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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Saying Goodbye....

It doesn't seem that long since I wrote a post about losing my little Chihuahua, Choco, in fact it was just over a year ago.  And now today, sadly I'm writing about losing another little Chihuahua, Kara.   Yesterday we took our little girl to the vet for her to be helped to go over the Rainbow Bridge.  

Kara was about four months old when we first saw her.  She sat like a poor little waif in a pet shop window in October 2008, this was when pet shops here in Spain were still able to sell dogs from their windows.  Against our better judgement we went into the pet shop and asked all about her.  It was obvious that the guy working there didn't have a clue about her, but he must have spotted a pair of suckers when we entered the premises!  Well my husband wasn't happy to buy a dog from a pet shop and who can blame him, but as we drove home (an hour and a half in the car) we couldn't stop talking about this little sweetie in the window and how she would fit in with our other three dogs!!  

(Kara always ate on the sofa on her own 'tablecloth' (an old tea towel) because she was a slow eater and her sisters would steal her dinner if they could!)

I remember we got home and immediately decided to call the shop and tell the guy to hang on to her, we were coming straight back to get her!  So off we went, another hour and a half in the car and so little Kara came home with us that Saturday evening.  Of course she wasn't called Kara then, she was a nameless little thing, as quiet as a mouse and not much bigger!  Brian, my husband, suggested we call her Kara, after the Supergirl character, Kara Zor-el, and so Kara she became.

We wanted to take Kara straight to our vet for a check up but it was too late that Saturday evening, but as soon as we got her home we realised that something wasn't quite right with her.  First of all her tail had a 'kink' in it, it felt like a 'knot' and it stuck straight out the back.  It didn't worry us how it looked but we didn't want her to have any problems with it.  Also her back legs appeared to be twisted.  Her fur didn't feel as soft as it looked, it had a slight dryness to it but we thought we'd leave it for the vet to look at on the Monday.

 

Kara settled in but she was extremely nervous.  She seemed to be petrified of feet, if we walked anywhere near her she would cower down as if she thought she might be kicked....it was not nice to watch but we were determined that she would feel at home with us as she was already very well loved....how could we not love the little sweetie?  She was gorgeous, the sweetest little dog and very cuddly!

 

On the Monday, when the vet saw her, she was really angry.  She said that Kara was obviously undernourished, her tail had been broken and not set properly, her back legs were indeed twisted because she actually had rickets.  Our vet hadn't seen a puppy with rickets in  in a long time.  Her fur was dry because she'd not been given the correct food for a puppy of her age.  

 

We went home with her and continued feeding her on the food that we'd been giving to our other pups, Lucy and Yoda, who themselves were only 9 months and 7 months respectively.  A week later when we went back to the vet, she could already see an improvement in Kara, her fur was beginning to feel silky and soft and she blossomed from then on.  She continued to have silky soft fur for the rest of her life.

Then a few years later, one Boxing Night to be exact, Kara suddenly started fitting.  I'd never seen a dog having a fit before and it was incredibly upsetting, plus I was so scared that we were going to lose her and what vet would be open at 8pm the day after Christmas?  Luckily, we didn't reckon with my son's future mother in law, who, knowing everyone in our town, got on the phone to a local vet who agreed to see us straight away.  And so little Kara was diagnosed with epilepsy and put on phenobarbitol.

Phenobarbitol is not a drug to be messed with but once we got her dose right, she had less fits although she did continue to have a few a month...however, what we didn't know was that it was affecting her eyesight.  We eventually tried other drugs and reduced her phenbarbitol right down but by then it was too late, her retinas were already beyond help and she gradually lost her sight completely.

At first her loss of sight wasn't that much of a problem for her, she'd never been a dog that liked going out for walks, she was actually a little bit of a Diva and enjoyed being carried about!  But as long as we didn't move the furniture she was fine, she could find the water bowls, she could find her way around without many bumps.  However about a year or so ago I noticed that her behaviour started to be a bit 'different'.  She started to walk around in circles and bark for no reason at all, and it was a 'strange' bark, not a normal one but we didn't really think too much of it at the time.  I asked the vet if she thought Kara might have the start of doggy dementia but she felt that she was too young at that point, so we didn't worry too much.

 

However, by the beginning of this year she started to get worse.  I'd done some research and found out quite a lot about dementia in dogs and she was showing quite a few signs, it was really sad.  As if the poor little thing didn't have enough to contend with, she was definitely showing strong signs of dementia.  The vet gave us a drug that is supposed to help dogs with these signs, called Cognadine, but although it seemed to help at little at first, we soon realised that she was getting worse.  We tried other medications, we tried cannabis oil but nothing really helped her.  She got worse and worse. 

