By: Joey Uva
Grace heard our dog Rex coughing again on Sunday morning. She looked up at Trevor and asked, “Will he still be with us at Christmas time?” Trevor was a little taken aback having to even think about that possibility and responded, “Yes. I would be really sad if he wasn’t.” Grace responded with, “Yes, me too!”
You see, Rex has a severe heart murmur which makes it difficult for him to breathe at times, which then triggers some hacking and coughing. This has been getting worse over the last couple of months. He does take medicine to help, but even Grace can tell he is still sick and doesn’t sound so good at times. The veterinarian did say they could attempt surgery, but could not be certain he would survive the recovery. So, here we are with poor Rex getting a little worse as the weeks and months pass by.
Rex is about thirteen years old. Trevor had Rex when we met, and I immediately fell in love with him. Trevor found him at a dog shelter. He was malnourished, extremely skinny, and the only dog sitting in the back corner of the cage. He was feeling too awful to even come to the front and wag his tail in that “Pick me! Pick me!” way. Trevor picked him anyway.
Rex is a little guy whose coat has turned from this shiny caramel to a grayish-white over the last several years. He loves the sun and heat. If the sun is coming through a window, even the tiniest spot, that is where he will lay to soak up the heat. He likes to be warm, sometimes just plain hot. I remember one time I found him in the middle of all Grace’s stuffed animals sleeping; you could barely tell he didn’t belong there, until his head popped up and surprised me.
Trevor takes him to Runyon Canyon a couple times a week. He would normally be way ahead of Trevor or me when we would go hiking, but now it seems he is trailing behind a bit. He loves being outside and particularly likes this hike. He can tell when we are approaching the area in the car and gets crazy excited, even if it is a little more challenging for him now.
One of my favorite things about Rex is when he lets me know he wants some attention from me. Trevor was amazed the first time he came up to me to let me know this. We were sitting on the couch, Rex looked up at me, made a whining noise and gave me a sad face. I said, “Okay, come on” not really knowing what he was asking for. He put his paws on my chest and rested his head on my shoulder so I could pet him. Whenever he wants some attention from me, he does that little whine, looks up at me with his sad eyes, and I say, “Okay, come on!”
We are not sure how long Rex will live. Trevor will be devastated when he is gone. Grace will be heartbroken. And me, I will know that we have lost a part of our family as we all know it. I will have to be there for Trevor and Grace as best I can.