Postby chelynnah » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:41 am

In Loving Memory of
5th Nov 2003 - 12th Aug 2005

Rue was a very special little dog, who had such a sad start in life... we first saw him when he was 6 weeks old, he had been promised to a couple who had kids and horses, but his breeder wanted him to go to a home where he would be shown, we only show as a hobby our dogs are family first (fur kids). I remember it vividly we walked in the kitchen door and his head popped up out of the basket, and he came out to meet us. He was one of seven puppies. No other pup had his colouring. He sat on my lap kissing me and when we were about to leave, the breeder asked if we wanted him, we had to pay of course! We thought he was a stunning puppy and said yes.

Unfortunately, Puzzle, our youngest whippet had broken his front left leg, and we did not pick up Rue until he was about 10 weeks. He looked a bit scrawny when we went to collect him, and the breeder said he had become difficult to feed, but we thought once we had got him home and settled he would soon put on weight... he had watched all his litter mates leave home.. It must be stressful for them. By the time, he was 14 weeks we became concerned by his gait and his lack of appetite. I spent hour’s everyday hand feeding him, finally when he was almost a year old he decided food was not going to kill him, and he ate for the first time out of a bowl! It was fantastic to be able to put his dinner down every evening and watch him eat it... but he never really had a great appetite, only eat roast chicken, and boiled rice. The vet arranged for x--rays of his hips and legs, and blood tests were carried out on numerous occasions to try to track down why he had eating problems.

I came home from work one afternoon to find my husband Cols car gone and Rue missing... I was so pleased when he arrived home with him, but it was not good news, he had walked into the room and found Rue in a trance like state, his eyes flickering then he collapsed. The vet suggested that he had had a minor stroke. He was given a steroid injection and he seemed to recover quite well. However, we were devastated; an emergency appointment was made for him at the Royal Veterinary College in London. 2 days later they carried out a CAT scan and lumbar punch, they also did a blood test for Lysomal storage disease. We had to wait for months for the blood test results they had to go to America, (they came back negative). However, the results from the CAT scan and lumbar punch came back negative too; one visit to the RVC cost us £1,900. Still no one knew what was causing his problems, then one evening he started to shiver and looked petrified when I picked him up his head snapped over to one side... like a muscle cramp if you touched his head it would flick to the other side, a late night visit to the vets, and a steroid injection later he was a different dog again.

Our vets mother was a paediatrician in London, she suggested that his problems might be linked to a vitamin deficiency and he was admitted every other day for two weeks for IVs of multivitamins, he had suffered a few of these episodes and had, drips and everything... he was like a little pin cushion. From the age of 14 weeks to almost a year old, he was at the vets at least twice a week. The last time he had an episode and he had yet another steroid injection and was right as rain… We decided to try giving him peoples vitamins as we had spent £8,000 at the vets, and our insurance only covered £500 per condition, also Puzzle broke his right front leg August bank holiday 2004... We could not believe our luck! Or the poor dogs for that matter.

Rue started to plod steadily along eating, taking the vitamins... life settled down and I thought that we were over all his strange episodes... we thought that he possibly had tunnel vision as he went through the strangest of rituals every time he went through a door way... wherever he went unless he had a wide clear pathway he wouldn’t go through it. He would also jump ages before he had to too, he really had the strangest of habits... but we knew all his foibles that was Rue... He loved camping in the caravan, and would sit in the window watching the world go by, and snuggle down under my covers at night while the other three had their own bed further down the caravan.

He loved playing with Puzzle they raced around the garden, playing tug of war but puzzle could be a bit of a bully... although I only had to call out to Puzzle ‘I'll tell Dad‘ and he would stop. Rue would look up, as if to say is he home then…
I have lots of photographs of them all snuggled up together in their bed, I always used to worry that the others would squash Rue but he just slotted into what ever space there was left.

It didn’t matter what little Rue went through he never made a sound... and it was clear when his episodes returned that he was in pain, he walked hunched over and his face and eyes just looked so sad... He did not eat his diner on the Friday evening and he stayed in his bed, when everyone else was in the living room, which was unusual for him... I did not for one minute think that his problems would start again I really thought that we had beaten them. On the Saturday morning, he looked sorry for himself and by Sunday, those terrible shakes and cramps were back… we took him straight to the vets that morning... I was in such a state before we left I was sure we would be coming home without him… he was given a steroid injection, and we took him home. However, there was no remarkable recovery… he was taken back the following morning and given another injection, apparently the vet on Sunday had only given a small dose. We were given steroid tablets and went home.