In February when my husband was away visiting family in the UK, I was at the end of my tether.  Kara was walking around in circles and continued to do so for about 3 and a half hours.  Every time I picked her up and held her, she would struggle to get down, I would put her in her bed and she would get straight out and off she'd go again with the circling. She also started to bark for nothing at all and this too would go on for hours at a time.

Our vet then suggested another drug that is supposed to help dogs with dementia and had no side effects...we tried this and yes, for a few weeks it seemed to work.  It was increasing the blood flow to her brain and supposed to calm her symptoms down.  But over the last few weeks we realised that it just wasn't working anymore and there was nothing left that we could do for her medically.

 

Last week we realised that her time had come to leave us.  She no longer recognised us which was just so heartbreaking and her circling had got so treacherous for her because she couldn't see, she no longer was aware enough of her surroundings to know where everything was and so she spent a lot of time bashing into furniture, it was horrible to watch.  Horrible to see our sweet little girl in such decline.  Physically she looked fine, her fur was lovely and soft, her appetite in the main was good, but her mental state was in such decline. 

I cried all weekend after we'd made the decision to let her go.  I felt like I was 'playing God', deciding that her life was over.  But our lovely vet talked with us at length and she is not one to put a healthy dog to sleep or make decisions like this lightly.  She told us that Kara's heart was strong but her mind had completely gone and her life must be scary for her, she didn't know where she was and she didn't know who we were...that was horrible to hear but then the truth often is.  

So we said goodbye to her yesterday morning at 9.50am.  We held her whilst she was sedated and we cuddled her in her blanket as she was given the injection and  breathed her last.  My heart feels heavy and my eyes are swollen, but she will always be our little Princess Diva who'll live on in our hearts forever.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I'm sorry it was so long but it's hard to put 12 years of love for a little dog into just a few lines.  

Please give your beloved pets an extra hug from me tonight

Big hugs, Sharon xx 

44 comments:

  1. That's terrible news Sharon! I'm so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your little girl. I love that you chose the name Kara, I love geeky names for pets and she was indeed a Supergirl. I didn't know that dogs could have epilepsy and I imagine that the meds for that are no joke. It must have been hard for you to go through all of those medical scares, but I'm sure you gave her a wonderful life.

    Big hugs.

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    1. Thank you so much MC, I really appreciate your lovely comments. It's funny about her name because I wasn't a great fan of Superman or Supergirl, but Brian, my husband, loves all that and it was his turn to choose a name. I'd got Lucy our Miniature Pinscher in the January and because she'd been born in Lucena, Cordoba, so I chose Lucy as her name. Then we'd got Yoda and although I'd always thought of Yoda as a masculine name, when we saw Yoda, she was all big ears and small body and she really couldn't have been named anything else. So Brian chose Kara because he said she reminded him of Super Girl, although we both don't know why!!!
      It was scary with all her health problems, we even found out on the day that she died that she actually had glaucoma too...and that it must have been painful sometimes...that was horrible to hear, because I didn't realise. I'm trying not to beat myself up over that lack of realisation :(
      But we did our best for her, she was a real sweet little dog!
      xxx

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  2. I'm so sorry Sharon. It's always a heartbreaking and difficult decision to let our dear furry friends go, but it's really better this way for your dear Kara. One of our cats got sick too and did the same in the end: always walking around in circles, crying, it was better for him as well.
    You made a beautiful tribute to your little darling, she was very lucky to live with you and your family.
    Please take good care of yourself, and I will give my cat a hug from you.
    Big hugs X

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    1. Thank you Linda, it really is. Although I would have liked her to live to a ripe old age, if she had to go I would have preferred her to die peacefully in her sleep but sadly that wasn't going to happen as she had such a strong heart. So this was the 'next best thing' if those words can go with this situation. I miss her so much, but I know deep down that it was for the best.
      Watching a human with dementia is horrible, and watching a beloved furry family member is equally awful, I can imagine how sad you were with your poor cat. :(
      Thank you so much for your lovely words.
      xxx

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  3. It's always hard losing a pet. Kara was so fortunate to have such a nice home with you, where she was well cared for. At least you have so many wonderful memories with her.

