Thursday, January 31, 2019

FAREWELL MY NALA--A STORY OF RESCUE

 Last January, 2018, I was asked to come to a shelter near me to get two Pekingese.
 They were extremely bonded-- can you tell. 
 I was told that one had seizures, and they wanted them to stay together.
 It turns out they both had seizures.   BeeBee was able to be on phenobarbital twice a day and did great.   But, Nala, needed multiple meds three times a day to overcome the cluster seizures she was having. 
 They went to the vet often and were so happy to be together.
 Nala was the most outgoing of the two-- BeeBee was more reserved.  Nala stole one of Chumley's dumbell toys-- fun!
 They both did great with other dogs-- neither one had a mean bone in their body.
 They shared secrets with each other.  BeeBee had a big story.
 And Nala shared right back.
 They all enjoyed the playroom and could veg on the couch with Max and Kai Kai.
 Nala had such a beautiful face, while BeeBee had a soft, timid face.  She was not the brave one.
 Nala was given "the pink purse" that was to become her favorite item. 
 She had it so much, that there were big tooth holes in it.  It became like a pacifier after her BeeBee died.   They were diagnosed w IMHA a week apart.  It is not supposed to be hereditary, which made it so strange for them both to get it.   I studied so much about this horrific auto-immune disease and there is no known cause and no cure.   There may be triggers -- vaccines are thought to be one-- but we can't stop treating our dogs.  Once a dog is diagnosed with IMHA, though, they can no longer have vaccines. 
 Nala began to be with Kai Kai more-- I'm sure she missed her BeeBee.  They had always been together. 
 I became her "BeeBee."   She was so attached to me-- friendly, joyful, always wanting to be near me and touching.  If I was sitting, she was on my lap.
 She was inquisitive-- she knew Sugar Bit had put crackers in the red ram, and she found the door to get to them.   So smart!
 Her bucket list included:  learning to cook. 
 We went to Williamsburg, we went to Peke meetings (she had to have medications throughout the day), she celebrated Christmas, and New Year's and we made Christmas her birthday.   We wanted to go to the beach, but it was too cold for her.
 She received so many toys and presents from people and so we put some around her for her birthday picture.  Christmas seemed the perfect day to give her as her own.
 She had Christmas sweaters, many shirts and coats. 
 Nala kept fighting the seizures and the IMHA.  She did have break through seizures, which we had to use meds for.
 She loved her Bits.  Her joy was amazing when they came to the house.  She was just exuberant!
 Nala began to have other health issues.   She developed demodex mange from the low immune system.  We began to treat it.  It was hard to treat because she were so many medications that would make the seizures or IMHA worse. 
 We battled on.   We thought we might win.  Her red blood count started to come up, so we thought she would begin to heal.
 She rested, had meds, good food. 
  We saw Dr. Meador every Monday to check her progress, and sometimes, Sugar Bit helped with her own medical tools.
 Did Nala miss her sister, BeeBee?  (And why was Nala always on tables?)
 I'm sure she did.
 I guess BeeBee could also get on tables-- following her sister's lead.
 Maybe the fight against everything she had going on just became too much. 
 Maybe it was time to go see her sister in heaven.  I wasn't ready for that.
 Nala was so loving-- she probably loved me more than any dog I've ever had.  And I've had a lot.  I loved her face.  I could lean down and receive so many many kisses.
 On top of the IMHA and the seizures and the demodex, she developed MRSA.  We just began the treatment that I hoped would turn her around.  I was planning to post pictures every two weeks to show you her progress and how much better she was doing.
 But, she suddenly took a turn for the worse on Saturday.
 She hardly played or held her pink purse.
 Even though we did everything we could for her, like dressing her up for Christmas..
 ..reading books to her with Sugar Bit.
 ..letting her help decorate the tree.
 ..letting her guard the door. 
 She celebrated the New Year with Kai Kai.  She seemed to be doing better-- I had hope!
 We gave her medications that we hoped would help her, saw a specialist, had tests run. 
 Fiona said, "Dogs have such grace in their illness."   Nala had grace, and joy, and love.  Oh, did she have love.
 But, she slept more.  She had trouble staying warm.  She was on heating pads and covered with blankets when she needed it.
 We kept her in shirts and sweaters.  Then, last Saturday, she began to have trouble walking.  She could not climb the steps.  She began to shake as she tried to stand.   And then, she couldn't stand.   I took her to the vet again and she was going into a coma.   I held her like a baby, and told her I loved her.  She was on her back in my arms, and she turned her head to me, and tried to open her eyes to look at me-- she held my eyes for a moment and then closed them.  She tried to stay, but it was just too hard.  She left me surrounded by as much love as I could give her.  She was my girl in every way.
 I packed her clothes in a box.
 HOPE has been my word for this year. (In the past, it was been "believe" but this year, it was hope.)  I hoped Nala would make it. 
 I put her pink purses in the box, too.  The pink purse she loved the most was cremated with her.
 I held her in my arms before she left.
 Beach Bit loved her and asked if he could hold her before they took her away.  We sat on the floor and hugged her and hugged each other.  We had great love for Nala-- she had great love for us.
 She was our sweet girl.
 We know she is at peace-- she is not fighting any disease.  She is not uncomfortable. 
 She is now home with us--
But, most important, she has been reunited with her precious sister, BeeBee.  I'm sure they are playing and running and having the time of their lives.  I miss my girls.  I miss my Nala.  She was such a gift.  In rescue, we sometimes get the really sick ones.  But, we also have the chance to love them, which is a great honor.   Nala was a gift.  She was with me for a season-- and I'll always be grateful she was part of my life.   Run free, now sweet girls-- I love you.  💜❤️

