The End of the Ernie Era

Posted: December 15, 2015 in pets, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Well, so it finally happened. The adventure that started 14 years or so ago came to an end today.

Way back in the day when I was married, my then wife took my Mini Schnauzer to get a hair cut. While there, a lady had a playful male Mini Schnauzer and offered it to my ex wife saying that she could not take care of him any longer. My ex called me to see if we could keep it, but the truth was that she had already agreed and was bringing him with her.

The dog was named Ernie by the previous owner so we kept it that way to avoid confusing him. We didn’t really know his age, but he had all his adult teeth in and we guesstimated he was 3 or so. He was very shy of all loud noises (we would leave the TV on when there were fireworks or he would cower under furniture).

Many years later I got a divorce and my ex kept her rodents (Chihuahuas) and I kept Stitch

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as well as keeping Ernie

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Here’s Ernie helping me pack during my relocation to Maryland

Stitch suddenly developed some type of blood issues that caused him to pass away very quickly at a very young age. Time went by and I got a job with the government so I packed up my things and Ernie and I hit the road.

I drove from Miami but stopped every few hours so Ernie could have water, food and go to the bathroom. He adjusted fairly well to the weather and I made sure that he showed off his fancy gear whenever possible. He had his sweater for the snow, one for the cold, one for rain and a Miami Dolphins jersey, naturally.

His skin was bothering him at times and becoming itchy so we turned to buying all natural venison dog food, which meant he was now eating better than I was, but it helped his skin. He also was fighting a serious ear infection which required regular cleaning, much to his disapproval.

At times he did seem a bit lonely since he used to be very close to Stitch.

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Most recently I took Ernie to the vet to have his ears and teeth cleaned. I was then told that due to his age he couldn’t get anesthetic and he also had a heart murmur. The vet explained that he could seem fine, but one day, suddenly his heart was likely to give out on him.

From then on Ernie began having some fainting episodes whenever he was too excited or startled. If kids were around he would faint, if you bathed him, if you cleaned his ears and well, pretty much if you didn’t leave him to his own devices he would faint.

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I knew he would pass away sooner or later so efforts were doubled in spoiling him. Ernie began to not have the energy to walk outside to go to the bathroom so he was carried outdoors like Egyptian royalty. If he was laying down comfortably, he was usually draped in his favorite blanket. Although he was comfortable you could see that he was becoming increasingly lethargic and a bit gaunt.

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I spent this weekend extremely sick and in bed. Despite that, I would check on Ernie to see how he was doing. He was a bit frustrated because due to his inability to go to the bathroom he was now wearing diapers. I didn’t tell him, but it was shameful that his gut prevented him from using size Medium as he should have been.

Last night, he could barely stand or walk and it seemed he was losing control of his little hind legs. In order to get him to drink water he required being carried to the bowl and once he was done, he was carried to his favorite spot, which was next to the table on a pillow with a fluffy blanket.

I once again took the day off from work due to being sick. I pried myself off the bed to check on him once more. I had grown accustomed to staring at him until I could see his breathing to make sure he was OK, each time fearing the worst. This time he wasn’t fine. I poked at him like I usually had done in the past to wake him and he didn’t move.

When I lifted up his limp little body, I realized he wasn’t in there anymore. Rigor mortis hadn’t set in, so he had to have passed recently. I got dressed, wrapped him up in his fluffy blanket and drove him to the vet. I realized that I was driving him just as I had done countless times, but for the last time. He used to love to stick his face out of my window and bark at any and everything. I put on a brave face at the vet where I requested he be cremated and put in a little box and I left.

I returned home. Now my apartment is empty all but for his little crate, a partially eaten bowl of food and water and his favorite blanket (and some diapers his stomach didn’t let him wear).

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Our 14+ year adventure had concluded. All this time I thought I was rescuing a dog many years ago, but realized today that Ernie had graced me with his company when I was going through several difficult times in my life. He had also embarked on the most exciting adventure of relocating and accepting a government job far from home. We kept each other company and shared a lot of experiences and pizza crusts. But just like any good story, it finally ended.The last page of the book that I didn’t want to read because it signified the ending.

He’s now no longer struggling and I’d like to think he’s somewhere playing with Stitch. You can keep your guardian angels. I have beautiful guardian Mini Schnauzers.

Goodbye, Ernie. May wherever you are have mountains of pizza crusts and the fluffiest of blankets.

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Comments
  1. Vanessa Whitehead says:

    Beautiful, I’m so sorry for your loss and we know he is with his buddy Stitch and having a blast!! Big hug!!!

  2. Barbara says:

    I’m so sorry, Sweetie. =( I’m thinking about you. (Hope you start feeling better healthwise!) ❤

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