I know what you’re thinking. There is nothing funny about having a pet die. For the most part, I would agree with you. I’ve been doing rescue of small, senior dogs for the last 10 years and I have buried almost that many. One nice thing about adopting seniors, if you don’t like them that much, you don’t have to put up with them too long. I have had sweet dogs, crazy dogs, blind and deaf ones, have lost 4 to congestive heart failure – but I have never had a bad dog. Sometimes they don’t bond with you, especially the deaf ones, but seniors are always so grateful and just want to curl up with you. I’ve been fortunate to get to be the forever home for a number of dogs.
One in particular touched us deeply, though she was with us for a very short time. We actually got her from a private rescuer in Los Angeles and brought her back to Idaho. She was a 15 year old Papillon mix named Bette Davis and she was absolutely the sweetest little dog you could ever meet. And she was just as soft as a rabbit. We fell absolutely in love with her.
I tried to take her in to get her teeth worked on, and my vet said we absolutely could not put her under anesthesia. She said her heart was so bad she didn’t think she’d make it through. So we fed her soft food and gave her pain medication for her bad teeth.
Sure enough, within 3 months of coming to live with us, February 14th, 2006 this little angel succumbed to heart failure and we had to help her. At the vets office, they gave us a box to take her home in. We wrapped her in her blanket and put her in her box and tearfully took her home. While my husband dug a place for her in my flower bed, I wrote her name and message on her box, and then took her outside.
I handed the box to my husband, who suddenly started laughing. Frankly, I thought he had snapped. Finally, he was able to show me what he was laughing about. Our vet had given us a box that had held medication of some kind, and stamped across the side in big letters were the words, “BEST BEFORE FEB 2006”.
Of course I called my vet, because we thought it was hysterical. They were a bit mortified, and now they have special boxes to send peoples pets home in. But we will always remember Bette Davis, and how she truly was “Best Before Feb 2006.”