Friday, January 26, 2018

FAREWELL STARLIGHT, MY PRECIOUS GIRL

Farewell my precious Starlight.....

Star Light, Star Bright
First Star I see tonight...
I wish I may...
I wish I might...
Have this wish I wish tonight.
💗💗
Starlight was a little, ten pound 3 year old when she came into rescue in March of 2008.
I was asked to come get her from her owners because she had "issues."    (So many have asked for her story again so I am trying to include it all here.)
I was told her name was Star "something"-- the name of a race car driver or something to do with racing.  On the way to pick her up, I passed Starlighter Lane.   I decided her name would now be Starlight.   I arrived to pick her up and was asked to come inside.  I didn't see a dog.  Where was she?   I was told she was in her crate-- and I followed her owner.  Starlight was in a crate, in a pitch black room (former garage).   There was a bowl of "cruddy food" in there.   They wanted to just put the whole crate in my car with Starlight in it and I let them.  I just wanted to get her out of there.   (It turned out she had ruptured ear drums, so in the darkness, she could not see, she could not hear...)
 When I arrived home, I took the crate out of the car, put it in the garage, and opened it.  I thought, "what can she do to me?"   Instead of being testy, Starlight RAN to me and began kissing me all over my face.  She knew she had been rescued.  (I should have seen it coming that she had already chosen us.)  I took the pillow out of the bottom of the crate, and there was a layer of urine covering the bottom of the crate.  Who knows how long Starlight had been kept in there.
 Starlight was seen by the vet.   She had a bladder infection, both ear drums were ruptured (from infection).   She needed to gain some weight.   She needed good food.   She had three ear procedures, and then later had eye fold (nasal fold) surgery and stenotic nares surgery to open her nose so she could breathe better. 
 Starlight became a "daddy's girl."  Oh, how she loved my husband-- and it was mutual. 
 After she had been here awhile, Starlight had a massive seizure.   We rushed her to the vet and she was still seizing.  It was bad.   Medication was given, and she came out of it, only to go into seizing again minutes later.   We got her stabilized, and I brought her home (my vet stayed hours after closing to care for her-- my vet is now 24/7, but it wasn't then).  I had rectal medication in case she began to seize again.  She did the next morning and back to the vet we went.   This went on for three days.  She stayed in the vet during the day and I brought her home at night.   She went on phenobarbital and did great after that-- no more seizures. 
 Starlight was very comfortable in our home.  She loved Matt and me. 
 But, she was my foster girl, so I tried to find her a home.
 Anyone who came to meet her was met with a little cujo who was ferocious and determined.
 At the picnic that year (she had been with us over six months), I put her in someone's arms-- Starlight went crazy!   The lady quickly handed her back to me!   She visited with Amee-- and watched forlornly as I drove away.   We went back to get her.   We finally decided she was not going anyway-- she was ours.  Oh, that lucky day!
 Starlight was already beautiful, but she became even more so. (here with Chumley)
 She was inquisitive and checked out new visitors to the house-- real or not.
 She ruled the house.   She bossed the others around, but it was all bluff.  She wasn't really very brave.
 She shared her home with so many foster dogs over the last ten years.  (here with Max and Floyd)
 She was happy to model clothes for me.   She got this sweater for Christmas this year.
 She loved being on her back, having her tummy rubbed.  If you stopped, she would wave her paws and then cross them, so you would continue.  It looked like she was praying. :-)  StarlightPraying - YouTube
 She wore her new Christmas sweater-- her vet tech, Bettina gave her a lot of things for Christmas.   She was beautiful.
 Starlight was most at home curled up in one of the many beds here.   She liked to watch her world.
 Most of all, she loved her Bits.   "Why is she under the table?"
 Oh, another outfit.  She looked so cute in pink-- and red and any other color.
 Starlight could be a bit bossy about her food.  She would eat her first breakfast (she thought she was a hobbit and needed to have several-- never eating it all the first time) in the shower.  (We have a bathroom off the laundry room where there is a "dog desk"-- all the bowls, food, meds are there.  When I fix all the bowls--according to each dog's needs for special diets-- Starlight would get hers first.  I would put it in the shower, close the doors and continue with the rest.)  Later, she would bark to let me know she was ready to try breakfast again-- this was usually in the front hall bathroom.   Heaven forbid if I opened the door before she was done-- her front paws would hit the door and slam it!    Hard not to laugh at this little fireball.   And we did laugh!
 Starlight got used to foster dogs coming and going-- she knew she wasn't leaving us and she was secure.   Here she was with  Max, Simon and Bella.
 She could make funny faces-- I loved them.  She was so photogenic!
 She put up with so much from the Bits-- being pulled in wagons, carried around.   She just gave kisses in return.  She didn't trust most adults-- but the Bits were her world.
 Starlight was our calendar cover girl for 2018.   I had no idea how precious this would become to me such a short time later.  (We still have some calendars if you want one.)
 And there's another silly face.    I just couldn't decide which pictures to include, so I put in a lot.
 At the vet early last year, she rode in the stroller with Sugar Bit-- she was perfectly happy to share.
 She loved to curl up on a soft bed--and if there were Bit toys on there, it was better.
 We don't know why she was so untrusting with adults-- but her grandbits, she loved.   This is one of my favorite pictures.
 She could get right in their faces, and I never had to worry about her getting testy.
 Even if a baby (Drill Bit here, he's now 8)  reached out and grabbed her fur, she was fine. 
 My niece wanted to know if Beesey Bit would like dogs.  I told her to go to the living room and I would bring Starlight in-- my niece was hesitant, but I assured her that Starlight was incredible with babies.   She showed how right I was.  Babies fascinated her.
 And even better were all the things that babies needed-- like bouncy seats.
 To keep Starlight off Beach Bit's seat, I had to get one for her, so she could be next to him and not on his lap (which he was fine with).
 We finally took his bathtub and made it into a dog bed for Starlight.  She loved it!
 She blended right in with this bed. 
 One of her favorite places was on the coffee table shelf.  I finally cleared the middle and put a little dog bed in there.  She could be known to climb right in where she could watch everything going on around her. 
 She could be in her coffee table hidey hole and leap out and startle a dog passing by-- we called her a "Starlight in the Box"-- she could pop out and be right back in so fast.
 Happiness was being with her Bits-- riding in the wagon was great!   She sat there like royalty, having a ride down the street.
 She liked all the seasons-- this is one of my special pictures of her.   No matter how many I took, she was willing to pose, and I always loved each picture.  I took so many of them and made a book of her.   I can't wait for it to arrive.
 Our house is full of Pekingese and Bits (grandchildren).   We have playpens, which we now use for doggy time-outs or extra "dining rooms" for the dogs. 
 Starlight had a full check up in August-- every year, each dog I have gets a full blood panel, a 4DX (tick panel), dental and complete check up.   Starlight was in great shape.    She turned 13 on October 12 and we thought she had a few more years with us.
 In November, I noticed she was losing weight-- I keep a baby scale here to keep track of their weights.  She was checked out several times at the vet and we made adjustments in her food, trying to entice her to eat more.   I noticed she was not hearing as well-- but she was 13.   Then, she began to have to go outside more often.   I had another check up, with a urinalysis and an ultrasound done.  All was fine.  She began to bark more for no reason.   I talked to the vet-- maybe she was having a little dementia. 
 She still loved to be on our laps, loved being in our face, giving us kisses, bossing the rest, being herself. 
 And then last Friday, we woke up early for some reason.   We went down to get all the dogs out-- Starlight was in her regular sleeping spot.  In the almost ten years we had her, she rarely wanted to sleep upstairs with the rest of us.  (The few times she stayed upstairs, she woke us during the night so we could her Her Royal Fluffiness downstairs to sleep.)   We went to wake her to take her out-- and she was gone.   She had just died, she was still warm.   We patted her chest, held her close-- she was not breathing.   We rushed to the vet-- but Starlight had left us, quietly, peacefully, without pain, with no warning.   No warning was the hardest part.   She is the first dog to make her own way to leave us.   I was stunned.  My husband held her and was crying.  She was his girl.  (Her vet tech above, was at the vet when I took her in last Friday.   Can it already be a week?  Bettina loved Starlight so much.  Can you tell how much Starlight loved her!)
 A friend sent me this painting several months ago-- along with many others.  I was saving them for a fundraiser -- but when I saw this again this week, a Peke looking up at a star, I knew this one would stay with me.
 We think (after several discussions with my vet) that Starlight probably had a brain tumor.  It could have been there a long time and began to grow.  If it hit the brain stem, it would have slowed her breathing down and then stopped.  Very quickly.   We think this is what happened.   I could have had a necropsy done-- but it may still not have given us answers.   And it would not bring back my precious girl.    So, I hung her collar with Scooterbug's and Cranberry's and Lexie's.   And on Starlight's collar, I hung the "bling collar" that Bettina gave her at Christmas.
 She is back home now-- the intial shock of losing her is diminishing, and being replaced with an immense sadness.   I miss my girl.
 She will forever be the beautiful Peke I took home with me almost ten years ago--
We were so lucky she chose us.   As a friend said reminded me from C.S. Lewis, "pain now comes from the happiness then."  Someday the happiness will be more than the pain.    For now, we grieve, we miss our girl.   I know that Lexie and Scooterbug and Cranberry-- and Coffeecake and Coachie and the rest-- met her when she arrived.  But, here, we just miss her.  Our hearts hurt.   We love you, sweet girl.   Run free until we see you again.  

