Bizou came into our lives around December of 2007. The fact that a three hour car drive turned into eight before we finally managed to take her home should have given me some inkling on what a trouble maker she was, but of course, back then, I was just thinking of her as a companion to our other dog. Nothing more.
It started a few days later when my Mom told me that she had seen “the little dog jump” on the table. “All dogs do that.” I told her. “No, I mean she jumped ON the table.” she said. “Impossible.” I had never seen, nor heard of a dog jumping on the table. I just thought it was my Mom exaggerating again until one night I heard whimpering coming from the kitchen. Sure enough, I went down the stairs to see Bizou, on top of the table, not quite sure how to get down.
A few weeks later my husband and I came home from work late one evening. I went straight upstairs to change while he let the dogs in from the garage. “Oh no!” I heard him scream. “Oh no… Bizou, what did you do!…Trissa, you have to come and see what Bizou ate.” he called out. My heart sank. The dogs had been by themselves the whole day and she could have eaten anything in the garage. I rushed down to see Bizou, wobbling towards me, her stomach had bloated to three times its normal size. Had she managed to accidentally eat a tennis balls that got stuck in her tummy? As I rushed to call the emergency vet hospital I heard my husband laughing. He walked in from the garage with five kilo bag of dog food which she had somehow managed to open and finish almost all the contents of!
And that was the story of Bizou. Always getting herself into some kind of trouble. I can’t count the number of times we had to rush her to the vet because she managed to get a hold of some chocolate. There was one week she went to the vet twice to have her stomach pumped because of it. It was almost ridiculous as the vet was always scolding me for keeping chocolate lying around. “I promise you,” I told him “I don’t keep it lying around. She knows how to pull down latches and open doors!” I told him. I once kept a box of Lindt chocolate in the guest room. The next morning I woke up to find the door open, little wrappers of Lindt chocolate lying on the floor, along with the empty box. I swear to you, I had shut the door. Had she actually managed to pull down the latch to open the door? My suspicions were confirmed months later when a house guest told me that late one night she had caught Bizou opening the door to the room. So despite the incredulous look the vet gave me, I knew this to be true.
Of course her appetite wasn’t limited to chocolate – she would eat anything and everything. I once left a block of butter out to soften overnight. The next morning the butter was missing from the table so I thought that someone had placed it back into the refrigerator. I only managed to put the pieces together after seeing an empty butter wrapper on the floor noticing Bizou’s bad tummy. Then there was the time she and Baci ate a whole bag of sugar… and flour (that happened twice actually). Flour?!?… seriously. I learned to keep everything locked up in the pantry after that.
Is it strange to think that I could learn something from this silly silly dog? She was certainly fearless. I remember the first time we took her by the water in Balmain. She jumped right in – no hesitation. She loved to swim, regardless of the weather, no matter how choppy the water. I used to throw sticks as far as I could and she would race with other dogs to get them. She would win every single time. But that was the kind of dog Bizou was – she would dive head first into the things she loved… and who cared about the consequences afterwards? Certainly not her. You know the saying, it is better to ask forgiveness than permission? That was Bizou.
When I learned that she was prone to ear infections, I tried to get her to stop swimming. I would try to steer her away from the water but no matter how far we were from it, she always managed to run away from me and jump in. I would scold her about it afterwards but she would always give me this look like – “whatever I did wrong, it was worth it!”
From Bizou I learned the meaning of unconditional love and devotion. Many times, when my husband was away for work, I would love nothing more than to sit on the lounge, in front of the TV, she would jump up on the couch and lay her head on my lap, look at me with her doleful eyes and quietly fall asleep. Then she would slowly turn so I could rub her tummy. She loved that.
My husband and I would love to take both dogs for a walk on the weekends. Towards the end of the walk, as we walked past the strip of stores on the main street, I’d ask my husband to take both dogs home so I could browse through the shops. A few minutes later, as I emerged from the stores, I would see my husband, only managing to walk a few meters away, waiting for me. “Why didn’t you go home?” I would ask. “Bizou didn’t want to leave without you.” he would say. She would plant herself on the ground, refusing to move until I was ready to walk with them home. You couldn’t get more loyal than that.
One of the things our dogs loved to do was to sleep on our bed with us. Bizou would always manage to sneak up on the bed when we weren’t looking. Some people would think she was stubborn, I like to think she was determined. Having said that, we never liked to encourage it and instead we preferred them to stay on the dog beds on the floor.
Yesterday morning, for some reason, I gave in and got Bizou and Baci to stay on the bed with me. Bizou was so happy. She kept on trying to lick my face.
Little did I know that this would be the last time Bizou would get into the bed with me.
A few hours later, my husband called to say that there had been an accident. Bizou had bolted out of the gate and had been hit by a car.
At that time, I thought it wasn’t anything serious. After all, Bizou had been in many “accidents” before and had always managed to scrape by.
My husband rushed her to the animal hospital and I met them there. She must have been in shock but she seemed calm. I noticed she was breathing heavily and I held her as the vet started the examination. She had a cut above her eye and I whispered that it was going to be okay. She gave her a heavy dose of painkillers and oxygen to keep her breathing steady. Nothing really sank in until the vet said that she had suffered heavy internal bleeding and that she would have to be moved quickly to an emergency hospital.
And then her heart stopped. They were pushing on her chest and feeding her more oxygen… over and over… and over. I heard the vet say that they were going to try and give her a shock to her heart but it all happened so quickly… and then the doctor looked at me… and it was finally over.
Of all the posts I have written on this blog, this has certainly been the most painful to write… but I want to make sure that she is remembered for the beautiful and wonderful dog she was. She was meant to be a companion to our other dog Baci… and then she had to go charm her way into our hearts.
Of her almost four years with us, if there is anything sure, it’s that Bizou had a great life. She sure got into a lot of trouble, but she was always loved no matter what… and as hard as it was to be there watching her life slip away, I am glad that she knew we were with her until the end.