By Tuesday, he had eaten a little of the food, the vet had given me, but started to have sickness and diarrhoea… I am sure it was too rich for him. He was admitted that morning and 4 days later, he still had not eaten (although they said he was not sick). The vet said he had just been on a drip and there was very little nourishment in that. Otherwise, he had eaten a very small amount of food. I was shocked to see how painfully thin he was when I collected him, the vet said lots of rest and to start feeding him little and often. He looked so very sad and you could see almost every bone in his little body. I tried everything that week, thinking that once he had started to eat he would pick up and he would be back to himself... I asked everyone if they had any tips, I fed him by syringe liquidising his chicken and rice. I tried complan soups, waking and feeding him in the middle of the night, most of the time he just stared into space and the food would just fill his mouth, he made no effort to eat, he had given up I knew he had. Nevertheless, I still persevered stroking his throat to make him swallow, giving him his antibiotics. He really surprised me when he wandered out to the garden and laid in the sun, the following day I really thought we were going to get over this mountain. Between this, we went back to the vets for an ECG and blood test for Addison Disease. I could see the vets despair not knowing what the problem was... I really wanted him to have Addison, because I knew they could treat it. But he went back to the glazed look and not swallowing, I sat up with him all night because I was sure he was going to die.... and the following morning I rang the vets for the results... they were negative, and I was gutted because in my heart of hearts I knew that nothing could save him now.. I Wouldn’t let the vet say that all they could do was put him to sleep… someone suggested a drug called Periactin and I said to the vet do you think it would be ok to give it too him, he said they were not allowed to say yes it was for humans, not animals, but he phoned me back telling me Rue weighted 8 kilos when he was there and I could give him 1/2 AM and then 1/2 PM. I went straight out and brought them and within 3/4 of an hour, he had eaten a few hands full of chicken and rice. I was elated, but in the early hours of the morning I sat up with him again and it broke my heart to see him, not being able to lift himself up to get himself more comfortable. I gave him water, which just ran out of his mouth; I knew I had to phone the vet. I made the call and rushed up to the bedroom in tears, Col woke up wondering what the hell was going on... we both ended up with him lying in between us, both stroking him and crying... I could have taken him to the vets that night but I just wanted a little more time with him, but morning came too soon. He always travelled on my lap in the car and we drove as slowly as we could to the vets.

When the vet switched those clippers on, I will never forget that look in his eyes as long as I live. I just said to him is that tickling your little leg rue. I have lived that moment over and over in my head, when the vet had the needle in his hand I wanted so much to say, No, but I knew I could not…

We took him home; I just sat with him stroking his face. I sat with him almost 4 hours. I did not want to let him go. We buried him wrapped in his blanket with his little dolly he loved to play with. All we ever wanted to do was, find out what was wrong with Rue, to try to make him well.

We took him everywhere with us, he looked like an advert for animal cruelty, he was always skinny, but he was happy when he was well. We had almost a year to the day where he was well, we couldn’t believe that he would begin his strange episodes again, I always worried they would return, if he had a day where he didn’t eat too much I would watch him like a hawk, but after all that time....

Everywhere I look, there are reminders of him, and his collar was in my handbag I found it before I went shopping this morning, his car blanket, still in the car. All the treats he liked in the cupboard. I neatly folded the T-shirt I wore to the vets and put it away in a draw, I will never wear it again. I still have three other whippets to love, but he was so different, always my baby boy I will never ever forget him...

So there is his story almost, I have missed out all the good times they are a distant memory now, but in time, I hope we will remember them too.


We Have A Secret
We have a secret, you and I
that no one else shall know,
for who but I can see you lie
each night in fire glow?
And who but I can reach my hand
before we go to bed
and feel the living warmth of you
and touch your silken head?
And only I walk woodland paths
and see ahead of me,
your small form racing with the wind
so young again, and free.
And only I can see you swim
in every brook I pass
and when I call, no one but I
can see the bending grass.

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