It is with the deepest grief and sadness that I tell you that we had to let go of dear sweet NONA on July 4 at 2:45 PM. She died peacefully in our home surrounded by Bryan, Petite and myself. Her condition had worsened so much that she could hardly walk and would fall down on our floors and not be able to get up. She was a fighter. We got her home on Sunday afternoon but she wouldn't eat. She lost so much protein that water had accumulated in her extremities and neck and especially her underside. In the morning as I saw her lying in her bed on her side, she resembled more of a piglet than a dog. At noon our vet came to our home to help with giving her her daily meds, and just before she arrived, Nona began to take a few little bite of wet dog food from my hand. I was so excited. Yet as I assessed her condition, I faced the most difficult reality that we must let her go. Her stomach was so expanded that the staples in her incision ( about 8 inches long we oozing. Her paws and legs we so puffed up, they resemble those of a ST. Bernard. The skin below her neck was filled with liquid and it looked like a rooster. She wobbled and fell when she walked but still had that pit bull fight. We made the decision that the pain, suffering she had faced and would face was too much. We decided that euthanasia was the best thing for her. God what a hard choice. We talked at length with our vet and she pointed out that Nona had been on these strong antibiotics for 4 days and was still getting worse. Incidentally, last night our vet informed us that her biopsy had come back and she had no Cancer. What she had was peritonitis. However, they felt that she had some small holes in her intestines that caused leakage and infection. This had been going on for sometime (perhaps 3 to 4 years) , but her body would heal itself but they it would move on to another intestinal section and leak. Finally, it started leaking more and more and even my tough Nona could not heal this horrible infection. In two operations, more than 12 inches of intestine was removed, but the infection lead to other complications. Even the strongest of antibiotics would not help and she would not eat. Hence the low protein count which lead to edema. We decided that it was in her best interest to do the best thing - to relive her from pain and suffering. Our vet (what a wonderful lady) went to the office and got the necessary items and returned. While she was gone we cried a lot and I got to tell her goodbye and tell her how much she meant to me. - Our dog Nona meant so much to us.. She was a pit bull and I rescued her ten years ago from a high kill shelter. It seemed no one wanted her and she was ready to be euthanized. For over a year (as a puppy), she was beaten and abused and was afraid of most humans especially men. The moment I saw her, I fell in love with her soul searching brown eyes and just about everything about her. With both had PTSD, I needed her just as she needed me. We didn't bond immediately; in fact she was afraid of all males but she quickly bonded with Petite and other female family members especially all my grandkids both male and female. Since Petite was still working, I began taking her to classes at our local humane society. At first, everyone seemed to shy away from her or even exhibit fear. Ten years ago, pit bulls in Marin County as well as with our local humane society had a bad reputation. Many people felt that they were killers and should be locked up or even worse. However, we persisted. We took Family Dog I, II, II, !V, V, many different classes of agility (she used to compete but we never won - she was lay back and often during a run on a hot day she would just stop and run to the nearest pool and jump in to splash or swim or simply stop and roll over and ask for a tummy rub) - She also took Freestyle and we danced to the music of Beethoven's Fifth with tricks and other obedience skills- in the finale of our routine she was supposed to roll over to the right and then to the left and then stand up. She did the right-left roll over but instead of standing, she remained of her back with all for legs sticking straight up and waited till I gave a signal to stand. This was not in our routine but something she just wanted to do - it became the signature finale of the routine. As we both grew older, we did many classes of scenting and she reached a few levels; we also did Share Your Dog and were allowed to go to schools and hospitals to show her love to all. Nona was such a loving and gentle creature. She won the hearts of almost everyone she met and became a true ambassador for her misunderstood breed. Through all our years together, we established such an intangible bond with each other. She was a dear friend to all of us. She became a service dog in a sense for me. She helped me climb from the depths of fear, anxiety, guilt of PSTD, and horrors of combat and death of Vietnam. In many ways, she saved my life. She read me like a book and was aways there in my time of need. Two words that describe Nona - "Unconditional Love". The only class she ever failed was Canine Good Citizenship (she failed on requirement - leave your dog with a friendly stranger for 3 minutes). This she couldn't do and just shook. I did not care about it - her love and loyalty shown through. |
Today,As she laid there before us, I played the song "My Old Friend" and read to her a little free verse poem I had written about a year ago.
Nona - a tail wag
Eyes of utter love
Play with me, walk me,
Loyalty - unconditional love
Before any injections we had time to talk to her, to love her and to tell her what she meant to all of us. I used to always whisper in her ear - "Daddy's Girl and Daddy love Nona" to which she would respond with a tail wag or a lick on my face. God how I loved her. When the end came she was so filled with water, the doctor could not get through to a vein. She finally injected directly into her heart. My Nona, our brave Nona, my dear friend quietly passed away and crossed that rainbow bridge at 2:45PM ., July 4, 2017. She was 11 years, 3 months. God how I sorely miss her. I just wanted to let everyone know.. Thank you for letting us grieve. Mommy & Daddy