17 February 2008
Lily has died
My lovely chihuahua Lily died this morning at home, at 8.40am. She had congestive heart failure, and had been on medication since late October, but not going very well on it. She was 12 years and 4 months old.
Her condition has been getting worse over the last week,... At 4am Dotter woke me - together with Hubby we kept a watch over Lil, with lots of chest rubs - but it was obvious there wasn't much more we could do. Her breathing was very fast (up to 140 breaths/minute - 30 is normal), and her lungs were filling with fluid.
At 8am it was clear that she wasn't going to live much longer, and that she wouldn't survive a car journey to the vet (who opened at 9am). I stayed with her for the whole end... it's the first time I've been at a death, actually. She was barely conscious for most of the last half hour, and I kept thinking she'd gone, but then she'd suddenly breathe and startle me.
We held a little family funeral for her - she's buried in the garden, with a yellow bush rose on top. I'm going to collect a smooth river stone and paint her name and dates on it, to sit next to the rose.
Lily was brave - she would chase foxes and any other dog - all of whom were bigger than her (let's face it, most cats were bigger than her!), she would bark fearlessly at visitors to our home (often a bit too much!).
Lily was intelligent - asking for pats, ignoring commands when it didn't suit her, asking for food and water, understanding what we said to her.
Lily was loving and delightful - a very gentle-natured dog (when not on alarm dog duty!), everyone who came into contact with her loved her, even if they didn't like dogs or chihuahas much. Her vets said she was the sweetest natured chihuahua they knew. She loved nothing better than to curl up on your lap for endless rubs and scratches (and she'd claw at your hand if you had the temerity to stop!). She loved sleeping on my knitting, especially lace shawls.
She will be so deeply and sorely missed... I am relieved that it's over, too, it's been a terribly stressful nearly-4 months since she first collapsed back in October.