I thought I was coping OK with losing Mitzi, but I've just seen her collar, harness and lead on my way back from the bathroom 🚽 and I'm in floods of tears again. 😭
For those of you who only knew her when she was an old lady, let me tell you all about her and give you her life story while she was with us. Settle back and get comfy 'cos this is gonna be a looong and emotional post.
When my father passed away the day after our anniversary back in 2010, Steve suggested that we rehome a dog from the Dogs Trust to help me with my grief. I jumped at the chance and we drove over there that same weekend.
We looked around but couldn't find our dog. I spotted Mitzi sitting in the back of her kennel looking all sad and ferlorn but because she only had half a body of fur, Steve really didn't fancy it, even when she came to the front for some attention. I fell in love with her right then, but Steve was thinking about how expensive it'd be to have her treated, so I reluctantly agreed to keep looking.
When we went back to the desk and said that we couldn't find any dog that was right for us, the Dogs Trust volunteer asked what was essential for us in a dog. We said a small dog that was house trained, the volunteers eyes lit up and said that she had the ideal dog for us, then disappeared and brought Mitzi back a little while later.
Steve was there thinking of money again and asked how much it would cost to treat her skin and get her fur to grow back. The volunteer said that the Dogs Trust would pay for her entire treatment until she was well again, she just needed to be bathed with a prescription shampoo every other day that the Dogs Trust would let her chosen vets know about if we decided to rehome her. I think Steve let out a relieved sigh or his eyes lit up or something at hearing that and he fell deeply in love with her straight away too.
We took her for a walk to see what she was like on the lead and she was absolutely fantastic. The more time Steve spent with her the more he loved her too and we'd decided by half way that she was the dog for us.
When we took her back to the reception desk, we had decided that as soon as we had got everything ready here at home, she was coming home with us.
We told the volunteer that Mitzi had stolen our hearts and that she was going to be our dog. I think the volunteer squealed with delight at that point lol Apparently Mitzi had been with them for the majority of her life because of her skin and not having any fur so to hear that she finally had a home was music to the volunteers ears. The volunteer said that all potential adopters had to go to a talk about looking after rescue dogs and how to help them to adjust to their new life in their furever home and that we would need a home inspection after that, but if all that was fine and dandy, then we could come and collect her.
She came home with us about a month or so later and immediately went exploring. Decided that she would sleep on our bed instead of in hers, but that was totally OK with us because she was a member of our family now, so should sleep where the other two members of the George family slept. She still had her bed here in the living room for during the day, but usually spent her time on the sofa instead lol
Happy months passed and her skin quickly improved. Pretty much by the end of 2010 she had a thin covering of fur over her entire body again.
After about 2 years, Mitzi started to put on a lot of weight, so her vet prescribed her some obesity food and advised us to take her on longer walks to help her shift the weight. That's when I started taking her out twice a day instead of just once, but her weight stayed the same and nobody could work out why.
She was on the obesity food for getting on for 7 years until a locum vet discovered earlier this year that Mitzi had issues with her thyroid, so she was put on meds for that and the weight dropped off her in under a month. She was put onto some senior food, 'cos she was 10 years old by that point and she was a happy puppy again, just significantly slower and less playful due to her age, but she was feeling more like the puppy that she had been all those years ago.
Literally a few months later, she went off any food we tried her on - wet dog food, dry dog food, moistened dry dog food, human food, salmon, tuna, scrambled eggs - she barely touched any of it. The longer she went without eating, the more we worried about her. Helen took her into the vets and they did blood tests on her. The next evening the vets called with the results and you all know the rest... she was 11 years, 4 months and 1 week old when me and Steve made the heart-shattering decision to let her go.
She had a good life and was a happy girl until the last few weeks of her life.
I will always love and miss you, Mitzi T Doggington III