Sweet Becker came to our Final Refuge home from a shelter – and before that he had been with ‘his’ family for 14 years. All that happened in four days. This would be a shock to any dog, but for a little brindle Chihuahua mix who was well into old age, it was very traumatic. He spent days howling at the door like a canister air horn. He searched incessantly for his people in every corner he could reach. It’s hard to imagine the stress of separation without understanding.
However, eventually little Becker settled in and gradually stopped searching. He attached to his new mama and was able to find comfort in human contact again. It was a joy to see our boy finally at peace and happy.
After a while, he suffered severe vertigo and loss of his equilibrium. A trip to the pet emergency suggested that it could have been old dog vestibular syndrome. He recovered his ability to walk in a few days, which gave us hope that it wasn’t a serious neuro problem, but he retained a slight head tilt to the right, and his right ear never rose to his former bat-like appearance.
In the daily process of dog care, there’s always the hope, and the hope makes it hard to see the decline. The decline is never smooth, never steady. It comes in surges and retreats for a time. The surges force a new evaluation, and the retreats brings new hope.
Becker still had his times of joy and we loved seeing him running outside like a tiny gazelle. However, his decline continued and despite medications from the vet and the best care possible, it was clear that our boy needed to be sent on his way.
Becker was such a sweet little family member and we miss him so.