On Saturday, we had the awful task of putting our dog down. Hudson was 14 years old. He was a beagle. The last 3 years, he was a diabetic that we had to give insulin twice a day. Hudson was also taking an arthritis medication. Hudson, or he often went by Puppa, was my first child. Hubby and I could not wait to get a dog when we moved in together. In fact, we moved in to the house we were renting on a Friday and we got Hudson on Saturday.
I will never ever forget seeing Hudson for the first time. He was the chubbiest little one of the litter. His ears were so long that as he ran he would trip over them. Hudson pushed his brothers and sisters out of the way to get to the food bowl. We got Puppa when he was 8 weeks old.
Hudson was a little bit of a mommas boy. He would wait up for me and only go to bed when I told him ” Night lights Puppa”. Hudson would follow me down the stairs in the morning regardless of the time. The last few months when I was getting up at 4:30am for runs, he would be right by myself and until I left. After I left, he would return to bed until he was ready to eat around 7am. During my horrendous morning sickness with both kids, Hudson would follow me in the bathroom and then back to bed again. He was relentless with making sure I gave him his walks. Puppa would go to the door and howl until I took him.
This dog hopped through the biggest snow drifts and loved to take sun naps. We once dressed him up like a clown for Halloween and when he was a puppy, he owned his own winter sweater that he was very possessive over. My husband nicknamed him his “RD” ( roll dog) because he would take Hudson everywhere with him. Sneaking him in hotel rooms with us started at a young age. Most hotels allow small dogs but Hudson was always a little ” big boned”.
Our honeymoon was spent talking about Hudson and wondering what he was doing while we were in Mexico for a week. I did research when I was pregnant with M of how to best introduce the baby to a dog. We were hoping that the two would get along and they did. M would dress up Puppa with bows, headbands and boas. G often tried to ride him like a pony. Hudson tolerated a lot up until his final days. He would often sneak into Ms room and take a snooze in his “nap shack”.
4 years ago, this dog managed to tear both of his ACLS 6 weeks apart. This was around Thanksgiving and Christmas. The two surgeries along with rehab, was the same amount of money as my first year of college. We had a vet payment for 2 solid years.
The staff at our animal clinic referred to him as “Hudson the Beagle:” He loved to go to the animal clinic. On Saturday when we put him down, the techs and front desk clerks knew he was coming in for one last final time. The vet that we had was very compassionate and gave us all the time we needed.
We know it was the right decision. Hudson was having seizures and not eating. Walking was difficult as well.
The house seems empty and off. Mornings and nights are strange when I do not see him by my side. Hudson slept with us in our bed and would sleep as close as he possibly could to me. I go to let him inside from the back door and he is not there. His bowl and toys have been taken away. Vacuuming the house yesterday was the first time that I actually did not want to remove the dog hair. My heart feels heavy. My mind is distant. My body is numb but full of anxiety.
Just as I will celebrate his life in the loads of memories that Hudson has blessed us with, I will also be gentle with my soul.
If you have a dog, take him for another walk today in honor of Hudson. Bonus points if he chases a cat, squirrel or rabbit.
RIP Hudson. We loved you deeply.