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Thread: My lil' Beanie...

  1. #1
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    My lil' Beanie...

    After a year and a half of illness, my wire fox terrier Ollie Bean died in my arms at 9 this morning.

    Ollie's illness has kept my life wrapped up for a long time...it is stressful and tiring to care for a chronically ill pet. I made sure my boy got the best medical care he could have. Dealing with medication side effects was tough for Ollie, tough for me. And now it's over. He is pain free. Me...I'm not so good.

    I wrote something for Ollie which is long and you don't have to read. I know there are people here who will totally understand, and those who won't.

    But thanks to the mods and NASCers who were patient with my distraction. It was often hard to manage time and tireness.

    I didn't have some of the funny photos I wanted (must be still on my work computer) but here is a composited photo of Ollie. The last one was taken this past weekend. I didn't want to include too many of his sick photos.

    His "obit":

    This morning, Wednesday, March 25th at 9 a.m., Ollie Bean peacefully slipped away from his ailing body held in my arms and started his journey to a new and happy place far away from pain and illness. Ollie had just turned 5 years old. His life was far too short but that only made him all the more precious...a gift to enjoy briefly, but richly.

    Ollie was from the beginning a very special boy. He came to me as an amazing gift from my coworkers to ease my grief over losing my beloved wire fox, Jonah. I remember seeing him for the first time...a very small, very fuzzy face peering out of a little pet carrier. He looked so tiny! His breeder handed him to me--a ball of wiggle and licks. It was love at first sight. And so began life with Ollie Bean...

    CHILDHOOD: Ollie's childhood was rough (for me!). He was reckless and fearless, racing and running, jumping off bone-breaking heights. Every time I thought he'd killed himself, he'd be up and running again. And then there was chewing..and chewing and more chewing. But Ollie's stellar talent was climbing. If there were Dog Olympics for Climbing, he'd win it hands (or paws) down. There was no surface unconquered in house or yard. This climbing skill enhanced his other puppyhood obsession--stealing. I'd make regular "yard sweeps" to collect the underwear, socks, bras, pillows, mineral specimens, paper, purse items, pens, plants--you name it, he stole it. Nothing was safe.

    Ollie had his quiet side--serious and thoughtful and steady--often intently studying a situation before making a judgement, such as whether that person who pulled up to the house in a red car was REEEEEEAAALLY his "mommie." Once he was sure, he was all wags. Nothing phased Ollie. He'd go nose to nose with a Rottweiler, never flinching, never turning away. It never occurred to him he was anything less than a Great Dane or wolfhound. Ollie stood rock-steady while dozens of little child-hands petted him stem to stern in the park. He was unflappable.

    ADULTHOOD: Ollie was in regular trouble as all good fox terriers should be. For a while I feared he'd think "OLLIE NOOOOOO!!" was his name. He fell into the big trash can, tore open garbage bags, stole pizza and "buried" it in the dirty laundry, got stuck in the gate (trying to escape to freedom), and almost drowned in the rain barrell. He loved going with me into the woods, wading in creeks (timid of actually swimming), wallowing in leaves, poking under logs and, of course, climbing fallen trees. Most of all, more than anything, Ollie loved chasing the hose water. There was nothing--just nothing--that could compare. Shaking and drooling in excitement, he'd chase the water-jet all over the yard and could run 5-feet up the pecan tree to "catch" it. Life was good...life was zesty. Ollie Bean made me laugh every day. He was my constant companion whenever it was possible to have him with me. I loved my sweet boy.

    THE SAD TIME: When Ollie was 3 years old, some of his behaviour changed. Not enough to be alarmed initially. Random odd things. But by 3 1/2 he began sleeping all the time and was unable to jump on low objects (my Olympian climber!). That was NOT my little Beanie Boo. And so began the long road with my stoic little trouper who made a liar out of me with every trip to see a vet. He didn't limp, he didn't have a fever, he didn't LOOK sick when away from the house. But I knew better. I saw him when the game-face was off--sleeping, shaking, muscles jerking.

    His medical journey finally took him to the Virginia Referral and Critical Care hospital. There he went under the expert care of specialist Charlotte Davies, who understood that no one knew better than me when my dog wasn't "right." Ollie was diagnosed last April with polyarthritis most likely caused by Systemic lupus. Ollie's response to treatment was initially good but that fluctuated and medications were strengthened. But finally his symptoms were beating all the medications. Ollie was suffering...his toughness worn away by an illness that wouldn't stop.

    It is a hard decision to make, letting something go that you love so much. But ultimately, I knew he was hurting and I knew it was hard for such a tough little fox terrier to SHOW he was suffering. His body was finally beating his spirit. It was time for him to go. And so today, I let him go after holding him 'til his last breath went out, peacefully...pain free. He is on his new journey and my heart is with him with every step. He's crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is probably romping with my beloved Jonah. Godspeed my little boy, my Ollie Bean.

    I want to thank my coworkers who's tremendous gift made it possible for me to have such a good boy. I also want to thank my friends and coworkers who supported me during his long illness. Thank you to "the girls" at The Doghouse for putting up with his sometimes irregular visits and keeping him spiffy. Thank you to everyone who had a positive hand in Ollie's treatment.

    And finally, a heart-felt thank you to Dr. Charlotte Davies who gave him his best chance at life, persistently cheerful and optimistic, kind and understanding...and to her assistant Jen and everyone at VRCC who had a hand in his care.

    Most of all thank you to my little Beanie for all the joy packed into your five short years.
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

  2. #2
    sea bear returns! theyellowdart's Avatar
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    I am very very sorry for your loss, and I know EXACTLY how you feel. It seems like you did an excellant job of loving and caring for him.
    I grew up with two cats (both older than me) that passed away relatively recently. It became very difficult to care for them towards the end, and their conditions only became worse, so we had to make the very hard choice of putting them to sleep... something I still think about quite often.
    I felt like I lost a whole part of my life. So many fun times, so many memories; I have thoughts of them as far back as I can remember into my childhood. I still can't, don't think I ever will, and don't want to, get over it. Therefore, If you have any feelings similar to mine, I won't throw in the obligatory "you'll eventually get over it."
    The vet that we brought them to sent us a card with the poem "The Rainbow Bridge" on it. If you haven't already read it, I highly reccomend you do. It can still bring tears to my eyes.

    Just remeber that your Ollie is no longer suffering, and that he would thank you for caring so greatly for him.
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    I am so sorry for your lose which must only be comparable to the loss of a child. Your passage was very moving and loving and clearly reflects how important he was to you, please do not hesitate for anything in your time of need and recovery.

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    Dog! maneatingmoo's Avatar
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    That's so sad... I have a dog that's living with my mom right now.. Some day I'll probably have to go through something similar. I had a guinea pig when I was really young, and I fed him and took care of him. I got him when I was 4. But 5 years later, he started getting really tired one day.. We put his cage in my room and he died in the night. I don't want to think about when I'll have to let my dog go...
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    Capensis's Avatar
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    Aaw, I'm so sorry for your loss. It must've been hearbreaking to lose him, a part of your life that was so precious to you. Only 5 years old...So young.
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    rattler's Avatar
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    sorry to hear that PAK.....they truly are real members of the family.....
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    I knew what had happened as soon as I saw the subject line and I'm sorry for your loss. I've lost dogs when they were still young and it's especially difficult.
    Bruce in CT

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    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear of this loss. A few years back our sheltie, whom I spent nearly twelve years with, had a stroke and died at my feet. I was completely devastated; I was shocked at just how much grief I felt!

    Anyway, I hope you are able to recover quickly. Do you plan on getting another dog? We recently got a pup and he is already like an old friend.

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