Welcome to Lightning's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
Lightning's Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of Lightning
Lightning was my special girl, one, because she was my first dog who I owned by myself, and two, because her birth date (May 30) was the same day as the day I joined the Marines. Since the English bulldog (which is the breed Lightning was) is the Marine Corps mascot, I firmly believe that her and I were meant to share our lives together. She was a special dog who was loved by all. She was never aggressive and always happy and mild-tempered. She was quite energetic and agile for a bulldog. She would run and jump with all the other dogs at the park whenever I brought her. People would remark on how spry she was for her breed. She was so quirky and had her own personality. I always wondered what she was thinking when she looked at me since she always had different expressions on her face. My favorite is when she would smile (tongue out ...which, by the way, she had an extra large tongue that always hung out of her mouth). She loved being around lots of people and other dogs ...she was super social, and this is when she would always be smiling. I would always feel sad when bringing her home from the park or a social gathering because she would look so depressed. I always exercised her, gave her good nutrition, great supplements, and consistent veterinarian care. I swore that she would live longer than any other bulldog since I took such good care of her. Recently she was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease, which pretty much is where a growth in her endocrine gland was causing for increased production of cortisol in her body. Her blood tests looked good, so our vet firmly believed that the growth was not malignant, because if it was then her blood work results would have been questionable. The unfortunate thing about this disease is that she would of have to have lived with it for the rest of her life. The good thing is that there was a medication for it. The effects of Cushing's were that her appetite and thirst for water grew exponentially. Because of her increased thirst for water she had to go pee much more frequently and sometimes couldn't hold it as long as she used to be able to. So every day when I came home from work these past few weeks I would find pee in the house since I had been gone at work so long and she clearly couldnt' hold it that long. She had also become very lethargic. Although I was not feeding her more she did manage to gain weight since she was not as active as she had been in the past. I ordered her meds and was meant to start administering them to her this coming Sunday (1/23/2011). Last night (1/20/2011) I came home from work after a fairly long work day as usual and called for her as I always do with inflection in my voice, "Lightning!" Normally I hear a bit of rustling of her getting up from a snooze to come and great me. This time I heard what sounded like the sound a cat makes when it has a hairball ...a scratchy wheezing sound. I immediately rushed into my bedroom, which is where I kept her while I was at work. She was in her blue canvas collapsible doghouse literally gasping for air. Her eyes were nearly bugging out of her head from trying to breath so hard. Her tongue was purple from lack of oxygen. I thought she had a piece of chew lodged in her throat. I immediately pried her mouth open and saw nothing but a bunch of foam. I rushed and got her some water in her dog bowl since it was empty from her having drunk it all during the day. She didn't even move towards the bowl. I observed throw-up, pee, and poop in my bedroom. I, without hesitation, grabbed her, as I knew I had to rush her to the vet. I was so frantic I kept dropping things as I tried to grab my keys and phone. I completely forgot to grab my wallet. I put her leash on her and attempted to walk her out of my apartment building here in DC. She was having such a hard time breathing that I just grabbed her in my arms and ran with her to my car parked outside on the street. I put her in the front seat of my car and got in and pealed off down the street towards the vet (which is thankfully only 9 blocks away. As I was driving she was sitting in my passenger seat still suffering to breath. A few blocks down she slumped down into the seat and I stopped hearing the breathing sounds. I continuously petted her and said encouraging things to her. After several city blocks I made it to the vet and parked my car. I scrambled out of the car, ran to the other side to open the passenger side door, barely turning the car or headlights off. I grabbed her out of the passenger seat and placed her on the curb. At that point she was a lifeless body. I ran with her in my arms into the vet clinic and rushed up the vet tech at the front desk. I urgently cried to her that something was horribly wrong. I set her on the floor. Another vet tech came out to get Lightning. She said "Oh dear." I crouched down on the floor next to my little girl and pet her head one last time and looked into her eyes, which were still open, yet I noticed she was not breathing. They took her upstairs and performed emergency procedures, to include CPR, on her to get her breathing again. After about an hour the on-call doctor informed me that they couldn't bring her back. And just like that my little girl was gone and out of my life forever. The doc asked if I wanted to see her one more time, but I couldn't bare to see her like that. I wanted to remember as a happy-go-lucky bulldog, like how she was in her prime. So now I mourn for my precious little girl, who was taken from my life all too soon. Who will I talk to now when I come home from a long day at work? Who will console my tears and look at me with every bit of understanding that a dear human friend would portray? I am all alone now, but in my heart forever, Lightning will be. Till we meet again my precious girl ...I'll see you on the other side.

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