Saturday, September 22, 2012

Today is the day Sunny Bunny became an angel. She did so well for 9 months but about 3 weeks ago, she stopped eating. She was in renal failure and once again we tried to bring her back. She had sub-q fluids, appetite stimulants, pain patches and other pain meds. We offered her every kind of dog food, cat food, people food we could think of but she wouldn't eat. We had to do forced feedings to keep her going and then this morning I looked at her and thought, no, stop, it's enough. With heavy heart I made an appointment with the vet and helped her on her way. She was such a sweet, cuddly, happy dog.

Sunny had a previous owner, a senior gentleman who clearly loved and treasured her. He passed away several years ago and she found her way to us. She truly was one of the Spoiled Royals.

I hope she found him again and I hope she told him about her Ohio home and all her fur siblings. I hope they laughed and smiled together and I hope she told him that even though he left her, she found a wonderful home where once again she was loved and treasured.

Thank you for sharing her with us, we are giving her back now. Goodbye sweet princess, Mama loves you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our Gentle Alpha is Gone

August 6, 2012
I knew when I woke up that I couldn't put it off any longer. Our Lhasa Apso mix Tucker was in pain. In addition to his arthritis, Friday's visit to the vet showed fluid on one side of his heart. Age and a tumor were not being kind to him.  Saturday the vet called to say he was also in renal failure. Damn, damn, damn!

We have a lot of dogs, yet each one is special, each is loved. For years Tucker was our gentle alpha. He ruled his pack with kindness and heart. It took me years to figure out he was the alpha in our pack because the others followed him so readily. Tucker never barked or nipped, he just set the tone with his attitude. The others all knew he was in charge and happily followed his lead.

In his younger years he loved to chase the chipmonks in our yard and I used to send monthly emails to his foster mom Andrea about his antics. I think she loved him almost as much as we did. That was the thing about Tucker, everyone who met him fell in love with him because he was such a good dog. Yeah, I know all dogs are good (and they are) but Tucker was special.

Years ago I had a little Yorkie mix who started having some kind of seizures in the last year of her life. She would come out of the seizures disoriented and shaking until one day, in the middle of a seizure, Tucker laid down beside her and wrapped his body around her. When she woke up, she was cuddled in Tucker's center. She stayed there until she quietly came back to herself. Loved, protected, safe. A year or so after losing Taffy, Mason came here as a foster dog. He came straight out of a mill and was at a loss to do the simplest things.

Mason was afraid to walk through a door way, he didn't know how to go up and down steps, he was afraid of Jim and me. It was Tucker who showed him how to walk through a door, go up and down steps and that it was okay to trust Jim and me. Tucker was an amazing dog and the real reason this was such a good foster home.  We really did very little, Tuck showed the fosters the ropes and vouched for Jim & me. He let the fosters know that we could be trusted and that in this house voices did not shout, hands did not hurt, dogs did not fend for themselves.

We loved him, he loved us, that was all that was needed. Until August 6, 2012. On that day Tucker needed help so he could leave us. He was in pain, he was old, he was not going to get better, there was no magic pill that would restore his health and his youth.  It's easy to explain how much he was loved, hard to explain how much I hated to let him go. God Speed Tucker, Mom loves you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Little Dogs, Big Losses

The week before Christmas, we lost Max. He went into renal failure and in spite of 4 days on an IV trying to kick start his kidneys, we knew we had no choice except to let him go. He was old and fluids and heroics wouldn't change that fact. I don't have the words to explain how much I miss him. We have other dogs, but there was only one Max. He was a little dog, but it feels like a big loss. 

Earlier this week I was storming heaven with prayers that our Sunny Bunny was not going to be next. She doesn't eat well - hasn't for about a year now. Part of it is probably related to her kidney issues which can cause nausea. Part may be related to her heart issues and I suspect a big part may have to do with her simply being a picky eater.

Regardless of the reason, her not eating is sure to give me a case of the crazies.  I know a healthy dog can not starve itself to death if it has access to food but I also believe an unhealthy dog can.

She has heart issues, kidney issues, calcium in her left eye, disintegrating disks and yes, she's older, about 13 or 14 yrs old.  I'm okay when she skips one meal, still good when she skips two. The third skipped meal alerts the crazies to get ready and the 4th skipped meal generates a full blown case.

We try a smorgashboard of canned dog food, dry dog food, kibble with or without gravy (beef, turkey or chicken), combinations of all of the above. We go through chicken and rice, baked chicken, rotisserie chicken - anything we can think of to get her to eat. Sometimes she does and sometimes she doesn't.

Why, you ask, do we bother. Look at that face sound asleep on the day bed above. Even in her sleep you can see her sunny disposition. I know that one day we won't be able to get her to eat, we won't be able to bring her BUN or Creatin numbers down to a safer level or her disk pain will be so excrutiating that the Tramadol won't touch it.  I know that day could be next week or next month or maybe next year.  I know it's coming. But thank God, I know it's not today.