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24 September 2006 @ 02:27 pm
My mutt, Cinnamon  
I miss Cinnamon a lot.

Here's mom's eulogy and Cinnamon's story:

She came to live with us when she was about 1 or 2 years old. We found her wandering around our local high school. My husband was rehearsing there. He was Ali Hakim in our local theater's production of Oklahoma. This cute dog was following me. Our town’s high school is located near a busy road and I was afraid that she might be run over, so I brought her home with me. I didn’t even think that I may have a problem with my other dog at home. My dog Ginger (a purebred basset hound) was 6 years old. Basset hounds are accepting dogs and there was no problem introducing the new dog to her.


GINGER




Mom's Eulogy to Ginger


My children were ecstatic. They were getting another dog. I warned them that this dog was not ours. I was keeping it until the rightful owner would claim her. I put up ads everywhere. I informed all the local vets. No one claimed her. After 3 months, she became ours. We named her Cinnamon Amber. She became our second spice.

Life was not that easy with the dogs at first. There was jealousy. Cinnamon beat up Ginger a few times. Ginger had an L.L.Bean bed. Cinnamon had a makeshift bed. I told hubby that Cinnamon wanted one as well. “Sure,” he said. “She told you that? Come on, stop anthropomorphizing.” Cinnamon beat up Ginger to such an extent that we had to go to the vet have her ears stitched up (10-12 stitches). That's when I decided to buy another L.L.Bean bed. We never had another fight.


CINNAMON


Cinnamon became hubby’s best friend. She was my greatest pal. When Ginger died, Cinnamon became the matron dog of a large pack: Coriander, Basil, Cocoa, Zack Curry were her charges.


CORIANDER

(See her memoriam at http://www.bhrescue.com)



BASIL



COCOA



ZACK CURRY



When Coriander left for the Bridge, Caraway was her newest pack member.



Carrie, the day she came home to us



Sadly, Cinnamon followed Coriander seven months later.

She lived with us 14 beautiful years. She was 16. Her downfall began on Friday morning on 8/26 when she started coughing. We thought that she may have lung cancer. But, since we don't smoke, the vet did not think that was a possibility. The vet thought that she may have caught a bacterial infection from her rotten teeth. She sent us home with some antibiotics, and we thought our troubles were over. Cinnamon's cough got worse and she started throwing up as well. We thought that she may have had a reaction to the antibiotic and the vet told us to let's wait out the weekend, and if there was no improvement, they would x-ray her.

I started giving Cinnamon boiled chicken with rice and that seemed to help her digestion, but not her cough. So, on Tuesday we took her to be x-rayed. They found out that she had megaesophagus. (Her esophagus was larger than most dogs’ esophagus.) This we were told is not unusual with dogs that have a thyroid conditions (which Cinnamon had). We were told to give her small meals, more frequently (not a hard task). I asked them whether I should continue giving her my boiled chicken and rice. They told me to just give her the regular dog food that we usually give her, but add water to it to make into a gruel-like consistency. Happily, we brought her home.

We prepared Cinnamon’s first gruel meal. She took one bite, coughed, made a 90 degree turn, her face froze in a “smile-growl” state. She took two steps, fell under my bed, and started shaking vigorously. It looked as if she was dying. I realized just then that she was having a seizure. It took a few seconds. It felt like an eternity. When she finished, she tried to get up. I helped her; she fell again, and went through another seizure. This time, she even started foaming at the mouth. This one also, lasted a few minutes. I called the vet. They felt that she may have had a seizure due to the stress of being away from home. I didn’t really buy it. But that was all I had. Cinnamon was exhausted. I put a pillow underneath her, covered her with a blanket, and let her sleep it off.

An hour later she came downstairs to join the family. It seemed as if the vet was right. I started to feel that maybe I should have given her the chicken meal and not the gruel. Maybe she choked on the gruel. So, I gave her some chicken, and she ate it. And she didn’t seem to have a reaction at all. Her eyes were a bit disoriented. But then again, she did go through a tremendous ordeal. Within a half hour she threw up again, and again, and again. From this moment on her ritual was as follows: Rest for half hour, drink, and throw up. She was so weak, that she was unable to go up the stairs. She stayed in our hallway. I stayed downstairs with her. I slept on the couch, placed her near me, put a pillow underneath her head, a soft blanket underneath her body, and a warm blanket over her body. I knew that this would be our last night together. I said my goodbyes, and whenever she threw up, I cleaned her up and her area, gave her some sugared water for strength, and hoped that she could get some rest. She slept 2 hours, then 1 hour, then 2 hours, and then 1 hour. I staid home with her. My boss was nice enough to allow me to work from home.







These are pictures of Cinnamon's last night on Earth


At about 8 a.m. Cinnamon looked as if she was ready to fight for her life again. I gave her her medications; she walked over to the kitchen, collapsed, and had a diarrhea. (Poor baby, probably wanted to go out, but was too exhausted to make it.) I cleaned her up. Propped her head with a pillow, put a soft blanket underneath her, and called the vet. They came with the stretcher and took her to the hospital. They said that she may have been too dehydrated, and they would give her IV fluids. That afternoon, we found out that she had two more grand mal seizures. (Her first two seizures at home were grand mal seizures.) The vet called a neurologist vet, who surmised that the symptoms that Cinnamon was having (along with the megaesophagus) were that of a tumor growth located both in the brain and the brain stem. We could treat her with prednisone and phenobarbital, but the prognosis was not good at all good. It was time to send her to a better place. So that night, at the vet, we had our final good-byes. She gave us great 14 years. May everyone’s dog give as much love and, for as long or even longer, as this one has for us.




THE GOOD OLD DAYS
 
 
Current Location: At home, grieving
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: All by Myself
 
 
 
Spicedogsspicedogs on September 27th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
Actually, he is a good vet. I think one of the technicians gave me that advice. The fact was that she was on her last days, and it was difficult to face it. They were trying to give me hope, and hope was not there anymore.

I cannot thank them for the way they handled this little girls last days. They came and picked her up and took her to the hospital. They were so gentle about picking her up and carrying her out of the house.

When we came in at night to say our last good-bye, the entire staff was there with red, teary eyes. They let us stay as long as we needed to stay with our baby. I think we stayed for about 1 1/2 hours. It was so sad to see her go. She was a great pal. I still miss her, and it's been over a year.

Thanks.
shark_girl: finshark_girl on September 27th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
Aah I understand now. In the last couple of weeks, we have had to euthanase several well loved old dogs whom we have been seeing since they were puppies, and it is heartbreaking for the staff too.

I think you will always miss her. I miss (and still cry for when I think of them) every pet I've ever lost. People think I'm weird when I tell them I cant wait to see all my beloved pets when I die, because I sincerely believe I will...and if I dont I will feel very ripped off.
Spicedogsspicedogs on September 29th, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, I believe in the Rainbow Bridge with all my heart, and I know that all the animals that I touched somehow will be there waiting for me.