Saturday, October 7, 2017

The last of the Three Musketeers

I'm very sad to report that last Monday afternoon at 3:30pm we had our beloved PG put down. Her health had been failing, as was her remaining back leg, and we were finally forced with the terrible realization that she wasn't getting better and it was 'time'.

PG's actual name was Princess Gizmo. She was a native Hawaiian, born on the island of Oahu in December of 2001. I was at sea when we (and by 'we' I mean Jeannie) finally moved from our fleabag rental apartment into our newly purchased condo. Not long after that Jeannie realized that being alone sucked, so she went down to the Honolulu Humane Society and picked out our little darling. She'd only had PG a few days when my ship pulled in unexpectedly and I surprised her (ON  Valentines Day). And then she surprised ME with our very first little fur-baby! Jeannie wanted to name her "Princess" and I thought she looked more like Gizmo (from the movie Gremlins)...her ears were pretty big for the size of her. We compromised and she became Princess Gizmo, but we started calling her PG pretty much right away.

I figure I'll just stop narrating too much and finish this with pictures from beginning to end. Know that this post is WAY long, and likely only Jeannie and I have any real interest in it...I think it was very theraputic for me to make it...remembering all the good times we had. I know that I teared up a LOT in the making of this. So here we go on my memorial tribute to PG.

 Sitting in my lap at the computer in the Hawaii condo. Just LOOK AT THOSE EARS!  She was only bout 2 1/2 months old here, having been with us maybe a week.

In the kitchen with Jeannie....look at how tiny she is...she walks under the open-dishwasher!

Playing with one of my socks in her bed

Who needs a paper shredder when you've got PG?

On a jungle hike

 Our little hiker was a real tough-girl (here she's growling at a lizard or something)

 The face of pure mischief

 Growing up fast, too big for her bed all of a sudden!

 Going for a drive in Hawaii in my old Monte Carlo SS
Playing in the sand and surf at Hickam Beach, Oahu.

9/11/02, driving to our new home in Santa Maria after leaving Hawaii (yes, we flew out on the one-year-anniversary of the Twin Towers coming down). We'd shipped Jeannie's car a month before we left, and mine the day before. That way her car was waiting in Long Beach so we'd have a car waiting for us. We took a shuttle from LAX to Long Beach to get the car, then did the 3 to 4 hour drive north to our new home. PG taking it all in stride, sleeping after her terrifying 5 hour airplane ride in a crate.

She's all grown up now, in the new house (with no furniture)! Hard to see in this picture but I'm painting the can see I've rolled the walls down to about a foot off the carpet, and I have a drop cloth taped on the outer edge of the carpet to the wall.

 Sweet Pea comes into our family in May 2003. They got along pretty great right from the start.

Christmas 2003

Hiking in the hills outside of Santa Maria with PG and Sweet Pea

Halloween 2004, PG is a hot dog (Jeannie bought this costume). Sweet Pea was a pumpkin this year (also store bought outfit) but wasn't in this picture, she HATED Halloween and the attention. PG always LOVED Halloween...she'd stand by the door so all the kids could pet her.

Christmas 2004

Halloween 2005, Sweet Pea is now a hamburger to PG's Hot dog. I made the hamburger outfit.
Sweet Pea wasn't impressed at ALL.

Sydney comes into our family, May 2006.

Halloween 2006. I made Sydney's french fry outfit to go along with the burger.

Christmas 2006

Going to the beach, April 2007 (still have my 85 Monte Carlo SS w/ the Hawaii seat-covers). The babies LOVED to go in the car. We'd usually stop by a Burger King on the way home and they'd each get a Junior Whopper (just burger and bun) as a treat.

Here they are AT the beach. Are these some happy fur-babies or WHAT!
Gosh they LOVED the beach. In this picture Sydney is all wet as she had jumped into the surf after a seal (I had to run into the surf to get her before the waves took her out).

Halloween 2007, PG now has a Daddy costume too. I called them Fast Food! (VERY FAST)

Christmas 2007

Halloween 2008, the Three Musketeers (these were also Daddy-made costumes). PG was in her heyday...she just LOVED the attention she got! Look at her preening over there!

Christmas 2009

Happy New Year 2010, formal party dress

 At the beach June 2010

The pack just LOVED the beach!

Posing for the Christmas card picture, Dec 2010

PG after a cancer-lump removal surgery, September 2011

Daddy n the kids snoozing (or at least Daddy was). They were all good snugglers.

 Tiz the season, PG in her Holiday jingle-collar

Christmas, 2011

Happy PG helping Daddy in the back yard on a Sunday, September 2012. The day after this picture her left rear leg was swollen beyond belief (it was rock hard, so swollen the knee wouldn't bend). We took her to the vet and they did everything they could, thought maybe it was a spider bite or something. By Friday we took her back to the vet as it wasn't better. That's when the vet noticed she had no feeling below the knee, and this was serious. So we drove her to Ventura to the VMSG (Veterinary Medical Surgical Group) where they have full-on hospital type care including ER. They suspected a bleeding tumor in the thigh, and by the next morning it was confirmed and they did surgery, removing the tumor and saving her leg.