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    1. It really is Barb, thank you so much for your lovely and kind words, they're very much appreciated. We do indeed have a lot of good memories of Kara.
      xxx

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  4. Sharon, thank you for sharing Kara's story with us at what is such a sad time for you both. It appears you were there to save little Kara and love and protect her the rest of her life.
    It is hard to make these decisions but like at the beginning you knew what you had to do for your little princess, my heart is breaking for you and tears well up for little Kara but know, if she could talk she'd have say how she loved you everyday , big hugs xxx

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    1. Thank you for your really kind words Dee, I know that you have gone through this more than once in the last year, the same as us. It never gets any easier, does it?
      xxx

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  5. Dear Sharon, I am so sorry for you lost. Your little girl was adorable. I don't have any pets but I will give my doll Lace a hug from you. I am sending you good wishes.

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    1. Thank you so much Dorothy, she was indeed adorable. Thank you for your good wishes too...I hope you are enjoying Lace :)
      xxx

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  6. i'm so sorry to read this. i'm sending you big hugs. your little dogs lived the best possible life with you.

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    1. Thank you very much Chema, I appreciate your kind comments.
      We did our best for Kara, it just hurts so much when they have to leave you :(
      xxx

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  7. Oh S! I have tears in my eyes typing this. My heart goes out to you it really does. Kara was always my favourite of your canine crew. What a lucky girl she was to have been found and loved by you, so much and so well. Sending a huge virtual hug xx

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    1. Thanks so much Ronny, I thought of you the other day because I knew that you really liked Kara and we used to chat about her being your little boys girlfriend :) We did our best for her, the poor girl had to try so many different medications over the years because we wanted what was the best for her conditions, but in the end we had to admit that it was her time, there was nothing more that could be done.
      xxx

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  8. I'm very, very sorry to hear this about your little girl :(... I've read her story with tears in my eyes. At least now Kara is free from the pain and this horrible disease. Sometimes letting your pets go is the best thing you can do for them and also the ultimate proof of your love. I can only hope I will be ready for this when the time comes...
    Now I'm going to give Vincent and Viktorek a hug from you.

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    1. Thank you so much Chiriann I appreciate your comments. It's true that she is free of this horrible disease, that is my only consolation. We miss her a lot but I guess it's early days yet, I just keep expecting her to start her barking or wandering around at night! I was always listening out for the sound of her claws on the wooden floors as she walked around in the dark!
      Thank you for hugging Vincent and Viktorek for me, what lovely names :)
      xxx

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  9. Such a little darling Kara was and she got the best life with you! I am so sorry for your loss! It is never easy to take a decision like this! Sending you a big hug! <3

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    1. Thanks so much Niina, I hope she was happy with us, we did try to do our best for her.
      Big hugs to you too xxx

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  10. Oh dear Sharon, here I was thinking I had a dolly post to look forward to reading. I am so very, very sorry to read about your sweet little Kara, but I do know what you are going through, we experienced the same thing with our last furry friend too. Please know you are in our thoughts, although it's probably not really bringing much comfort to you right now. I know you will be grieving the loss of Kara for some time to come, but say strong, I know you will get through it.
    Sending you the biggest hugs,
    X

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    1. Thank you so much Sandi, I know it's been a long time since I did a dolly post, but hopefully soon I will get some enthusiasm for my dolls and sewing again.
      A lot of people have said to me that they have never heard of dementia in dogs and I must admit that until our Yellow Labrador started showing some strange behaviours in her later years, I'd not heard about it either, but apparently it's quite common. It's horrible to watch their deterioration though, isn't it.
      Thank you for your hugs xxx

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  11. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know it hurts terribly. You were very brave and did the most loving thing for your girl. You sure did give her a wonderful life! Peace be with you.

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    1. Thank you so much Bleue, and you're right it does hurt a lot but it will get easier after a while, I know.
      Big hugs xxx

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  12. Sharon, that's very sad news. But I know she had as good a life as she could with you. It was right to let her go.
    Feel hugged! I gave a big hug to Kuno and Archie.

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  13. Awww thanks so much Ursula, you're right, it was for the best.
    I'm pleased that you gave your two cute boys a big hug from me....I love hugging dogs even when it's a virtual hug :)
    xxx

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  14. So Sorry for your loss, Sharon. It sounds like you were both very lucky to have each other. Hugs to you.

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    1. Thank you so much, I hope we were good for each other, we tried our best and she did seem happy until the dementia took her 'away' from us.
      Thanks for the hugs xxx

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  15. Oh Sharon. I feel so bad for you. I know how hard a decision this must have been for you. I had to make the decision to have our dog Piper put to sleep several years ago. I think it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. The other was putting my dad in a nursing home. He had dementia. It's a terrible thing to watch it wear down someone you love,so I can imagine how you felt with Kara. It's heartbreaking. Know that you rescued Kare from that horrible pet shop, and you gave her the best life for as long as she could enjoy it.

