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Mourning the loss of Phoenix...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On 2/21, we noticed that Phoenix, AKA Baby Girl, had slightly bloody diarrhea. She wasn't running a temp, but the stool was red-red, seemingly indicating that the blood was originating somewhere in the colon (or at least post stomach/digestion process). We talked to the vet's office. They advised to give very little soft/gentle foods for 24 hours and see how she did. For the next 24 hours, she did amazingly well. We were scheduled to fly to Denver, CO on 2/23 very early in the am. We slept for about 3 hours on 2/22 and I awoke to the sound of vomiting. I found Phoenix vomiting onto my feet on the bed. I started to try to get her down on my side of the bed and realized that she must have VERY QUIETLY already puked a lot of liquid over/off my side of the bed because it was all over the floor. I quickly woke Joe up and we tried to get her outside and comfort her. When it seemed to be over, I looked and noticed that there were some bright red speckles in the vomit. Joe told me that there was a little bit of blood in the stool again also. What to do... We were about four hours before the plane was to take off, her temp was still completely normal, and once the poop/vomit issues were finished, she was behaving 100% normally. Dear Momma and I talked on the phone and decided we would go on with the original plan and I would accompany DH on his business trip. Momma was able to get Phoenix to the vet first thing and after a complete set of pics, bloodwork, and exam... She was diagnosed with colitis due to stress. She was a very stress-y dog... She was my mother hen and worrier. When we relocated YEARS ago, she had to be kept in the garage for nearly a week because she worried herself into tremendous amounts of uncontrollable diarrhea. It seemed like a reasonable explanation in her case. Momma took her home with special food that was highly digestible and would result in VERY minimal pass through. Even the vet remarked that she was her normal "greeter" self. She never met a stranger and loved and brought out the very best in everyone she met. She seemed to be doing very well at home... Playing with her little brother and causing the normal amount of ruckus. Momma continued to keep a close watch on both of them. On Thursday 2/28, Momma and I talked and she said she seemed quieter than normal... She had tried for several hours to get her to eat, but she showed no interest. I said that she had not eaten at times in the past when we were gone... I was surprised, but not worried yet. On Friday 3/1, she still wouldn't eat breakfast and now she didn't seem like herself at all. Momma rushed her back to the vet's office. It was a very different picture this time. The images showed that her stomach lining appeared thickened and it looked as though she may have a mass. We opted to do emergency surgery to remove the mass. Momma cuddled her and kissed her goodbye and told her how much we all loved her and that she would see her soon... Our vet expected to keep her sedated and comfortable overnight and have Momma pick her up in the morning... I got a call about 20 minutes into surgery. When they were inside, they made a terrible discovery. She did not have a mass in her stomach at all. In less than 7 days, her pancreas had grown to 4 times the normal size and shoved her stomach out of the way by the sheer space it was taking up. It appeared to be enlarged with a mass of its own that was affecting the duct and blocking it off. The enlargement also was blocking off her intestine and had caused her to begin to become septic. There was no way to remove her pancreas and have her live. We opted to euthanize her while she was peacefully sleeping. Knowing that she went to sleep having said goodnight to one of the people she loved most in life -- Dear Momma... I have to say that we have one of the kindest vets in the world. I train dog sports with her, and the behaviorist/trainer I work with also works in her office part of the week. Andrew is one in a million and adores Phoenix... She reminds him of his own strong female at home... Best dogs in the world he would say... Unless you cross them! :-) He held her and stayed with her as she made the journey to the Rainbow Bridge. In Phoenix's case, for my Baby Girl that was always sweetness and light, I am so glad that she knew no suffering. She was the BEST and EASIEST dog in the world. She was the dog that if you had... You'd think you might as well have 10 more... There was nothing to it! She was amazing with children and just loved to meet and greet one and all. She truly brought out the best in everyone. That was her gift to the world! I know that we will meet again at the Bridge... I am confident that knowing her... My Little Queen will be waiting on her throne of snow... One of her favorite places in the world to be...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon Four years later I am sobbing! I'm so sorry for your loss! I lost my baby girl to a dog attack while we were out walking 2 weeks ago. The pain has been unbearable! I don't know where you are, but May God Bless you with the continued love of good dogs!
    emoticon from Alabama
    1330 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13788602
    Sorry for the loss of your beloved Phoenix. emoticon
    3051 days ago
    I must say, Richelle, that I would have traded the rest of my life for her to be 100% whole and healthy again. She was not only the sweetest and greatest Aussie in the world but she was also the heart and soul for so many and just the greatest all-around pet. She brought sunshine, smiles and laughter into the lives of all who met/knew her.
    I have to say I would not trade a moment of the happiness and love she brought into our lives. I sure wish I could have done something more to completely heal her and have her with us still. I do thank God that she didn't suffer but prayers weren't answered the way we wished because that is not the plans God had for our lives. One day we will understand. Until then, my deepest sypmathies for you and Joe, McKenzie, Ken and all who knew and loved her. We know that we will meet again at the Rainbow Bridge and she will be healthy and so very happy to see all of us.
    The oceans of tears we have cried and will continue to cry are keeping our eyes washed out, the makers of "Puffs" in business and contributing to the rising tides.
    My thoughts, love and prayers are with you always!
    May God continue to bless you,

    > emoticon
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    There is really nothing more I can say except that our Baby Girl would be with us if she could be. But with just a thought, she is immediately with us as she is in our hearts and memories forever....and is just a thought away.
    3065 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/14/2013 12:45:06 AM
  • no profile photo CD13680088
    I'm so sorry...
    3067 days ago
  • POOH_BEAR_69
    I really appreciate all your support! The blog was a tough one to write... As you all know, grief is a process... I keep finding myself knee deep in it! I thank you for your kind words though. She really was one of a kind. She was an Australian Shepherd, but they are similar to Shelties in some ways. It does soothe my soul to know that Phoenix has so many friends waiting at the Bridge to greet and play with her...
    3067 days ago
    I'm sorry for your loss. Losing our pets is SO difficult. emoticon
    3068 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon made me miss my Deorge all over again and i am sure George was there to meet and greet
    the lady amry emoticon
    3068 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1951302
    I am also wondering if she was a Sheltie. My mother raised Shelties for many years, and I have a tender spot for them!
    3069 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3501043
    I am so sorry for your loss emoticon
    3069 days ago
    I am so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like Phoenix was absolutely priceless and that you had a wonderful relationship. We are here for you.

    But I hate to say, with tears rolling down my face, that I completely understand that it is just not the same. 'Us' being here for you is not the same. No one could ever replace my Aspen girl. Know that Phoenix is still here for you too.
    3069 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/10/2013 7:41:03 AM
    So sorry to hear about your dog. In the picture she looks like a Sheltie. Is she? They are such sweet dogs. God bless you in your sad experience.
    3069 days ago
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