I rescued Bridgette in January of this year. She was a senior a chihuahua that wound up in Animal Control a few counties away from me. I got the call that she would not be suitable for adoption due to some neglect issues and I was asked if I would be able to take her in. Of course, I quickly agreed. She was fawn with a gray muzzle. She had large brown eyes that softened when she looked at me. She was tall for a chihuahua...her left leg had been broken and not set properly at some point in her life...it had healed up crooked. As it is with every new rescue that comes...I usually try calling them several names until I finally hit upon their name. I called her gazelle until one day when it came to me out of the blue that she was Bridgette...when I called to her, she looked up at me and I knew that was it. I can only guess her age at around 11...much too old for a name change! Brigette's life with me started out in much the same way that they all do...first on the agenda was a full veterinary evaluation...Her blood work was good, but she had some mammary tumors and a black spot that was going to require surgical removal, plus she needed to be spayed...an appointment was made, but shortly before the appointment, she began to cough...my first thought was kennel cough and we treated her for that for a few weeks...the cough settled down some as she settled into her new home...every time we went for surgery, her lungs did not sound clear enough...over the next few months, she would under go many courses of treatment in hopes of clearing her lungs...she was treated at first for chronic bronchitis, then congestive heart failure as x-ray showed her heart was enlarged...the medication seemed to help her coughing, but in June she became very lethargic and stopped eating...the medication had affected her kindneys and she was in acute renal failure...I was asked at that time if I wanted to euthanize her, but I kept getting the feeling from her to press on, so she was given fluids and in a few day was well enough to come home...all of her meds were discontinued and she was given a new regimen to support her kidney condition which included fluids twice daily and new meds...I knew my time with this little lady would be limited, so I made it a point to take her to work with me everyday and try to spend as much time with her as I could...as with all of my seniors, I never know what the future holds, so I try to treat every day as though it may be my last...Bridgette flourished under this new program of care and even amazed her vet...I boiled chicken for her every morning and took her to the McDonald's drive thru as a special treat once in a while...her appetite improved and blood tests showed that her kidney function was improving, but...the chronic cough was sneaking back...at first it was only an annoyance to her, but over the last 2 weeks, it had progressed to the point that we started her on an inhaler twice daily...she was so good about it...she always was so patient with me when I was giving her meds...she was always so grateful for everything...if she could have talked, I know that she was saying that she had waited so long to find a loving home and she was not quite ready to leave it...Bridgette was such a trooper...she was so happy to be alive and so happy to be loved...at this point though, she began to have good days and bad days and I could really tell that exercise was beginning to be hard for her, she would get so worn out...I even pondered euthanasia on Sunday when she couldn't seem to stop coughing, but once she went to sleep, her breathing improved... it had been a hectic weekend and I was unable to spend as much time with her as usual, so my husband said that perhaps she just was feeling a bit neglected, so when Monday came and we were able to resume our normal routine, she did improve...I spoke with her doctor and she said that it may take a week or so for the inhaler to begin helping...Monday was a great day...she held up her tail when she walked and she perched up on my lap so happily on the way to work...she gobbled her chicken selects and seemed much brighter...Tuesday was also a good day although she really seemed to have a harder time breathing...we went to bed last night and I gave her her kisses and I could see in her eyes that she was struggling...she slept peacefully and her breathing once again evened out...I closed my eyes and prayed for a clear direction...soon I fell asleep...in the wee hours of the morning I heard Bridgette awaken and jump off the bed...this was not abnormal for her since she was on lasix, I would normally have to take her out during the night...once in a while I would not hear her and I would have a puddle to clean up and she would curl up on my pillow on the floor next to the bed...this morning I was so sleepy that I opted to clean up the puddle rather than get out of bed. When the alarm went off, she wasn't curled up on my pillow, which I thought was strange...I searched the house for her and found her lying under my bed...she had passed away...it appears that she layed down and passed in her sleep...I didn't hear a struggle or any noise...I feel terrible that I didn't get up when I heard her wake up and I feel badly that she died alone under my bed, but I feel grateful to have had her in my life and I feel happy that she got to know how special she was and she got to be loved before her passing. I am also relieved that I did not have to make the choice to send her home and I am so happy that she had a decent quality of life right up until the end. I am sad for me, but happy for her. She was such a great little dog...I took her on her last bye-bye this morning...I wrapped her in her blanet and held her on my lap for her last trip to the vet...she will be cremated and her remains will be placed in a pretty oak box. She hated to be left outside, so she will stay inside with me...probably on the night stand, since snuggling in my bed was one of her favorite hobbies...I am going to miss her so much. I know I only knew her for a short time, but I have many good memories of her and I hope that she has many of me...|
It has been 1 week since my sweet B passed away...I have received so many cards and e-mails filled with kindness. Words cannot express how much this support has helped me deal with her loss. I miss her terribly, but I am comforted knowing that she is in such good company. My goal with Bridgette was for her to be loved, and if my grief is any measurement...that goal was achieved. My tears have been replaced with a smile each time that I think of her. Thank you all for your support. Thank you Bridgette for the love that you shared with me. Mommy will see you again someday.
I can't believe it has been a year since we parted...I think of you often, but then, you know that. I feel your presence with me from time to time and I smile. Thank you for being a part of my life.
Bridgette's People Parent(s), Cathy, would appreciate knowing you have visited their Bridgette's Memorial Residency.