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    1. Thanks so much Tam, it was indeed hard but as the week has gone on I realise that it was for the best and I've started to stop beating myself up over it. I can only imagine how it hard it was to put your dad in a nursing home but dementia is such a horrible disease that I can completely understand how you had to make that choice :(
      Big hugs xxx

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  16. I do not know what to say my dear Sharon, I am so sorry, this was a very hard decision but I think it was the right one. She now is not suffering anymore, she is playing now over the rainbow and is taking care of you and your family. She was very lucky to find you and had a lot of beautiful years full of love. I am sending you all my love and my thoughts are with you! *big hug* <3<3<3

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, they are appreciated. It is true she's no longer suffering which is how I'm trying to think of it.
      Big hugs to you too xxx

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  17. Oh Sharon, I am so sorry. Kara sounds like she had such a tough life before you came to rescue her and I am positive those years with you were the most wonderful years of her little life. She had so much love and care from you. I know that she knew how much you loved her and I know she loved you so much back in return and was thankful for the way you cared for her. It is always so so hard to say goodbye and I know how you must have felt having to make that decision. It was so hard for us to make that decision for both of our little ones, a year apart. It's heart breaking and words cannot even begin to describe the depth of grief that assails us during these times. I very much want to give you a hug right now. My thoughts are with you and your family and little Kara. I'm so so sorry for your loss. *Big hugs*

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    1. Thank you so much Alasse, I really appreciate your kind words. I think she knew she was loved, she was always getting kisses and cuddles...not sure she approved but she put up with me doing it, bless her!!!
      It really is the worse possible decision to have to make even when we are sure it's for the best, there's always that tiny bit of doubt, isn't there?! :(
      Big hugs to you too xxx

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  18. I'm so sorry for your loss. Such a sweet little friend. I'm crying. <3 Big hugs. <3

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    1. Thank you so much Xaya, I appreciate your comment. Big hugs to you too xxx

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  19. aww sharon , i just saw this post ...you had to be strong to do the right thing by her , i know that feeling all to well and the guilt you feel but shes free now , you gave her a lovely life and youll love her forever ...lots of love xxxx

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    1. Thanks very much Sarah. I was thinking to myself that I'm doing OK, but then I look at her photos and I feel very tearful again, I so miss this little dog.
      Big hugs xxx

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  20. Sharon,
    I am heartbroken for you and your husband. There is no pain like that which comes with having to let a beloved pet go. I think it is the most difficult decision a human has to make. Your tribute to little Choco was beautiful...it brought tears and I feel like I knew her. I wish I could give you a big, long hug.

    I have never written before but I have been following your blog regularly since I found it. It makes me happy to see your doll children and how you give them wonderful personalities. I have even acquired a few similar dolls since seeing what you have done with yours. It all started with "Olivia" and has continued to grow. Thank you for the smiles and laughter you have provided during this difficult coronavirus year. I really look forward to your future posts.

    I send love and healing hugs,
    Peggy

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    1. Thank you so much Peggy, and yes, I agree with you that it is a horrible pain, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy :( Thank you for your love and hugs.
      I'm glad that you follow and enjoy my blog...I will try to write more soon.
      xxx

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  21. Sorry... I meant Kara not Choco even though I know you lost Choco all too recently too. :(

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    1. No problems, I'm always getting their names mixed up and I'm with them all the time!! :D
      xxx

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  22. I'm so sorry for your loss, Sharon. These lovely creatures give us so much love and is always heartbreaking when they have to go over the Rainbow Bridge. You have taken care of Kara and have given her a very good life full of love. I know how hard it is to make the decision to let her go, I had to with my dog last year.
    Big hugs xxxx

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    1. Thank you so much Lily, I appreciate your comments. I agree that they do indeed give us so much love and it is heartbreaking when they leave us. I hope she knew that she knew she was well loved. I'm sorry that you also had to go through this last year, we did too, last July...it takes a long time to get over it.
      Big hugs to you too xxx

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  23. I'm so sorry for your loss. But I also think that she had a wonderful life with amazing people who loved her and took care for her. This little thing in the window shop had a great luck that day.
    Big hugs.

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    1. Thank you so much Kamelia, I appreciate your comments. We are slowly but surely getting over losing Kara, although we'll never forget her, it is getting easier to be without her physically in our lives :(
      Big hugs xxx

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