Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Great Mills, MD
To my Princess Puppy
We lost our Princess yesterday. She was such a sweet, beautiful girl. She never met a person or a dog that wasn't a friend. I met her for the first time eight years ago when I met my husband. He invited me over for dinner because his mother and sister were in town and he wanted us all to meet. As I walked in, I was met by the most beautiful Collie I've ever seen. We all sat around the kitchen table and she was seated under the table for the duration of dinner. We all got up to clear the table and we were all in the kitchen when we heard a clinking noise. We all turned around to find her on top of the table, happily eating out of the bowl of mashed potatoes.
For the next eight years we laughed and cried together. She was the runt of her litter. My husband explained that his mother was looking for a new dog when she overheard a woman saying that her Collie had AKC show caliber puppies, save for one. The woman said that she was thinking about just having the dog put down because she'd never be a show dog. The woman I call my mother in law walked up to the "breeder" and offered to buy the pup that she didn't want. The woman happily gave her 'bad' dog up for free.
Cheyenne was not the brightest dog out there. If she was outside and on her lead, she would manage to wrap herself around the lone Shepherd's Hook in the yard. Her definition of fetch was watching the ball sail over her head, then walking with you as you went to get it yourself. Her sister had died a few years prior and she seemed to be slowing down some. So that's when we got Finn. All the life came back into her! She was her old self again. One of our favorite stories about her came from the day we brought Finn home.
Cheyenne had the habit of laying down in front of the bowl of food and eating from it. She had assumed her position when our little ball of white fluff walked up to her. She ignored him as he sniffed her and climbed all over her, but the minute he went near her bowl, she growled, picked him up by the scruff of his neck, and tossed him out of the kitchen. We never had a dominance fight for food or a toy in our house; Chey would lay on it or be near it and Finn would stay clear, no questions asked.
Several months back, we started noticing that she was having trouble getting up after laying down for extended periods of time. The vet told us that she was getting old; she was 14, what did we expect? During the ortho exam, she never flinched, whimpered, or yelped. The vet sent us home with the recommendations for an orthopedic dog bed and to start planning for the end.
After a while, she seemed to just plateau. She had more good days than bad and she didn't seem to be getting any worse. We came to the conclusion that we would let her tell us when it was time.
Two weeks ago, my husband found me outside harvesting our herbs and vegetables and he gave me frantic news; his beloved uncle was very ill and wasn't expected to make it through the night. Before we knew it, we were packed and ready to go back home. The day before we returned home, our dog sitter called. He told us that, she didn't seem like she could stand and that she didn't seem like herself. He said he had to carry her outside for her to go to the bathroom. I sighed and told him that I would contact the vet and see what they said. Before I was done with the vet, he called through and said she was just fine; she was walking and doing her normal thing. I still made an appointment to see our vet on Friday; she was telling us she was ready.
When we got home, we knew she was ready. She just didn't look right. When she went outside, she just collapsed onto her side and just couldn't function. I looked at my husband and sighed; it was her time. He got her up and she slowly ambled her way back in the house
The soonest we could get in to see the vet was the next afternoon. There are no emergency vets close enough to us that we could get to easily and because of her symptoms, we had to sign her over for rabies testing. She slept comfortably through the night, and the next morning we began our last day with her. She ate everything we told her she never could: hot dogs, a good hunk of steak, a few pieces of chicken, and a several large scoops of ice cream.
Once we got her to the vet, they gave her a good once over, then they started the process. A quick sedative and she slowly drifted off to sleep. We got to say our goodbyes, and as we did, she stuck her nose in the bag of treats I had and ate out of the bag until her head slowly listed to the side. She was still breathing. The vet came in again and gave her the very last injection she would ever have. She went with us holding her and sending her over the bridge.
I miss my Princess so very, very much...