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No Doggie Gifts Under the Tree…

Things have been quiet on my social media lately… That is because real life has been calling, and it has been a brutal couple of months for our family.

Back in 2009, I was lucky enough to meet a man that I absolutely adore.  He is my best friend, my confidant and my soul mate. It just felt right, so everything moved along quickly for us.  We moved in together after about six months of dating.  I wasn’t able to have children, but I thought it would be fitting to have a furbaby of our own.

In July of 2010 I saw in the news that another flight of “California Canine Cuties” had arrived at the Edmonton SPCA.  They had a volunteer that was quite wealthy that would fly her private jet down to California to bring back small dogs from the high kill shelters.  I made a detour on the way out to a camping trip “just to see”.

We visited “Snookie” first.  She had such a sweet and loving disposition even though she was probably anxious and surrounded by chaos.  She climbed up into Jeremy’s lap, covered him in kisses and snuggled right in.  We visited for a while and went on to look at other dogs.  The others were all miserable and would not approach.  We went back to visit her once more before leaving.  I stepped back to watch her and Jeremy… She had chosen him.  I snuck out of the room to fill out the paperwork and pay the adoption fees.

She had been returned to the SPCA once already.  She had a broken rib that never healed properly.  She was covered in flea bites.  She was skinny and had obviously had a litter of pups recently.  She was fearful of other dogs.  She was a hot mess, but she was OUR hot mess.

She was never socialized properly with other dogs.  She was always fearful, she never got over it no matter how hard we tried.  We were lucky enough to have a very patient friend (thank you Lisa!) that introduced her two boys to Lenore.  She actually had fun playing with them, and from that moment on had some doggie friends.

Lenore was a derpy, cheerful, playful, loving girl who liked to make sure you got a good laugh.  She was Mama’s walking partner, Daddy’s snuggling partner, Mort and Muffin’s sibling.  She was just more than words can express.  She was our sweet girl, our child.

Her pal Mort had been having health issues for quite some time.  He was still happy despite being blind and having no teeth.  He was on several medications for his dry eye and congestive heart failure.  He left this world at the ripe old age of 14.  He was loved and very much missed.  We said goodbye on September 30th.

Lenore had lost her pal Muffin about 2 years ago, so we started to see the same signs of grieving and depression in her, or  at least that was what we thought… She was about 11 years old from what the SPCA estimated when she came in.  She had already been diagnosed with a grade 3 heart murmur, but other than that she still acted like a puppy until Mort passed.

I started to worry because she didn’t have her normal appetite and would vomit up bile every couple of days.  We decided to take her in for a thorough senior check up just to make sure everything was ok.  We did not get good news.

Lenore was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney failure.  She needed to be hospitalized and have IV fluids administered to flush out all of the toxins in her blood that were making her feel so sick.  We were thankful to be able to take her home every night.  She was still very lethargic but she was in better spirits and was at least able to eat.  She surprised the doctor by clearing up her values quicker than expected.  It was about $2000 but it was worth it to give her a fighting chance.  With any luck, we would have 3 to 6 more months with our goofy girl.

We were warned that not all pups respond to treatment.  We never expected that Lenore would be one of them.

We spent a heart-wrenching week at home administering medications and fluids under the skin.  She was more herself, but would tire easily and we struggled to get her to take food.  We lovingly hand fed her every chance we could get.  She wouldn’t eat it out of the bowl, but if Mom fed it to her from her hand, Lenore would take it.

We were due for a blood re-check again after a week of home treatment, we were both suffering from anxiety all day wondering what news we would get.  Again, it wasn’t good…

Our hearts sank with the news that her blood levels were higher than when we first brought her in.  We were going to have to say goodbye.  We chose to spend 2 more days with her so that we could give her some sunshine and fresh air, try to get her to eat some of her favourite things, and to snuggle and pet her as much as we could possibly manage.

She was really weak and not able to walk very far, so we wrapped her up in a blanket and carried her to the dog park to get that fresh air and sunshine.  She managed to eat a sausage McMuffin with her tail wagging the whole time.  Mom and Dad got kisses and tail wags for the last time.

Lenore passed peacefully in our arms with the assistance of all of the wonderful staff at Tudor Glen Veterinary Hospital on Saturday, November 23.

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In 7 short weeks we have lost both of our children.

We are devastated… We tried everything we could to make sure that both pups had quality of life and were not in any pain or discomfort.  We were not expecting this outcome.  We borrowed over $4000 to cover vet bills, medications and special diets in hope that we would be able to spend just one more Christmas together.

</3 No doggie gifts under the tree this year </3 No furry cuddles on the couch </3 No wagging tails of greeting at the front door

Now Christmas is coming and we are heartbroken AND broke.  The house is empty, quiet and lonely. There is a lot of financial stress piled on top of the grief. Will you open your heart — and your wallet — to help?

No one likes to ask for help… A couple of close friends suggested that we put up a crowdfunding request.  So we did, just to see what happened.  We are just a little over half way.  Will you open your heart — and your wallet — to help?

We loved our babies more than words can express.  The grief is overwhelming.  Thank you for reading, it means the world to us.

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