September 23rd 2011 7:13 am
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Misha, I had a dream about you this morning. It wasn't much, but I saw you, and you were becoming young again right before my eyes! Your head was so brown! You were lying on a bed, and I was with you, right in front of you. We were in very tight quarters. You were lying back and I was talking to you and you were listening to me, and you were turning your head like you used to do. And you were changing - getting younger. I was so happy and excited and I started crying.
And then I woke up, and cried.
Oh, how I wish we could go back in time. I miss you baby girl.
September 12th 2011 6:00 am
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Things just aren't the same without you and Bowie. I knew this would be the case, but actually living it is different. You were my life. How do I adjust to not having you around after almost 16 years? I'm having a difficult time moving on. I expected Bowie would be here to help me, but the cancer took him so quickly. It doesn't matter that we got extra time with him, it was too fast.
Misha, I'm trying hard to remember you as you were when you were healthy, but so much happened to you in the last 2 years, it really is difficult. Videos help a little, but it's not enough. I hate that age did what it did to you. And I hate how it ended for you. I still feel so much guilt for letting you go that day. I know you weren't done here, even with the pain you felt. But, I didn't realize it until after you were gone. I'm so sorry.
August 9th 2011 1:39 pm
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The last 2 and a 1/2 years have been tough, but I'd do it all over again.
Misha was diagnosed with spinal cord compression in June 2009. Tore her left ACL in August 2009. Began having mini strokes in December 2009. In early 2010, she had one mini-stroke after another. We managed them with one, and later 2 different high blood pressure medications. Recurring urinary tract infections began occurring early in 2010 and continued until I finally began pulsed antibiotics (every other day dosing) in December 2010. She suffered from Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in the last year. Accidents began occurring in the house in the summer of 2010. I just attributed it to her weak spinal nerves. It became clear in early spring 2011 that it was doggie alzheimer's. We tried Anipryl for that, and it worked after a few weeks to bring her out of the fog she was in. It didn't help her bowel incontinence, but cleaning up after her became a normal part of the day.
We almost let her go on May 2nd, but my awesome vet gave us a few options that could keep her with us a little while longer, and they worked. One was the Anipryl, which allowed her personality to come back. I'm grateful for that.
She began going downhill just after my younger dog was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma on the heart - that was on the 17th of July. Misha began limping badly on her front legs. I don't know why it got worse so quickly. She had been doing that on and off for a few months but it got worse the week of the 18th. By the middle of the following week, she couldn't walk without a severe limp. With her weak back legs, this made walking a real chore for her. We tried laser therapy and acupuncture on Saturday the 30th and there seemed to be a bit of improvement. I was hopeful. But, with her bowel incontinence paired with limited mobility, she began falling in her poop. A lot of things happened that week. She had no strength in her back legs, and her front legs, likely with severe arthritis, probably hurt to walk on. For the last 3 days, I carried her outside to go potty. She didn't want to walk out to the grass and back into the house. In the house, she couldn't walk more than 10 feet without lying down and resting. She began dribbling urine and seemed to have trouble breathing at times - she was panting more often and earlier in the day. I learned it was due to moderate to severe laryngeal paralysis - making her feel she couldn't get enough oxygen.
She was still "with it" at the end, and was interested in what was going on around her, she just couldn't participate as much as she wanted because of her legs. She seemed tired, and I think she was in pain, despite regular use of prednisone, gabapentin, and tramadol.
Misha would have been 16 on November 2nd. She was a stubborn, determined, fearless beagle, who was ready to go on any adventure at any time. We called her our "mountain goat" because she would climb the most impossible boulders, slopes, etc., on our hikes. She got to live in all 4 time zones (we've moved a lot). She was our first dog. She was an "alpha" dog and was so very resilient. She bounced back from everything. We had so much fun with her and learned so much from her. My only regret is that we didn't compete with her in agility trials. She was trained in agility and would have kicked butt. She had the drive.
I'm so glad we picked her out of that litter of pups so many years ago.
But, I'm struggling with the decision I made in letting her go. I feel I could have helped her and kept her with us a little longer. The grief is so overwhelming. I'm feeling so much regret. And I am so sad about how her death occurred at the vet's office. I don't feel her passing was a peaceful one. And that really haunts me.
I loved her so much. She was with me almost half of my life. We did so much together. So many memories. I miss her. I can't believe she's gone.