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Celebrating Avaroo – Part 1 of who-knows…

What better way to celebrate a member of your family than with pictures? Here’s Avaroo…

Gracie deals with her grief…

So at this time – I was working from home for two truly wonderful companies. This was such a blessing as it gave me the opportunity to take care of Avaroo while she was sick, and after Ava’s passing – it gave me an opportunity to help take care of Gracie.

Gracie truly missed Avaroo. Moribound. Just plain sad. Nobody at home to bark at, to share news of yard intruders with.

So for much of this time – she became my work buddy – by my side on a chair adjacent to my desk. She had her dog pillow, I had my chair. At the time I was working with a fine gentleman named Phil who also worked out of his house – his loving dog Cheyanne at his feet while he worked.

To make a long story short – Gracie still missed Avaroo, and making things worse – she had a couple of physical problems with her back which brought her pain. Thanks to the trusty dog at the Vet’s office – she worked thru this injury and the pain with some good drugs.

By April – it was clear that we had a void, and we started to look – not really too serious at first, but this got serious quite quickly as we started to look. We knew that once a suitable rescue dog is found – that you have to strike quick to make a decision on that dog. So we looked, and we went to a few adoption events.

We looked really at two – one was a cute little Papillon. We liked her, but she and Gracie just didn’t have the chemistry. We looked at another, Cupcake – who was listed as a Shih-Tzu. Shih-Tzu, she was anything but one. A cute little scruffy dog that got along with Gracie from the start.

I gave Cupcake the same test I gave Avaroo years before – I picked her up, and cradled her in my arms – feet up. This was, I think, a mistake. That little dog acted just like Avaroo did – docile, fully submissive. But Cupcake took it a step further – it was as if a forever bond between she and I had been formed. It’s as if she sees me as the one that rescued her (which we did in fact do), but she wants to spend every moment of the day with me.

So – we’re back to two dogs and our happy little dog family again. More stories and pictures to follow.

Been a while…

Been a while since we updated this. Lots has happened since then.

We lost our sweet little Avaroo just after Christmas, 2016. She was diagnosed with a grade 5/6 heart murmur probably 3 or 4 years prior to that and we had all sorts of fun dealing with that. She’d been given a mixture of drugs – a couple of heart-related drugs, and a couple of diuretics and while these had positive impact at first, eventually these drugs became problematic as she, for whatever reasons, refused to eat, or, after eating – regurgitated the medications.

This came to a head in February 2016 when she nearly crashed at home. We took her to our trusty vet clinic and they recommended a number of things, including oxygen therapy, intravenous delivery of lasix, and more. She had fight left in her and we decided to go with it – to give her that chance. She rallied – to the point that everybody in the vet’s office was cheering her on. She rallied and, while waiting for us to pick her up – she raised such a stink with her loud bark completely inconsistent to her petite size and medical condition – so much so that the sweet vet techs put together an impropteau doggy sling and they then took turns carrying Avaroo with them as they did their chores.

And at that time we changed to a liquid form of the drugs which had a marked improvement in our ability to ensure that she both took and held onto her drugs.

We had a remarkable spring, summer, and fall with her. To curtail her physical activity – we carried a pink dog sroller with us everywhere so that she could preserve her precious few steps and conserve her limited energy.

Knowing her condition – we called this the “Avaroo Farewell Tour” – not in a morbid sense, but rather as an opportunity to share both familiar and new places, people, smells, and experienes with both her and Gracie. We have lots of pictures – which we’ll eventually share. We visited our favorite hometown river/park many times, we went to many state parks, we saw many friends, we shared many new tastes, and more.

But we knew that her time was limited. That comes with the territory when yuo get a pet.

She celebrated her 14th birthday just two months after her February, 2016 vet/hospital visit. And she ate what every celebrating dog should eat – her own 1/4# hamburger – cooked to perfection by yours truly.

Avaroo – our little “Redneck” dog (because she had only half of her teeth) – never nibbled her food but rather she chomped big pieces, grabing chunks. That’s how she rolled, and that’s how she ate her 14th b-day burger. With vigor, with gusto.

We’d had plans that if she did make it to 15 – we’d have a Quincinera party for her – inviting a few of her friends for food and cake. But, alas, we lost her before that was to be.

She saved us from the decision to put her down by effectively making the decision on her own – by crashing while we were on vacation and while she and Gracie were at a neighborhood day care/kennel that we love and trust. She crashed hard, they ferried her over to the vet’s office, we got in touch – and seeing no possible chance of revival – the vet lovingly helped her reach the proverbial Rainbow Bridge to ease her suffering.

We took so many things away from this whole episode. First – dogs definitely feel grief, as evidenced by the surviving Gracie. Something wasn’t right, Avaroo was missing. Where was she? Where was she hiding? Second – while not friends – these two dogs were sisters. We knew that, but the good folks at the day care/kennel shared their observations that Gracie never left Avaroo’s side – that she was always with her. I don’t think that’s an insecurity on Gracie’s part – I think it is a sisterly watch-over. Third – Avaroo died as a dog – with her sister, with other canine brothers and sisters around her. Fourth – it was a relief that this sweet little dog no longer needed medicine to keep her alive, that she no longer would suffer horrifying seizures.

Ava’s One Year Anniversary

Happy Birthday and Adoption Day to Ava!
Happy Birthday and Adoption Day to Ava!
Happy Birthday and Adoption Day, dear Ava-roo!
Happy Birthday and Adoption Day to you!

Ava turned 9 on April 15th.  Yesterday, May 7th, was her adoption day. We decided to celebrate the two dates together with this cake!


Ava-roo Romping in the Snow

One of my favorite videos on this blog is Gracie playing in the snow.  Well I thought it was Ava-roo’s turn.  After all, she’s  a Tibetan Lion Dog — she has snow somewhere in that gene pool of hers.  As you can see, she enjoys it.

Ava as she was

taken april 2010

This is Ava when she was in foster care. She’s very skinny. We’re posting this picture as a benchmark. Life is really looking up for Ava-roo.

This is the description from the rescue place:

Asia in an 8 year old, small Shih Tzu who was turned in by her owner because she was frightened of the small children and very nervous in the home.  Asia is very sweet.  Within two days at her foster home, Asia was wagging her tail and following foster mom everywhere.  Asia loves to lay on the couch and get cuddled.  Asia is housebroken and very well behaved.  Asia needs someone who will shower her with attention and help her realize how wonderful she is.  Asia will not be adopted to a home with childre as her previous experience with children traumatized her.  Asia is being fostered in the Wester suburbs of Illinois and will only be adopted locally.

Some Hints
I think it takes a while for the videos to load... they're HD format and are pretty big files. If you click on the arrow and then immediately click the pause button. This allows the video to load. Once there is more grey line than black line, you should be able to press the play button. Enjoy.