Saturday, July 30, 2011

Full Tilt, right to the end

She had an episode on our walk and I had to carry her home - she didn't really recover from that point on. After spending the night in a 24hr Emergency Clinic for animals we finally got the prognosis from the doctor: Louise was suffering from congestive heart failure, the symptoms of which intensified greatly earlier that night. X-rays showed the telltale signs. Other tests showed that she was no longer able to get sufficient oxygen from breathing - possibly from fluid in her lungs. Holly and I opted to say our goodbyes to Louise rather than to prolong her suffering - Louise died this morning, at 6:15 am. This was not a financial decision but rather one made out of compassion. We let Louise leave with dignity.

While in hindsight we can see some of the telltale symptoms of her progressing condition, Holly and I were blissfully unaware of how weak Louise was becoming. Sure, she was slowing down, but Louise was pretty good at indicating to us when she wasn't interested in going out, etc. In some ways this proved to be a good thing for Louise as she continued to live her life unencumbered with thoughts of tomorrow and for the most part, at her pace.

Louise's final week was spent pretty much like any other week - she was in the office with me on Thursday, she was rolling around on the sofa in one of her playful 'wrestling matches' with me just yesterday, our walks were relaxed and quite enjoyable in the summer weather. Louise generally wanted nothing more than to be with Holly or I. (and whatever was on our plates.) Just yesterday she was barking on the sidewalk, just letting the neighborhood know she was there. Every day was a happy one, so long we we were together.

Louise was one of those fantastic, 'enrich your life in ways you never thought possible' kind of dogs. By that I mean to say she was a completely normal dog given a chance to be a part of a group who adopted her as one of their own. Our family group consisted of my wife and I, two cats and of course, Louise. Having two cats in the group ensured that our days would never be boring, as there was always just a little friction between them and Louise. But they had their moments of reconciliation as well.

I don't have a fantastic memory, which is why I'm thankful right now to have kept a record of her time with us here on this blog. Sure, the frequency of updates slowed down over the last while, but so did Louise, so I figure it evens out. Just knowing that I have several years' worth of stories and photos to remind me of the many adventures she had is comforting to me.

This is going to be the last blog post here but the content will stay up for those who wish to continue remembering this little dog. Comments will stay enabled for now and as always, we read every one. I hope you enjoyed these random stories about our little 'Heavy Breather'.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting a bit warm in these parts

It's been so long since I have posted to this blog, but hey, at least I have been doing twitter updates. Anyway, this time I hope to recap a few of those twitter pictures as well as a couple new ones, just to keep things fresh.

The warmer weather has finally arrived, but it is in true Vancouver style, which is to say that it's decidedly 'warm' and not 'hot' like the rest of the continent. That's ok though, it's just about perfect weather for walking a heat-sensitive pug like ours. We haven't had to take any special measures yet, but both Holly and I have noticed that Louise is losing stamina when out for her afternoon walks. She still wants to go out, but well, she doesn't really last all that long.

The first two pictures are ones I took while walking with her along the sea wall. In the second one she is just 'investigating' the bottom rung and not actually trying to drink salt water. But it took a lot of sniffing for her to determine that it wasn't actually worth drinking. I guess the salt content isn't all that high in the waters around Vancouver so maybe it's normal that it would take a dog a bit of sniffing to figure it out.

The next picture is one where I have captured Louise licking her paws. If you asked me I'd say that it was a very cat-like behaviour but well that's not a popular theory with either the dog OR the cats.

All of this brings me to the last picture in this post, which is also one that I tweeted a few days ago. It was one of those lucky shots where I had set a wine bottle by the door with intentions of recycling it (we still have it here) and Louise decided to lay down next to it because the door was open enough to allow some cooler air to come in. Holly noticed first and suggested I take a picture. I did and what we have is a decently staged 'hangover' picture.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Wii find it exhausting

I think we might have been the last family in Canada to purchase a Nintendo Wii. Of course, by being last we also happened to score a great deal (ie. basically free by using Shopper's Optimum points for a discount greater than the price of the console). Even with that though, we have noticed that prices for the remotes have held firm. I guess it's pretty easy to see where Nintendo makes it's money from.

Anyway, the Wii is a bit bothersome for Louise, as when we are playing with it, she is never quite sure where she should be sitting. Should she sit on my couch? Probably a good idea if it's Holly's turn. But once Holly's turn is over, Louise is wanting to switch couches again, as now I am up, practicing my golf swing. This back and forth action will continue for quite a while until Louise finally gives up and goes to nap in her bed.

Today was also the day when Louise came into work with me. I tweeted her picture a couple times as we had an employee information session, which gave me a few minutes of downtime while they prepared the room. Louise wanted to sit in my lap, so she was only too happy to smile for the camera. Of course, ten minutes later she was also bored enough to insist we go for a walk immediately. Luckily, my boss doesn't take offense to me walking out of his presentation, and I was able to get caught up later.

Still, overall it was a pretty good day for Wheezie.