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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sorry, I've been AWOL again - A tribute to Gigi

I apologize for being absent from the blog, yet again, recently. I have a very good excuse and this time it isn't good news.

On March 29th our little toy poodle, Gigi, started vomiting. She seemed to feel okay otherwise so I wasn't too alarmed. I fed her some boiled rice with low sodium chicken broth on Tuesday night and she gobbled it down but vomited some of it back up. I thought it was perhaps because she had eaten too fast on an empty stomach. On Wednesday when she showed no interest in food but was drinking plenty of water and throwing up some of the water, I decided to take her to the vet, just in case.

We decided that since she had a normal temp and wasn't exhibiting any other symptoms we would start with a conservative approach first. The vet gave her an injection of Cerenia to alleviate the urge to vomit, gave her some SQ fluids and sent home a box of 5 Cerenia tablets to give her for the next five days. She had a somewhat restless night on Wednesday and seemed to feel better on Thursday. Thursday evening she was a bit more restless and uncomfortable so I put her little bed in the bathroom and turned a nightlight on for her. I put her water bowl and food dish right next to her bed and woke up several times throughout the night to check on her.

Friday morning she was really groggy but I had given her some Benedryl the night before to help her sleep (the vet gave his approval for the Benedryl) so I didn't think much of it. She came into my office with me and curled up in her bed behind my chair. All of a sudden she gasped and went rigid. I immediately picked her up and tried to get her to stand up, which she was unable to do. I picked her up and carried into hubby's office across the hall and he agreed that something was most definitely not right. I called the vet's office and they told me to head in right away. I was still in my bathrobe and slippers so I quickly dressed while hubby kept an eye on her. We put her in the car on the front seat on a towel so I could keep an eye on her while I drove her to the vet's.

It is at least a 30 minute drive into town and my little girl crossed The Rainbow Bridge when we were about halfway into town. She crossed over with my hand on her and my voice calling the angels to guide her. After she stopped breathing I was sobbing so hard I was afraid I was going to pass out so I had to calm myself down before I had a wreck. I continued on to the vet's office and carried her in, sobbing to them that I thought she was already gone. Fortunately nobody else was at the vet's office so they got me in immediately. The vet listened for a heartbeat, then put his arms around me and gently told me that she was gone. I was hysterical. I couldn't believe it. He started to tell me what my options were for her and I immediately told him she was coming back home with me because I wanted to bury her someplace where I could visit her grave. The vet gently wrapped little Gigi in the towel and carried her to the car for me and placed her in the passenger seat. He hugged me and told me how very sorry he was for my loss and while I was sobbing hysterically he urged me to please come back inside until I was a bit more calm; he was worried that I wouldn't be able to drive home. So I went back inside and his staff hugged me and told me how sorry they were, handed me a box of tissues and offered me a private room if I wanted it. I spent a little while crying and blowing my nose, then thanked them for everything. I asked them to please send me a bill for the visit and the vet told me there was no charge whatsoever for what he had done for me. He hugged me and said "we love you, please drive home carefully". I assured them all that I loved them and thanked them for all they had done for me and for Gigi.

I am so grateful to my vet and his staff for their compassion, not only for the animals that they treat, but for the people who share their lives with these animals. Several days after Gigi passed I received a beautiful Rainbow Bridge card from the vet along with a hand written note telling me that Gigi was obviously a very loved and integral part of our lives and to please remember her with love and cherish the good memories of her.

I think for the first few days I was just numb. I would do things like look around for her to ask if she wanted to go outside. Then when the numbness wore off I would think of Gigi and realize that she was never coming back. Last night was incredibly gut wrenching for me. When I thought of her, I felt like somebody had punched me in the stomach. I cried and cried last evening.

I know to some people, it is "just a dog". To those who know that our companion animals are so much more than that, thank you for understanding how very difficult it is when we lose one, especially when it is sudden and unexpected.

Gigi
May 4, 2000 - April 1, 2011
RIP my sweet little girl

23 comments:

john said...

Such a sweet little girl! My sympathy in your loss. I miss every one of my little fur babies and it is never easy.

Split Rock Ranch said...

John: Thank you so much for your kind words. It never gets any easier, no matter how many you lose.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Somebody just shared this on Facebook when my blog post posted to my Facebook page. It is called "Just a Dog" poem.

http://animalrescuemobile.org/Just%20a%20Dog%20Poem.htm

It is perfect. I love it and had to share it.

Ann said...

I am so sorry for your loss. They are more than "just a dog", they are truly a family member. I know how difficult it is and my heart goes out to you.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Thank you so much Ann. I'm so glad that so many people understand how integral a part of our lives our companion animals are.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. There are dogs I still can cry over after many years. She was a real cutie.

