I lost the very first dog that has ever been in my life on December 8, 2017, and I miss her terribly. This site has been an incredible source of support to me during this difficult time. I am finally able to write about my little girl.
Friday was born on a Friday (10/28/05), came into our lives on a Friday and we lost her on a Friday. It has been a month and my heart is still broken. Neither my husband or I ever had a dog before Friday. We had been married a little over a year when she came into our lives. She weighed a little over a pound, but her spirit was always so much bigger than her little body.
Friday taught us so much. Since she came into our lives we have adopted 2 other rescue dogs and fostered and helped countless other animals in various ways. You see, Friday is the one who taught us what unconditional love feels like. That kind of beautiful, pure love you only get from an animal. She really was my best friend. Through all of the ups and downs of life, Friday was always there. She never cared how much or how little we had, because again, it is that good unconditional love.
In May 2014, while getting her nails trimmed and anal glands extracted at my vet's office (routine, monthly thing), a vet who we had never seen at our vet's clinic came into the room and asked if I was aware that Friday had a grade 3 heart murmur. This was the first I ever heard of this. I took her in for an ECG later that day and the cardiologist confirmed this. Both our vet. (we saw this vet exclusively from the time she diagnosed Friday's heart murmur until we lost Friday) and the cardiologist did not think Friday needed to be on medications. From that time, we got Friday on a weight loss regime with minimal exercise and she received an ECG every 6 months.
In June 2015, Friday started on Pimobeden and Lasix after developing a hacking cough. Then in December 2015, following an ECG, the cardiologist stated that he no longer needed to do ECG's on Friday that there was nothing more they could do in terms of whatever information the ECG was providing. Our vet. told us that Friday was terminal and that normally with all the meds she was on (she was on a few more by this time) and the condition of her heart, she would likely live another 6 months. We were absolutely devastated.
From that point on, we dedicated our time to taking care of her. We made a bucket list for her and took her to Sedona (sunset picture below), Grand Canyon, Big Bear and Brianhead. We did whatever we could to make her life easier and better. And when she could no longer travel, we didn't travel either as her care (including 2 inhalers) was cumbersome. It became such a big part of my life to care for Friday.
The Sunday (12/3/17) before she passed, the weather changed here and it got dramatically colder than it had been. Whenever the air got cold and dry, she would develop a cough and normally would need a steroid injection or some vet care. This last happened the first week of November. This time, I was very hesitant to take her to the vet. Although she still seemed happy, it seemed that her quality of life was deteriorating. She was still eating like a beast, but would spend most of her time sleeping. If she tried to run (even from the living room to kitchen), she would run out of breath. She was starting to develop minor incontinence. I stayed home with her that Wednesday (12/6/17) after she had a rough night where she seemed really restless. She seemed to be doing better and I went back to work the next day. I came home for lunch to check on her and her breathing seemed better. By Thursday night, she had taken a turn for the worse and I made an appointment to take her into the vet first thing in the morning. She was only able to breathe out of her mouth.
We took her in to see the vet that morning. The vet said she was critical and X-rays showed the dramatic changes in her x-rays from November 4th to December 8th. Her heart had enlarged by 25% more and her lungs were now filled with fluid where they previously had no fluid. The vet said there was nothing we could do (short of having her lungs "emptied" on a continuous basis) and that the time had finally come. We were able to bring Friday home for the day but the vet said we could not have the weekend. Our close friend and family came to say their good-byes. That day, at 4p, the vet came to our home. I held Friday in my arms as she took her last breath and told her she was a good girl. I stayed strong for her all day, but after that, I lost it.
Since we lost her, the only thing that has kept me going are all the pictures and videos I have of her that remind me of a life well lived. It has been great remembering the time before she got sick (so spunky and full of life) and also all the memories we created once we got her diagnosis. She left a big void that we are struggling to deal with. She was quite frankly, simply the best little girl. She left a legacy the size of her larger-than-life spirit and personality.
Friday (a.k.a. Little Biscuit, Fatness, Fri Fri) I love you and miss you so much. You will always and forever be in my heart. Your daddy misses you so much too. From the morning ritual of giving you your meds in roast beef to the afternoon ritual of minutes worth of belly kisses when he gets home from work--he is feeling your loss so much.