Saturday, December 10, 2011


My perspective on some things has changed drastically this week.  You may remember if you have been following my blog that back in April we gave in to our sixteen year old son's pleas for a puppy.  A beautiful Border Collie/Aussie Shepherd mix became a part of our family and Kihembah (my son named her)quickly made her way in to our hearts.  She was a high energy dog and as she grew did not tire easily making life with her challenging.  Her endless energy and smarts (Border Collies are known to be as smart as a 3-4 year old human) found her getting herself in a world of trouble.

One of my most prized possessions is a wooden horse that my grandpa made for Josh for his 2nd birthday only a few months before my grandpa passed away.  Recently Josh and Jason have been night owls and would still be up with the dog when I would go to bed.  In the morning when I got up, on several occasions I found the horse with chew marks.  I was more than a little miffed that our puppy had defaced this cherished heirloom.

I now have a different perspective on those chew marks.  You see a couple of months ago our precious pup began having cluster grand mal seizures.  She was put on meds and diagnosed with epilepsy.  We heard many hopeful stories from many people who had experienced their dog having seizures or epilepsy and had lived a long life.  Every two weeks the seizures would break through and she would have to go in and be sedated to break the cycle and then she'd come home a little listless but with in 24 hours would bounce back to her usual self.  Then three weeks went by with no seizures.  We were hopeful that we had finally gotten her medication dose down and life could go back to normal.  (a new normal of making sure she got her meds every 12 hours which made having to plan our activities around her medication schedule, being a T1 family we are used to having to plan around medical stuff)

A few days ago, Jason was just getting ready to walk out the door to go teach his class at our local community college when Josh came in and told us that Kihembah was having another seizure.  After the last time she had a seizure break through, we had gotten a prescription for a tranquilizer suppository that was supposed to help break the cycle and keep her from having to go to the vet.  One dose didn't work nor did dose two and three so they packed her up and took her to the vet while I called Jason's boss to inform him of our current circumstances.  In a 20 min period of time, Kihembah had about 8 seizures.  At the vet they hooked her up to IVs giving her a stronger dose of tranquilizer along with more anti-seizure meds.  This didn't work.  Heavily sedated, the seizures did finally stop but then each time the vet would bring her out of sedation, the seizures would start again.

We were faced with a difficult decision.  Do we keep her alive and keep her heavily sedated or do we have her put down and put her out of pain and misery?  We decided that it was time to say goodbye.  It was time to admit that we had tried our best and she was just too sick to keep her alive.

My husband did the tough deed.  He went to the vet and signed the papers.  Josh could not bare to see her again but Jason felt he owed her a proper goodbye.  Jason went in and held her head, tearfully looking her in the eyes and had a heartfelt talk with her to let her know how much we loved her and were sorry that it had to come to this.  I love him and respect him so much that he doesn't just take the easy road but will do the hard thing when it is necessary.

Those chew marks on our beloved wooden horse are now a thing of beauty.  Not only do we have this memoir of my grandpa but there is a special addition where Kihembah left her mark.  Now we get to remember two loves in our lives when we see this horse.  (Josh and my grandpa were super close so the horse will forever be his)

Josh loved his dog and it has been heartbreaking for me as a mom to know I don't have anything to take his pain away.  Its one of our jobs as mommies to make the booboos better and I can't fix this one. 

RIP Kihembah
I chose this picture becuase it shows the relationship between my son and his pup and you can see the horse in the background


  1. OH heartbreaking. So incredibly heartbreaking. I'm so so so so sorry for the loss of Kihembah. I will pray for the broken hearts left behind and peace on the road ahead.

  2. Been there, done that with the loss of a dog in the midst of a very tough, scary piece of time. I'm sorry Josh wasn't able to be there at the end, but maybe he just wasn't ready for that quite yet. I've lost so many animals over the years - it's never easy but the loss of your beloved dog that you're bonded with is especially tough.
    I wonder if the breeder has heard back from anyone else who got a pup from that litter about this sort of health problem? *sniffles & wipes eyes* Loved the picture you chose. I remember busting her chewing on that a couple times while I was dogsitting this summer. Naughty little minx, she was! <3 you guys!

  3. So sorry for the loss of your Kihembah. This is a touching story and a beautiful way to remember your friend.