Michelle said...

I am crying...I'm so, so, so sorry. She was beautiful and is now in a better place and watching over you all. I have missed you too! Take care my friend.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Sharkbytes: I hear you. Me, too. Thank you.

Michelle: Thank you so much. I have been crying off and on for the past week. The day before she passed I was covered in hives I was so worried about her. I'm just so glad she isn't suffering. I couldn't bear that.

Joy said...

Oh, I am so sorry. Losing a pet is so painful. I'm sure she was glad to have you by her side.

webdework said...

I am very sorry for your loss. She was very pretty & cute. I will pray that god gives to strength to bear it.
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randomcreative said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Brenda. :( Wishing you the best during this difficult time.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Joy: Thank you. I'm so glad we had for as long as we did.

Webdework: Thank you.

RandomCreative: Thank you so much.

Daisy said...

Oh no. I am so sorry for your loss. Soft purrs to you during this sad time.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Thank you so much Daisy. I can use all the soft purrs I can get right now.

Lin said...

Oh, pally, I am so very sorry for the loss of your little friend. It all happened so quickly, I'm sure you are reeling. It's been a tough year for ya, hasn't it? Too many losses.

I am sending you lots of love and prayers, for I know all too well the loss of a dear animal friend. She was a lovely girl and I know she had a wonderful life with you.

Thinking of you....

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

That was a beautiful post for your Gigi!! Had tears in my eyes as I was reading. Reminded me of when our last little buddy, JJ died - it IS so hard! We elected not to get another dog because it was so hard to say goodbye! But we have a "granddog" named Bruce that comes to visit so that helps! And a lighter note to make you smile perhaps ~ we have NEVER been "cat" people, but soon after out JJ died, we have been "babysitting" our son's EX-girlfriend's cat!! Going on for 8 yrs now ` ha! And she has become our little companion :)) Have happy, healthy and beautiful day!

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. Like Daisy, I am sending you soft purrs.

Duni said...

I could barely read this post for the tears that were streaming down my face. I am so very sorry for your loss, Brenda, but I'm glad you have such a kind vet who understands and I'm also glad you were with Gigi when she passed. Sending love and purrs.

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

I am so sorry for your loss of little Gigi. It is so hard. Hugs to you and your family.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Lin: Thank you so much. This year has been a tough one for the critters, that's for sure. We almost lost our 31 year old POA mare three days after we lost Smokey the end of February. She rallied and pulled through but I had already had "the talk" with her and told her if she saw her friends at The Rainbow Bridge she should go with them.

Ollie McKay: Thank you. We debated on whether or not we want to get another dog. We decided we would not get another toy poodle. Instead, we're looking at Miniature Schnauzers and found a local breeder with two litters to choose from. These puppies will be ready for adoption in late June - right after our daughter's wedding, so the timing would be perfect. I can't imagine our lives without our companion animals, no matter how much it hurts when they have to go. What they give us is definitely worth any pain we experience when we have to say goodbye.

Sparkle: Thank you so much. Soft purrs are always welcome!

Duni: Thank you so much. I sobbed the entire time I wrote this post. In a way it was cleansing and healing though and I knew I had to do it. I think it is part of the grieving process.

Nancy: Thank you so much. We're still reeling from the loss but hoping it gets easier as time goes by.

wildcatsthree said...

I'm so sorry to read about Gigi. It is horrible to lose a beloved pet so suddenly and I unfortunately know what you're going through right now. We lost our Abby very suddenly in January shortly after she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. We thought we had more time but it was not meant to be. I still look for her from time to time or hear something that makes me think she's around. At least Gigi passed with you right by her side and you can visit her grave and talk to her when you feel blue. It will be a while before it is easier to accept what has happened - I'm not sure I have accepted it yet myself. We're sending you our hugs and purrs. Take care.

Lisa - Alterity Button Jewelry said...

Oh No!!!!!! I didn't expect the story to end the way it did. This is just so sad and I feel so bad for you. Prayers for your healing are coming your way :)

Split Rock Ranch said...

Wildcatsthree: Thank you. It is never easy. No matter how many you lose. So sorry about your Abby. I'm just so happy that I could spend my time with Gigi in her last hours. She went peacefully. I'm grateful for that.

Lisa: I didn't expect it to end the way it did either. It was shocking and I think I was just numb for the first week. Then I had a few days where I was just brittle. Now, I'm more accepting of it and crying far less. I can actually think of her and smile. Thank you for the prayers.