After the cancer removal surgery, October 2012. The cancer biopsy said it was a Myxosarcoma (very aggressive cancer). The surgeon said she now wished she had taken the leg, as with this particular type of cancer there was no way to take enough 'margin' to get it all, and that it WOULD be back.

Feb 2013 (the brace on the lower-leg/foot is due to the nerve damage from the cancer, she still had no feeling below the knee and would break her foot/toes if not braced. The nerve is permanently damaged and the feeling won't be coming back). We were afraid the cancer could return at any time, and we were trying holistic treatments hoping to keep the cancer at bay.

Sadly the cancer had returned, so we had 2 choices: take the leg or put her down. She was 11 years old and full of life, so we chose life. Here she's in the loving care of Mommy and Daddy after her surgery, March 2013, minus 1 cancerous back leg.
1 month after leg-amputation surgery and she's playing at the park. Dogs are AMAZING! She'd had the foot/leg brace on for over 4months, so not having the brace and a no-feeling leg was probably better for her. She did just FINE with only 3 legs (she's still the only one who can jump up on all the furniture)!

3 legs, still in charge and full of life, May 2013

"No, seriously, where's the 3rd one? I'm pretty sure I can get them ALL in my mouth at the same time". PG always did try to hog ALL the toys we brought home. Being as she was the Alpha, nobody could take them from her...she had to drop them and walk away (which she only did when she was bored with teasing her sisters).

"Yeah, we LIKE hanging out on the bed while Mama sleeps. 
Don't you have something else to do besides take pictures?" PG could still jump up on the bed with only 1 back leg, the other 2 needed to use the ramp. It truly didn't slow her down much.

Christmas, 2013

PG was always a feisty little thing...and loved sleeping in Daddy's spot after he got up. Here she shares my spot with Sydney.

At the park, August 2014. Sydney was having her decline in motor-control and by this point and couldn't walk very good, so I'd made her a wagon to pull her to the park so she could play with her sisters in the lush grass.

PG always LOVED the park. Here she's all tuckered out after running and smelling everywhere. 

Here I am heading to the park with THE PACK. Syd was great in the wagon, 
and PG absolutely HAD to be in the lead.

Halloween, 2014, PG and Syd at the door with me. Syd couldn't stand up much but she'd get to the door and lay down right where the kids could reach over the fence and pet her. PG was right there in the middle of the attention. I'd wanted to make the babies new costumes but now Syd was pretty past that...I was going to make them pirates, with PG as their captain (with a wooden leg). But alas, that never happened. I'll always be sad about missing that opportunity. PG would have LOVED it!

December 2014, Happy Holidays from the babies. Sophie is new to the pack, PG is still in charge.

January 2015, PG playing with Sophie. PG's idea of playing was to have a toy somebody else wanted, and then teasing them with it, egging them on to TRY to take it, but not really wanting them to actually take it.
Now the trip to the park involved FOUR fur-babies, and PG was STILL in charge! She just LOVED being in charge!

April 2015. Sadly this is the last picture of all four babies as we lost Sydney on Earth day.

Merry Christmas, 2015. PG is still in charge and is definitely spoiled rotten!

May 2016, PG loves HER couch. We lost Sweet Pea this month, and now PG now only has Sophie to be in charge of (Sweet Pea was always PG's best friend, and we think she really missed her).

August 2016, Sophie turns 2 years old. Here PG is inspecting the birthday cake.

PG tolerated Sophie but wasn't much interested in playing any more (she's over 15 years old). And Sophie was still a puppy and wanted nothing more than to PLAY.

April 2017, PG is still the queen of the roost and the pack is now THREE again with the addition of Abbey. Puppy or not, nobody messes with the Queen's food. 

Happy Easter, 2017. Gosh this seems like SO long ago! PG really took a quick turn for the worst, she was fine at Easter!

Keeping Abbey in line was a full time job for the Queen of all she surveys.

She tolerated Abbey but wasn't really impressed with the newcomer. And Abbey wanted nothing more than to be friends with PG. And to play whenever she wasn't sleeping.

July 2017, watching the Tour with Daddy. Jeannie was back east on vacation so it was Tour BLISS every single day!
August 2017, starting to notice PG is losing weight (her ribs are really showing, as are her hip bones). Her somewhat sudden decline is happening under right our noses.

Monday October 2nd. This is a selfie I took of us at the park about an hour before her 'time' .
I had carried her to the park as she couldn't walk that far because her rear leg was very weak. 

The last picture of PG. I think she knew it was time. Usually she hops around smelling everything, seeing what other dogs had been there, etc. Today she just stood there looking tired. After this I carried her home and we just sat in the front yard for a while until it was time for her last car ride.

 She was such a wonderful addition to our family, and she was our first fur-baby. We miss her terribly, and the house seems so empty without her. But she gave us almost 16 wonderful years, and we will always be grateful for that.

Rest in peace our dear little girl. You gave us so much joy and love, and we are that much better for it. We miss you more than words can possibly say.

Good by PG. You will live in our hearts forever.