HAPPY BIRTHDAY, REESE. I WILL CELEBRATE YOU, ALWAYS
Today (February 12th), we should be celebrating my little Valentine’s twelfth birthday. Instead, I’m grieving the loss of her.
Yes, Reese was getting older, she had slowed down considerably, and we had made certain adjustments to accommodate and comfort her. For example, we carried her upstairs to bed and limited the amount of fetch she played; although, she was reluctant to oblige these ‘time outs’ and would bark in protest.
Reese was slower than usual, last Wednesday evening but still wanted to play fetch. Her spirit was willing; her little body was struggling to keep up. She drank water and ate her dinner. Reese was resting more than usual, that evening; although, restless through the night.
Reese was displaying symptoms of (what we hoped was just) an upset stomach. She wasn’t interested in breakfast, on Thursday morning. She has declined on previous occasions, and whatever was ailing her usually passed before the following meal. Reese did go outside to do her business, had a drink of water, and rested on her bed. I went to work. As soon as our vet clinic opened, I called and booked an appointment for the next day. Our dog walker messaged later that day, to say there were accidents on the rug. I received a phone call from our vet clinic at 1:30 pm asking if we were on our way. Due to miscommunication, the clinic thought we were coming that same day.
I’m now wondering: what if I had just left work that morning and driven the forty-five minutes home, put Reese in the car, and drove the one and a half hours to our vet clinic. Would she still be here?
My husband insisted on picking up a cooked chicken for Reese for supper. His effort was futile; she wasn’t interested.
The next morning, Reese struggled to jump up onto the porch after doing her business. She ‘chested’ the wooden porch, and dragged her little body up the step. After recovering from the mishap, she walked back into the kitchen. Could this mishap have escalated her decline?
I wrapped Reese in a blanket and placed her in the passenger seat of my car, and we headed for the clinic.
Unfortunately, Reese’s vet was away. We saw another Doctor, and blood-work was done — no definitive answers were provided. I was told the emergency clinic would likely put her on saline i.v. and keep her overnight for 24-48 hours to rehydrate. Due to Reese’s heart murmur, I was advised to take her to an emergency clinic with a Cardiologist. That meant a two-hour drive to Mississauga, or, a three-hour drive to Guelph. After waiting for another hour, I was advised that neither clinic had a Cardiologist working, that day. Eventually, I was told we would be accepted at an emergency clinic just over an hour away. At this stage, Reese was still somewhat alert, although definitely, very poorly. Reese looked at me as the vet tech carried her away. This was the last time she would look at me and fully recognize her mama.
My husband met me at the emergency clinic, and we waited for an update. After what seemed like forever, the vet tech returned and told us they were running more tests and had put Reese on oxygen as she was having difficulty breathing. The emergency clinic vet came to speak with us in that room they put you in when you’re about to receive bad news. And, it was. Reese was in cardiac failure. We wanted to bring her home and have the mobile vet come to the house so we could all say our goodbyes, together. The vet suggested that it wasn’t an option as Reese was struggling to breathe without the oxygen. We didn’t want her to suffer. When we saw Reese again, we knew it was the right thing to do – for her. I held her in my arms, and we said goodbye to our beautiful, sweet girl. I am heartbroken.
Goodbye, my sweet little Valentine. I’m sending these birthday wishes across the bridge:
- A limitless supply of squeaky toys for you to enjoy. I will miss the constant ‘squeak, squeak, squeak.’ That was never annoying to me; it always made me smile.
- Never-ending games of fetch
- Tacos, beef jerky, steak, and salmon, with peanut butter, Ice-cream, and pupcake treats for afters (or starters)
- A vast selection of the comfiest, cushiest beds and blankets to curl up in for naps (between games of fetch, of course)
- A collection of pretty accessories to wear, after each, of many, pampering sessions you will enjoy
- Newfound energy, allowing you to run and play with all the new friends you make
- Spring, and fall weather, all year long – your preferred temperature(s)
- Bedtime treats, each, and every night (know that I’m hugging you close to my heart as I fall to sleep)
My dear sweet Reese. I will celebrate you, always xoxo