Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Too Soon

Things have just been intense around here this summer - kicked off by the wedding, which was intense in lots of strenuous and happy and sometimes stressfull ways. But the last two days have been intensely sad.

Iris, our wee, beloved pup, died just after 4am yesterday morning of the dreaded puppy disease Parvo. We are devastated.

On Saturday morning Rhiannon and I took Zeus, Jodi and Iris to the dog beach in Kal Park. Its the first time any of us had been to that beach. Zeus especially enjoyed swimming in the lake. Jodi and Iris went for obligatory dips and Iris cavorted around on the rocks.

Later that evening she refused to eat her dinner and during the evening walk she lagged behind a bit more often smelling things.

Rhiannon woke me up at 4:30 because Iris was throwing up in her room. I went to pick her up and saw the circles of bile on Rhiannon's carpet and I was afraid it was Parvo. Jodi got Parvo the day Rhiannon was born (also after hiking in Kal Lake Park) and it looked just like what was under the crib in Rhiannon and Drew's room. I took her to bed and cuddled with her but she threw up in my bed. I took her outside and sat with her and saw watery bloody diarrhea come out when she pooped. I knew it was Parvo then. Jodi was 19 months old when she got it - much older. Iris was only just over 4 months old.

Now Jodi was sick for two days before we clued in and we took her to the vet where she was on IV fluids for a week before she was well and able to come home. I immediately started treating Iris according to the instructions in my Herbal Handbook for farm and stable by Juliette de Bairacli Levy who was a vet and also using internet resources. She kind of stayed the same all day. We administered fluids orally and analy every 14 minutes to half an hour. She continued to throw up and have bloody water come out her anus. But she held. I stayed up with her all night. I stayed outside where she seemed to get comfort from laying on the cool earth. I brought her inside around 2am. I dozed in half our stints. Around 3am she started to decline. She lots muscle tone and wouldn't let me give her any fluids. Blood started to pour out of her anus when she was just laying there. She just layed with her head on me. Her eyes were still clear and she looked so deeply into my eyes around 3:30 - almost pleadingly. I knew she was sorrowful to be leaving us. Then just after 4am with my hands on her, she took her last breath and her heart slowly stopped beating. The moment of death is as profound as birth. Suddenly she was gone and all that was left was her black furry body - a mere shell with out the black sprite.

I cleaned up and threw myself on Jodi and cried and cried. We had got her to be Jodi's apprentice and she was gone before her. We had imagined having her for years and years - imagined her moving out with Rhiannon. We imagined her comfort on the sad day when Jodi will leave. And she was gone. We had her for 6 weeks that seemed like both a very long time and a very short time. Dean and I cried and cried. And then tried to go about the beginning of our day. Rhiannon woke up just after 8 and I had to tell her. It was so horrible.

We burned a candle for her yesterday and we wrote our good-byes. Last night we buried her under the lilac bush near the house. Its marked with a stone and a cross. We only had her for 6 weeks but she was firmly inbedded in our family. In that 6 weeks she was walked twice a day everyday. She slept under Rhiannon's bed every night. She played with all the people working preparing for the wedding. She went to the wedding. She went camping and to the lake. She was a sweet dog without any of the usual puppy vices. No shoes were chewed, no holes dug. She only had to learn to not pee in the house which she had almost mastered. She loved to play, to sit in our laps and she loved people. She loved running with all the nieces and nephews when they were here. She was the most loving sweet dog I have ever met. And she unabashedly and persistently loved Jodi who at first resisted her and then gave in. I see them curled up beside eachother in the back of the car when we camped. Or on the porch. Jodi even let her share her territory under the table which she shares with no other animal or small child. They say a puppy makes an old dog older but Iris made Jodi younger. I see them running ahead of me through the field to start our walks. Iris running circles around Jodi nipping at her tail and Jodi making the dog laughing sound and twisting around to get her. So happy - both of them. She was a little perfect drop of joy and love in our lives.

Right now there is an unbearably big hole in our life where she was. Right now we are missing her terribly.


Sarah-Lynn said...

Wow, that is so so sad and so unexpected! I hated reading of her poor suffering and I'm sure that was a heartbreaking way for her to die. I was really looking forward to meeting her next week. Poor Rhiannon too. Dogs are special animals, and have a way of making a home in our hearts.

Beth-a-knee said...

what a horrible way to die,i almost couldn't bear reading it. My prayers are with you. I know what it's like to lose a beloved dog.

Laura said...

i can't believe it. so sad. she really really was a sweet puppy. i'm sorry she's left you. i like the way you called her a drop of pure joy in your lives.

katie said...

I agree Andrea. She was a really sweet puppy. I'm not around puppies that much, but I have never seen such a well behaved smart little puppy. I'm so sad for you guys.

Every time we visit, your animals die early deaths later that summer.

Heather said...

Oh Andrea, I'm so sorry for your sad, sad loss. How heartbreaking. I couldn't read the rest of your post once I read the first sentence of that second paragraph but I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you and so sad this happened.

amyleigh said...

I missed this post, and I can't believe it, what a tragic thing to happen. I've had a beloved dog die in my arms and I know the grief. But I'm writing this with the knowledge of your new adorable puppy, so it is bitter-sweet at least.