Last weekend, my parents had to put down their 10 1/2 year old Boxer, Norma Jean. They were in San Diego spending the week with me, and when they went back home to Minnesota and picked her up they had a couple of decent days with her. She then started to go downhill fast, struggling to breathe. They brought her in to the vet and they thought she had pneumonia. They gave her meds and sent her home, but a few days later it got worse. On New Years Day, my parents brought her back in and she had to be on oxygen. They ran tests and didn’t find any pneumonia after all, which worried my mom sick. She ended up calling me a couple of hours later, saying they had to put her down because she had advanced stage lung cancer.
My heart sunk for her. This dog is my mom’s world. She has always been there with her, even after I (her only child) moved away to California. The plan was for Norma to come home that day and spend a final night at home, before they had to bring her back the next day to be euthanized. Unfortunately, when they got to the hospital and the vet tech was leading Norma out into the lobby to greet them, she collapsed in the waiting room. They had to make the decision to put her down right then, which had to have been so painful. They were expecting a final night at home, and I told my mom to cherish those last moments and take lots of photos. Unfortunately, Norma Jean’s health had other ideas. She passed away with her head resting in my mom’s hands.
Norma was actually my dog first. I drove with my ex from Minnesota to a Chicago suburb in a 10+ inch snowstorm to check out this 8 month old ‘flashy fawn bitch’. I had intentions to get into conformation showing with her. We ended up taking her home and she lived with me for a few weeks before I determined that she wasn’t a great fit for a home where I had to work all day and be at school. She had separation anxiety but hated being crated and was so stressed out. I introduced her to my parents a couple of times, and they fell in love. When I said they should have her, they jumped at the opportunity.
Norma was spoiled completely rotten. She got a “Busy Bone” every night at 7pm. She was happy, exercised regularly, loved going up to the cabin to play with her dog friends up there, and loved chasing squirrels in the backyard. She was a true gem of a dog, a lover of people and all things edible. She enjoyed toys, barking out the front window at anyone who walked by, and hanging out in the garage with my parents and their old muscle cars. There’s a Norma-sized hole in my heart where she left, but I’m so glad she had a wonderful life.---------------
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