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Monday, September 21, 2009

Today Dog Heaven Got Another Angel

Sadly we must announce that our beloved dog Frankie passed away quietly this morning in the shade of a tree in our backyard, she was 13 years, 8 months old.

She had been noticeably declining for the last few months. She slowed down and was not eating like she used to and started having 'episodes' suddenly. During the 3 weeks that we were in India to pick up our beautiful son Blaze, we were so blessed to have our wonderful neighbors Jack and Winnie and their Grand-Daughter Lauren take incredible care of her. She had been doing well, but then we received a phone call a few days before retuning home that Frankie had taken a turn for the worse, she had to be fed by hand in order to eat and appeared more lethargic. Rhonda couldn't get home fast enough to her girl. When we returned home from India on Tuesday, it was very noticeable that she was not herself. She had lost weight, she was having difficulty walking since her back legs were weak due to previous injuries, her breathing was a bit labored, and she was just laying around not doing much. But in her eyes I could see the spark. I knew that she was happy that we were home, I just knew it!! Rhonda spent the rest of the day laying beside her on the floor comforting her, telling her how much she was loved.

We took her to the vet the very next morning and she was checked out from head to toe. Everything seemed to be normal and the vet said her heart was strong. They thought that she may benefit from some pain medication for her legs and also suggested cooking her eggs, rice and boiled chicken to help her gain back some weight and some energy. When we got her home she seemed to pep up a bit and even more during the next few days. She was walking a bit better and even ate the cooked food we prepared for her. But she still wasn't herself. She was content with just laying around and we were just happy to have her with us.

Last night while we were changing Blaze after giving him a bath, Frankie came in and laid down on the floor of his room. She always liked to be with us wherever we went. She hadn't paid much attention to Blaze since we introduced him to her on Tuesday. The occasional sniff and even a little lick, but that was about the extent of it. She did though, lay on the floor right next to his play yard in our room when he slept during the day and night. I believe that she was there to protect and watch over him.

When I got up early this morning to feed our son, Frankie was laying on the floor in the living room. She usually makes her way to our bedroom to sleep but I thought that maybe she got up early or just slept there last night. After feeding Blaze and he fell fast asleep, I placed him in his play yard in our bedroom and came back out to the living room. Frankie was still laying in the same spot. I reached down and rubbed the top of her head and she looked up at me and I said to her 'you're a good girl Frankie, I love you."

I couldn't go back to sleep now, so I played around on the computer in the living room. Frankie got up and went outside through her doggy door. After a few moments, Rhonda went outside to check on her and noticed that Frankie had gone to the grassy area in our backyard. After a while she wandered back in on her own and then got up again and went back outside. Rhonda had been in getting ready for the day and kept peeking out the window to check on her in the backyard. After a few moments, she noticed Frankie lay over on her side like she does when she has an episode and so she once again went out to check on her and yelled in to me "Gerry come outside something is wrong with Frankie". I rushed outside to find Frankie over by the tree in our backyard, lying on her side and Rhonda cradling her head in her arms. Frankie took 2 deep breaths and then was still.

We both just broke down in tears, our girl was gone. I went in the house and got some sheets to cradle her as I brought her inside the house. I laid her gently on the floor by her basket of toys. I was crying so hard, I couldn't think straight. I was in shock. Frankie was not just a dog, she was a part of our family, and everyone that knows us, knows how much we loved her and treasured her. Rhonda laid down on the floor next to her and gently stroked her fur, she looked so peaceful. Frankie was Rhonda's world, She had been in her life for 13 years and 8 months, she meant everything to her, and to see her now lying on the floor having to deal with the loss of her beloved Frankie, just tore me up inside.

I called the vets office to tell them what happened. I needed to tell someone. They knew Frankie for the last 3 or so years and it broke their hearts to hear of the news. I asked them what I should do, I wasn't thinking straight. They gave me the contact information of a pet cremation service that they highly recommended if we decided to go that route. After a bit, Rhonda and I both decided that we would have our Frankie cremated and that we wanted to have her ashes returned to us. So I called the cremation service and told them that I needed their assistance. I got directions to their office as Rhonda and I wanted to drive Frankie there ourselves. Frankie always enjoyed going for drives in our vehicles and it was only fitting to give our precious girl one last drive.

I placed several sheets in the back of my truck and laid Frankie in the back along with her favorite toy, Hedgehog and 2 photos of Rhonda and I with Frankie. I then buckled Blaze into his car seat. Rhonda wanted to ride in the back with her, so she sat next to her and continued to stroke her fur as we proceeded to the cremation service. It was a very sad drive, all of the memories of our times with Frankie through the years rushed around inside my head, so many emotions, I was just so devastated.

We arrived at the cremation service and I went in to speak with one of the representatives. Rhonda wanted a few more minutes alone with her beloved Frankie. After a few moments, I came out to see how Rhonda was doing and you could see that her heart was truly broken, she was a mess. Shortly after, the representative from the cremation service came out to pick up our girl. We weren't ready to let her go, but we knew that we had to. I said to him to "please take good care of our girl" which he replied "yes sir I will". We both gave Frankie one last kiss on the side of her head. It is a truly sad day, we have lost a member of our family. And those of you that have a bond and a love for your pet like we have with ours, will totally understand us.

I believe that Frankie waited for us to return from India, so that she could see us and that she could let us know that she wasn't suffering, that she was just old, and she needed a rest. Our precious Frankie is in heaven now, looking down on us. All of her aches and pains are gone and she is running and jumping. We love you Frankie, thank you for being a part of our lives. We will miss you, and we will never, ever forget you. You are forever in our hearts.