… and she was a good girl to the end.
Stephi quit eating last weekend and had a dramatic loss of weight. Sam gained most of the weight she lost because Sam was eating Stephi’s food. I took her to Vet Kelly Harrington last Tuesday and pleaded with her to keep Stephi alive for a few more months, just until Drake got home. They got her to eat but she wasn’t drinking enough water so they kept her for a few days. She quit eating midday on Thursday. By Friday, she was no longer responding to them at all.
Vet Kelly said she thought Stephi might’ve had a stroke. She didn’t have the energy to get up and when they would stand her up, she just sunk back to her side. There was no recognition in her eyes at all. We picked her up Friday afternoon and brought her home to die with us. We could’ve let Vet Kelly put her down but, even if she didn’t recognize it very much, I wanted her to die in familiar surroundings, with Sam and SoLow at her side.
We placed her on the bed she used to love, hiding under my old desk, peeking out at the world. Occasionally, she would try to get up so I thought she might like to go outside for a while. I think she really enjoyed the breeze ruffling her coat, and seeing the birds and the blue sky for a while.
Our friend Ken and his son came and dug a grave for her out behind the house. We live on a rocky hill and this was not an easy task. They said their good-byes to all the dogs but Ken’s son gave Stephi a lot of attention when they left. I don’t know that Stephi even knew what was going on, but I knew and I really appreciated the effort and kindness of both of them.
She went through a period last night when she would move her head and make strange noises, almost like she was dreaming and trying to bark but she didn’t look she was in any pain, just restless. Vet Kelly had given me pain medication, similar to morphine for dogs, and I made sure she wasn’t hurting. Ed and I both spent a lot of time with her last night, calming her and trying to keep her comfortable. I laid down beside her about midnight and fell asleep petting her. Around 1:10 am, I awoke and found that Stephi had slipped away while I dozed next to her on the floor.
I buried her this morning, after letting Sam and SoLow say their good-byes. She is placed so that she can see the house, Sam and SoLow in the dog yard, the goats, and the rising sun. She was our little princess, our first Sheltie, a good girl. She will be missed. Drake will be upset that he missed saying good-bye but I gave her a special finger-wave especially from him.
We love you, Stephi Lynn.