Dad was the one who finally made up his mind about it. I think it was decided when Mixie peed on his foot. He didn’t like her after that although he tried to hide it. I could tell what he was thinking. He wasn't any better at hiding things than me. Maybe he was worse given that he didn't get to practice hiding things from Mom all the time like I did. He acted funny until at last he said, "Son, let's take her in."
I cried in the car, but Dad stopped listening before we got in. Mixie knew something was wrong and whimpered in back seat. Nothing I tried at would work. I reminded him about the ball or the day at the lake. I gave up trying to break his resolve and joined Mixie in her whimpering. I stopped when we walked in the office, but Mixie got worse.
The vet could tell how sad I was. He took Dad aside and talked to him out of earshot. Dad glanced between the vet and me. I was sitting by Mixie with my hand resting on her neck. We both had given up and wore forlorn expressions. She look more miserable than then me. Her head rested on my lap and her eyes stared toward Dad and the vet.
Dad finally agreed to whatever the vet suggested and the vet took Mixie back. We couldn't follow her so I started crying again. Dad said it was time to go. When we got home, I went to my room and spent the rest of the day in bed. Mom came up and I pretended to be asleep. She sat on the side of my bed and said it was going to be better tomorrow. She knew I was only pretending, but I still didn’t move. After a while she patted me on the back and left.
My shoulders sagged the rest of the week. It was the following week when Mixie was suddenly following me around the house again. I screamed until Dad walked in. He explained to me that the vet fixed her up. I ran to my room and slammed the door. Dad spent the rest of the day convincing me to come and play with her.
She was the same old Mixie. She did the same tricks and had the same habits. There was no way any other dog would use her nose to open the toilet like that. She was almost like a puppy again. I couldn't stop laughing at Mom trying to keep a straight face while scolding Mixie for stringing toilet paper around the house. Mixie had that grin dogs get when they were bad in a playful way. Her innocent look with two pieces of toilet paper clinging to her mouth made me smile the rest of the day.
The only thing new about Mixie was that she wanted to sleep outside every few days. One night I felt too tired to let her out. I let her stay in my room. As it got later and later she started acting funny and making coughing noises. I couldn't see what was wrong because I slept in the dark, but I had my flashlight by my bed. I turned it on and pointed it at Mixie.
She was spasming so much her fur sloughed off. I felt like I was watching a horror movie. Snaps and hisses escaped from her wretched flesh. My lips quivered in a futile attempt to yell for help, but I was caught in a nightmare and no sound came from my body. Mixie was in terrible pain and I new that she would howl any moment, but a lump formed in her throat. She remained silent as teeth tore her from the inside. A new Mixie emerged from her insides and her old body collapsed. The new Mixie ate the mangle pile of old Mixie. I threw up. The new Mixie ate that too, then hopped in my bed and fell asleep. I lay awake paralyzed with fear.
I never played with Mixie again. She was heartbroken. She went back to moping in the sun. Every few days she would forget and try to play with me again. She would unexpectedly put her head on my lap. I would cringe and try to fight back tears. I would yell at her to go away instead of patting her on the head and saying what she wanted to hear.