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Over the Rainbow Bridge

Tiffany's arthritis seemed to be more or less under control, and her liver enzymes, while never getting back to 'normal', at least were improving.  At 15, she still seemed to be doing pretty good.  Her eyesight was failing, and her hearing was about gone, but for her age, we thought she was pretty good.

In late August, Cheryl's aunt in Stephens Arkansas passed away, and we planned to go to the funeral.  We made a call to the veterinarian's to get her some boarding for a couple days while we would be out of town.  Just before we took her to the vet's, I'd noticed some footprints on the carpet coming in from her doggie door.  I'd guessed that she stepped in some mud or something, and planned to clean it up when we returned.  So, she went to the vet's, and we went to Arkansas.

On our return, I called to come in and pick Tiffany up, and the Vet wanted to talk with us.  It seemed that the day that we left, and that night, there were some severe thunderstorms.  While at the vet's, Tiffany started having some severe diarrhea with blood in the stool.  She was very weak, and the doctors tested her blood, and she was very anemic!  Somewhere around this time, I'd stepped out on the back porch, and discovered that she'd had a bloody stool just before we'd left for Arkansas, and this was the source of the footprints that I'd discovered before.

The Vet suggested that they keep her for the night for observation, except that there wouldn't be someone there all night long.  Our choices were to leave her there, check her into a 24 hour vet up in Arlington, or bring her home.  Feeling sorry for her, we opted to bring her home.  She was very weak, and didn't eat very much.  I kept an eye on her that night, and discovered (the hard way) that she had had more diarrhea on the carpet in the hall!  So, at 1:00 in the morning, I was cleaning carpets.  Later that morning, she was sleeping in her bed next to ours, and she got up at about 4:00.  I'm usually a heavy sleeper, but I guess my concern for her well being made me more sensitive that morning, as I got up with her.  She walked into the living room, and up to her doggie door.  Figuring that she needed to go out, I opened the back door and let her out.  I turned on the lights in the back yard so that she could see where she was going.

After doing what she needed to do, she started walking around the swimming pool.  As she got to the far side, where the fountain is, she stopped, not wanting to go into the shadows.  She turned back, directly into the light, and walked straight into the swimming pool!  In her weakened state, all she could do was to not completely sink--she couldn't even get her nose above the water!  So, at 4 in the morning, in my sleeping shorts, I jumped into the pool and got her out.  She was snorting water out of her nose, and shivering.  Luckily, we still had the beach towels on the back porch, so I grabbed one and started drying her off and warming her up.  After getting her pretty dry, and inside, I blocked off the doggie door, and crawled into the shower to warm up myself!

The next day, I went to the hardware store and bought some plastic temporary fencing, and constructed a fence around the pool to keep her from falling in again!

Over the next few days, it was obvious that she wasn't improving.  She was very unsteady on her feet, and had trouble standing or walking in a straight line.  She was still very weak, and not eating her regular dog food.  At the vet's suggestion, we started cooking her her own special dinner--rice with mixed vegetables and boiled chicken.  This food she really liked, whether she felt bad or not!  After a week or so of eating good, her anemia started improving, and she had some more energy, which made us feel better.

Over the next couple of months, her blood work kept improving slightly, and she had a fair amount of energy, but she was still very unstable on her feet, and not improving in that respect.  We could only conjecture that she'd had a small stroke.

The week of Thanksgiving, we finally got her an appointment to get a grooming (she hadn't been groomed since before August when this all started happening).  When I went in to pick her up, the groomers informed me that they could work with her again.  She was too unstable, and kept falling down while they tried to cut her hair.  That, and her many old age bumps would start to bleed

When it was time to take Tiffany in to the vet, Alex wanted to carry her in...she'd never let Alex hold her before.  So, he carried her in for the last time, and after it was over, he carried her out too.  I think that this meant a lot to him, and it touched me deeply too.

 

The Early Years

The Middle Years

Old Age

Over the Rainbow Bridge

 

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Last modified Sunday, August 12, 2007 08:16:17 PM