12 comments:

LadyJicky said...

Oh Linda..... I was so sad reading this but my goodness you loved her so !
I am glad she had her pink purse with her to the end.

Nala is with her sister and all our dogs now at the Rainbow Bridge.

Lost Earring said...

Pouring tears but so much richer by reading your farewell to beautiful little warrior Nala. I dreaded reading it because of the obvious end but the photos of her and the Maxwell Family giving her love, care and comfort are so wonderful.

We got to see her bond with sister BeeBee before her passing which was so loving.

In all of this maybe Nala's vet learned something of value regarding IMHA and the cost of making the sufferer comfortable throughout the toll it takes on these wonderful little Fur Kids of ours.

I know that this was a story that ripped at your heart while you wrote it but thank you for sharing it.

Janis Lewis said...

Linda this is such a beautiful story and tribute to your Nala!! It sadden my heart but it also made me feel so much love and joy for her and you and the bond you had with her and the love and care she received from you! You are such a very special lady to care for these pekes like you do with so much love and determination ! I admire you so much for all you do,God Bless! Love,Jan and Paddy

Unknown said...

What a beautiful way to say "Goodbye" to Nala. I can't stop crying. God Bless you! I can see both girls running around and playing with their toys. Especially not being in any pain! Linda you truly gave both of these girls Nala and BeeBee more time here on earth to be with each other and to experience love. You are truly an angel! God Bless You!

Kathleen McCraw said...

I am so sorry about Nala. I, too, thought she would make it. It is comforting to know she has reunited with her sister and is no longer in pain. But it is bittersweet because there is now a huge hole in your heart. Thank you for taking such good care of her.

Kathleen McCraw said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, thought Nala would make it. She is now with her beloved sister and in no longer in pain. While that is comforting it is also bittersweet because there is a huge hole in your heart. My dog, Bailey, came from your rescue and I will be forever grateful for the lovely addition to my life.

Tom said...

I am happy that she was with you to share love between you both.

Melissa Fritts said...

Linda, I am so very sorry for the loss of precious Nala.....There was just something about her that drew me in and I wanted to see what she was up to every day in your posts....You could see her sweet soul in her big brown eyes....I have cried over her death just like she was my own and have cried for you as well....I can’t even imagine how much your heart is breaking and how hard this is for you but as you said, we have the promise of knowing we will see our precious babies again in Heaven when it’s our time to go home as well....Please know that I am praying for you and your family to receive peace in your heart, mind, and soul....RIP sweet Nala������

Carol Lee said...

I feel your sorrow..memories of our girls who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge hit me...take care of all your other beautiful babies & know that Nala is at peace.

Mary St. Mary said...

Crying my eyes out at your loss and how unfair life was to these 2 little dogs. You did everything you could and still it wasn't enough. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

Expat Fledgling said...

Dearest Linda, I sit here writing, like others, with tears running down my face & heaving sobs. I know words are not of much comfort when we’ve lost one we love, & Nala was a special hero to fight that nasty illness, & to give so much love. And you are a hero as well, to care for her with such commitment thru such difficulties. She looks so much like my Leah it was hard so look without a double shot of pain. But when I lost Leah something was given to me that helped remind me, even though they were just “words”: A little plaque that says “Those we’ve held in our arms for a little while we hold in our hearts forever.” May you be granted peace in this difficult time of loss. Blessings to you & yours, hugs & much love. Jan

Elisa Davis Martinez said...

So long Little One. Until we all meet again. You will always remain in our hearts. I remember when I was going to stop by on the way home from Florida and you reminded that Nala wasn't feeling well and you didn't want here to be upset or re-infected. Treating our babies as if they are human. I grew more love and respect for you. I understand living for these babies and cried when I read your post. Nala, Will always be there waiting for you!!! thank you for sharing her with us <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

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