize that Penny doesn’t howl with me. Her partner in crime, our pug, howls and searches for her, wondering where her duet partner is.

Although Benjamin Franklin never said it, a phrase often attributed to him is, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

I would say that in the case of our family, a loved and lost Penny is a Penny that will never be forgotten.