"This" all began last spring. I noticed that she was slowing down, but 11 for a cocker really isn't considered "old". I took her to the vet and he found that she had an extremely slow heart rate. We went for scans of her heart and found that her brain wasn't sending out the "right signal" to her heart. I decided to try acupuncture with her, and overall, I did see a big improvement. Not that she acted like a two year old, but she certainly had some of her old spark again. It bought us time.
A couple weeks ago, I saw the "slowing down" thing creeping up again. Not as bad as it had been in the spring, but she definitely had "quiet days".. and just as I was about to run her to the vet, she would wake up and be her bouncy self. But last Tuesday, something was different, and I took her in to see Dr. Mike yet again. He did a complete check of her, and suggested that we do another scan of her heart just to see if there had been any changes from a year ago.
On Thursday, I began to get a bad feeling, I noticed she wasn't as steady on her feet, she began to pick at her food, and wouldn't do the stairs unless I was with her. I had to coax her to go in the truck, which was really strange, because Moxie didn't like to be left behind. I wondered if the cold winter weather was taking its toll, so I let her decide if she want to stay home or go.By Saturday, she had no interest in food. This really worried me, because she had lost weight over the summer. I ran to the store and got the fixings for her favorite... always eat meal... chicken and rice. I made her a nice warm bowl, and she did eat that... whew!!! the day Moxie doesn't eat her favorite meal is the day we are in "big trouble".
On Sunday, she wasn't so excited about her favorite meal... she ate, but slowly, almost more to please me than feed herself. I began to get a real"sick" feeling.
I watched her closely yesterday. She was quiet, picked at her meal, and just wasn't herself. I made a point of thinking that if she wasn't better this morning, we would be heading to the vet again. Last night was a long night. She acted "uncomfortable" trying to get her bed just so, then moving about again. She was very unsteady on her feet and sort of "fell" while trying to arrange her bed. I got no sleep, because I watched her all night.
Around 3:00am, she had me up.. she wanted to go out. I carried her down the stairs and let her out. Then I ran for my boots and a flashlight, only leaving her out alone for a few seconds... she "disappeared".... and I found her heading down the road. I don't know if she got turned around, or what she was thinking, but I was very happy that huge snowbanks kept her from wandering off in the woods. I went after her, and carried her back inside.
She settled on her bed and finally fell asleep, I watched TV and Moxie. Then I noticed something odd, I wasn't the only one awake... so was Camille. All the other dogs were snoozing, but Camille was sitting up and watching Mox. After a bit she settled down too, but every so often, she sat up again, and would watch Mox for a while and then settle down. I thought "she knows something".
I called the vet this morning first thing to make an appointment... they told me, "bring her in and your appointment will be when you get here"... Bless them!!!! Ed fed horses, I took care of the other dogs and we were on the way to the vet.
This time we saw Dr. Frank, he was very concerned when he saw Mox and did some "tests" on her.. "I think she has suffered a stroke" he told me. And asked for us to leave Mox with him for the day, so he could do some blood work and see if he could get some fluids in her to support her better. We left her.
As we were leaving to pick her up this evening, Dr. Mike called.... the news was not good. Her kidneys and other organs were shutting down, the fluids weren't helping.. I told him we were on the way, and he said that our choices were going to be "limited". I decided that I would let Moxie tell me what "to do"....
When we arrived, she picked her head up to see me, but that was all she could do to say hello to me. I cuddled her close and could hear that her breathing was labored. We had a long and serious talk with Dr. Mike, but I already knew what I had to do...
I had to say goodbye........
And so my little friend, who was my partner in dog classes, who made me look amazing in the show ring, who slept by my bed at night and the woodstove in the day... who even followed me to the port-a-pottty......
passed peacefully in my arms..... and my life is forever changed.
"I hope the Lord was patient today...
for He had to stand and wait,
while a little brown and white cocker
trotted thru heaven's gate...."