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.

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