It took me a bit to sit down and write, simply due to sheer exhaustion, but I knew I wanted to do a dedication, true to my “must talk about how wonderful the dog was” nature.
So here we go.
Monday morning, August 26th, I awoke at 7:10am to a 2-3 second repeated moan. A bit disoriented at first, I wasn’t really sure what I heard, but eventually I discerned that it was coming from Tippy. I jumped out of bed and walked around to the other side to find Tippy lying there on a dog bed, a little puny and continuing the “uuuuooooommmm” in short bursts. I picked her up and set her on the bed to examine her. Color was okay, a bit dehydrated, lost look in her eyes, vomit by her bed, and more “uuuooooommms.” I took her fever to find it was normal. Still, I didn’t like what I was witnessing, sure that she was having an Addisonian crash, so I began getting ready so I could leave as soon as possible for the vet. I called to let them know she needed to be seen, and we headed in. Right as I was leaving I saw that she’d had an accident…her stool was diarrhea and mainly blood.
Tippy was immediately placed on fluids, and they drew blood for a full analysis. The problem was that her blood pressure was low and she wasn’t giving much blood for the tests. They managed to get enough to check her electrolytes and packed cell volume (pcv), and oddly they both came back normal. I left her hospitalized and awaited a call from the doctor. The phone call told me every bit of her bloodwork/tests were normal, but at the time she hadn’t shown a lot of improvement. I called back at the end of the day to learn she was looking better and could go home on fluids, only to return first thing in the morning. If there were any issues I was to get her to the ER right away.
My mother and I picked up Tippy and her little “hospital pack to go” at closing, and she was bright-eyed and bushy tailed. She wagged her tail and was excited to see me, smiling and alert. She rode in my mother’s arms giving her lots of tail wags and kisses, snuggling and acting silly. I was encouraged.
I dropped my mother off and headed home. Once at the house I hooked her up to her fluids and placed her in her crate. While getting the IV set up, she was inquisitive, barking, smiling, and chirpy. She seemed glad to be home and in good spirits. Again, I was encouraged. Once in her crate she settled down to rest. I’d check on her repeatedly, and she was doing great. She didn’t eat, but I expected as much and didn’t worry.
At the close of the evening I put everyone to bed and took ten minutes to hang on my inversion table since my back was hurting. Afterward, I walked into the bedroom toward my side of the bed where Tippy was resting. I sleep on the side opposite of the door, so I walked around the bed and glanced over to see my dog, Grace, sitting in the door frame. I said “C’mom honey, let’s go to bed.” She wouldn’t go through the door. I looked at her, a bit surprised, as I stood by the bed in front of Tippy’s crate. I repeated, “Let’s go to bed. C’mon, Grace.” Still, she wouldn’t come into the room.
That’s when it hit me.
I knelt down and looked into Tippy’s crate…there was bloody stool everywhere and Tippy was unresponsive. I was horrified because only a short time prior she’d looked so good. I pulled her out, checked her gums, realized she was dying, pulled out the IV, shut it off, talked to her and carried her with me as I threw clothes on, ran to the car and raced to the Emergency Clinic.
I did everything I could to keep her stimulated. I talked to her; I sang to her; I rubbed her; I tapped her little forehead. I kept my hand on her chest and tried to feel her heartbeat…I could not. I only felt the rattling of her lungs…they were filling up.
I flew like a bat out of hell and continued my efforts to keep her stimulated. 3/4 of the way to the clinic, my hand resting on her chest and my words pleading, I felt her gasp, her body seize, and then let go. She’d left me.
I continued to the Emergency Clinic in tears and carried her inside. I let the receptionist know she had passed, but asked if they could cremate her for me and give me her paw print. They kindly obliged. Once the tech handed me the clay paw print, I headed home, defeated.
The loss of sweet Tippy…so senseless, it seems to me. So much conquered in the year plus that she was with us, only to see her leave us so soon. It just doesn’t seem fair. Yet the reality is that she’s gone and we don’t know why since all work ups showed us nothing. The same reality shows me, however, that she was adored by so many, and that her smiling, happy face and that goofy little walk of hers brightened many people’s days. She helped other dogs in rescue relax, kept the ones who acted out in line, and she handed out kisses wherever she went. She was a wobbly little angel and made people feel great.
Tippy, thank you for making me laugh, reminding me persistently it was time for your meds, telling me to get on the ball for dinner and to quit slacking, and for constantly giving me kisses whether you felt good, a little off, or flat out crappy. Thank you for following me around the house and tripping all of us because you insisted that you needed to be beside me and an active participant in my every activity…it kept me on my toes, literally and figuratively. Thank you for telling me to get my lazy arse out of bed because it was morning and I needed to let everyone out. Thank you for warming the frightened and stressed heart of Lottie, and for showing Monet and Shelby they could love you despite being divas…which they did, very much. Thank you for always checking on Belvedere and cleaning his face daily…I feel certain that between this and your consistent snuggling that he was the proudest big brother ever.
We all loved you, little one, and know that you are handing out baskets of joy in heaven. We will see you again one day.