Nugget was welcomed to Old Dog Heaven on September 2nd, 2022. This little red heeler was picked up as a stray a week earlier by Valencia County Animal Welfare in New Mexico. It's hard to tell if Nugget is 7 or 17 because she is so ill. It appeared to me that she was quietly dying in the shelter. Nugs is extremely emaciated, with pelvis and all her ribs showing, and she is almost totally blind. She loses balance when she walks, and bumps into things all over the house.
Nugget is a sweet, quiet girl. At first, she was not affectionate, but once she realized she was in a loving home, she warmed up and could not get enough snuggles. She is housebroken, which indicates a life in an indoor home at some point, yet she does not walk well on a leash and feels frightened in the car. She shows aggression toward Rocky and Uncle Max when they come close, maybe because she cannot see well and feels vulnerable when they are near. But she loves people, and is generally curious even though she is clearly feeling terrible.
Nugs enjoys sniffing every inch of Old Dog Heaven. She also likes to totter around for a block or two with me, and she has discovered her very own chew toy. She quickly learned to walk on leash, and she loves to breathe the fresh air. She even enjoyed a Kong one evening (a *very* popular nightly ritual at Old Dog Heaven), even though she doesn't have much appetite. She turns her nose up at all dog food, but will chow down with glee on some chicken and rice!
It turns out that Lil Nugs has advanced diabetes, and is in a severe crisis state called ketoacidosis. She is actually quite young at only 7 years old. There is no treatment to help her recover, and she stopped eating. Nugget died at 9:48 am on September 9th, 2022, one week after coming to Old Dog Heaven. It was a devastating loss, but at the same time I am so grateful to have known her, to have walked with her during her final days. She is deeply missed. Love you forever, Nugs.