6 comments:

LadyJicky said...

Starlight could NOT take a bad photo ..... so beautiful was she!

Oh Linda I know you and your hubby will miss this girl so much but I am so glad you picked her up in her dirty cage at that place and brought her back to you home for Starlight had just the most wonderful life with your family and she will never be forgotten.

Coco and I are sending internet hugs to you all.

Lost Earring said...

Thank you for sharing Starlight's story with us. She was always a puppy to me because she looked like a puppy and she played with the Bits like a puppy.

Your loss is hard for all of us and it's just heart-breaking for you and the family.

She was loved and she loved in return after rescue. Thank God for that.

dissertator09 said...

This is a beautiful, moving post. Obviously, Starlight was so lucky to find a loving home with you and your husband. But this was clearly a mutual loving relationship. I identified with every comment you made. Our Teddy died over a year ago and we now have Zack, a new rescue. Zack is an amazing character but I still miss Teddy every day. I’m glad you’ve gotten some comfort doing your book about Starlight and posting these comments and pictures. I hope there is a way for you to share your book with those of us who follow your posts and with people considering adopting a rescued Peke.

Lynn Sanderson said...

Linda,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I definitely understand your pain.

Cris said...

Linda & Matt, Starlight was such a pretty peke with a big personality. The day I came to your house she just looked at me and said with those eyes, not happening lady, you don't get to pet me. I was content to look at her and dear sweet scooterbug let me pet him and he even " talked" to me. She was an amazing girl who hit the lottery the day you got her. She loved you all, especially the bits. I've told my husband several times about the pretty peke in the bouncy seat. I share your sadness, we will miss her in your blogs and posts. Sending you a Texas size hug!

Mary St. Mary said...

Sorry can't see keyboard to tupe through my tears ��

PEKES

PEKES
MUST LOVE PEKES