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'.