Over the last month or so, we've had quite some transitions at Silverwalk. Three dogs went to heaven: two unexpectedly, one I was watching and expecting. The two puppies were adopted and have been back to visit. They are having a blast in their new homes with their new dog friends and families.
Seymour, my long haired Dachshund, suffered an acute episode of IVDD (intervertebral disc disease: a disc beween his spine joints burst out onto his spinal cord, causing a quickly deteriorating loss of leg and tail function). I got him to the vet ASAP; then zoomed with him to Columbia, MO to the Vet Hospital; they operated that night but even after two weeks, he had no return. To me, his eyes were flat; in reviewing my lifestyle, work hours and the needs of the other dogs, I elected to send him to heaven. I'm very careful to not judge people when this happens. In another situation, I could have kept him healthy but his potential for infection, kidney disease and skin breakdown was too great. The MIzzou staff was extremely supportive as well as my vets and techs at LaCroix Pet Hospital.
The week after Seymour died, Betty Boop, one of my favorite rescue dogs (Beagle/Basset mix or Bagle) came up with the same symptoms. Her progression was much slower but her pain was greater. With a swollen abdomen, too, I sent her to Heaven in my arms like Seymour. The deaths, though the right choice, were heart-breaking.
The next week (these were all weeks leading up to a surgery in StL for me), my Sheltie, Sheila, started going downhill quickly. She's the one I've been watching for some time, knowing with her heart history and her decreased activity, her time was short; she died peacefully in her sleep in her crate on a fresh, clean pad.
I miss each of them, still looking for them to ask for petting, cuddling and walks. Betty was so slow when she walked but she loved, loved children.
As I look at the dogs who are left, I am reminded through this Advent and Christmas season to appreciate and play as much as possible with each one. Not knowing the circumstances, it bothers me when I see in the paper "dog needs room to run." This may be but mostly, the dog needs YOU. Each of us need to take time to play, train, cuddle, trim nails (or have someone trim them), feed, water, LOVE our dogs. This is a promise I'm renewing to all the dogs here, both mine and rescues, at Silverwalk.
As well as dogs, let's each appreciate the people who work, seen and unseen, to help us get home to family and friends in this holiday season wrapping up. Please enjoy the link below - and thank the toll booth operator, the person driving the snow plow, the air traffic controller....many take time from their families to ensure we spend time with ours.
Home for the Holidays