November 12, 2008

Brandy, my dear friend

My dear little friend is gone now after a long battle to work her way back from illness. She was 15 years old this past spring , a long life for a larger dog.
Last night, these things seem to always happen in the night, Brandy became dizzy and disoriented , throwing up and eye popping out of her head, rolling back in her head uncontrollably.
I took her to the Lakewood Emergency Vet.
I thought it was a stroke but the vet told me it was something with the vestibular area of the ear causing uncontrollable vertigo and misery for her. It was something that could clear up in days but might return again and again. It happens in elderly dogs but with her cancer history could be a symptom of it's return.
She was suffering from hip dysplasia, Lyme disease and a whole lot more and had just overcome a severe form of cancer.

She had stopped being able to walk almost completely about a few months ago and the last week was almost unable to stand without help and though she was not in pain her muscles were atrophying from lack of use. She was going blind and deaf and was easily alarmed. She would cry if no one was around her. The list goes on of things that needed attention.

So late last night the vet put her to sleep. The battle she was fighting was just too overwhelming anymore for both of Brandy and me.
We were both(she and I) seriously sleep deprived and worn out from trying to help her make a come back. For the past several months I had to carry her everywhere or assist her in what little walking she could do, but she was trying so hard, so interested in life and those around her that it would have been wrong to let her go just yet. I tried every avenue to help her live a bit longer.

This added problem was just too cruel and ugly for her to handle anymore.

I miss her terribly

I hear her in the room still. I keep expecting to see her in the house.
Her kitty pals, Garfield and Sandy were waiting this morning when I got up sitting side by side staring at me, something they just never do.
I stared back but had a clue what they wanted.
As if to clarify they walked over to Brandy's empty bed and sat on it together for a long time looking at me over and over.
I said, "She's gone boys".
They laid down together on her bed for a few hours and once in a while both coming to sit by me in tandem.
And today they are quiet and subdued.

Sandy had adopted Brandy as a surrogate Mom when his own rebuffed him before he was fully weaned. He went in to Brandy and slept by her from then on and they were good friends. He is very lonely today and so am I.
Sandy and his brother Garfield are both about 13 years old .

Hard on the heels of another blow last month that left me devastated this is just hard to take.

Anyone who has had a dog knows that they are companions like no other kind of animal. Faithful, loyal, loving and kind they stick when others are gone. They endure a lot and are quiet in pain. Brandy endured pain from her dysplasia and arthritis without any fanfare. Always happy for a hug or a pet, always there to be a friend inspite of her own hardships. Even when recovering from her bout with cancer she never complained but was happy all the time and shared that with me.
I find them to be an inspiration in that way.
You step on a dogs foot accidently and there's no hard feeling or recrimination. They just endure and give love all their lives in that patient way they have.
Patience, endurance in hard ship and joy in living....
We humans can think on that and try to emulate that more I think. Maybe that is why God let us have them as friends.



  1. There is just nothing I can say to make you feel better at a time like this. I know your pain for I have lost faithful companions before too. I am so sorry but you did the right thing to end the pain.

  2. Thanks Lois. I appreciate that.

  3. songs

  4. Nice Anonymous, thank you.

  5. I am sorry for your loss, she was a good friend to you, but it is losing things sometimes that makes us value all the more what we had

  6. Hi Annie,

    I am so sorry for your loss of Brandy. Take comfort in the fact that you returned her love and loyalty and gave her the best life any dog could wish for. These last few months, you went above and beyond and that should give you comfort, too. You knew when the time was right to let her go with dignity and that was your final gift to her. I've been there! (((Big Hugz)))

  7. Hi Annie, I sat here in tears as I read about your loss of Brandy. I am so sorry, & I know the ache that you feel. I still miss my sweet Pugsley, after 4 years. Their lives are so short, but they give us such gifts. My heart breaks for you Annie. Sending you big hugs...

  8. BS"D

    There was nothing more you could do and you made the only correct choice as painful as it was. I regret that I did not do that for my Assad when he ceased "being a cat" and started to waste away a month before he died.

    15 is a very old age for a dog of Brandy's size; it must be so hard for you but at least you know she had the best possible life every minute of those 15 years.

    Whatever you do, do not make the same mistake as I once did and get another pet (dog, cat or bear) too soon. I ended up getting an inbred disaster from an inbred disaster of a breeder because I was not thinking straight.

  9. Hi Annie! Just popping in to wish you a nice weekend and let you know I'm thinking about you and Brandy. I'm in the other camp- I'm all for getting another pet. We got Kanan within a few weeks after losing Dylan. Kali was lonely and needed a companion and he was good for her and us. Glad your kitties have each other- that helps. You will know if and when you're ready to let another dog into your life. And, of course, you're not "replacing" Brandy. She was one of a kind! (((Hugz)))

  10. It is impossible to read your post without tears...looking at that dear little face,full of love and gratitude for you... What a blessing to have had her in your life...placed especially with you for you to love and care for.That stedfast loyalty will comfort you always. We love you dearly !

  11. How are you doing, Annie? Thanks for your thoughts for Jeff- he's home now for 4 days so can recover and relax. Except right now he's mowing the lawn. :) (((Hugz)))

  12. Hearts are with you.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. I feel particularly bad because Brandy was a black lab--hands down the most gentle, sweet and loving of companion animals.

    There's really not much anyone can do to ease you grief. What helped me, though, was crying my eyes out while watching Old Yeller, the sympathy card the vet sent me, and making a donation in my beloved Muffin's name to the SPCA where I got her.

    She was 15 years old, too.

  14. I just found your blog by Googling elderly dog and vertigo as I believe that my 15 year old dog had this for the first time this evening. He's been having eye trouble and declining in health just as you described with your Brandy.

    I am so sorry for your loss. It's so tough to say goodbye to such a wonderful friend.

  15. Hi Alyssa,
    I am so sorry your dog has this. It isn't pleasant for them at all.
    The doctor said it can come and go but Brandy had other problems that made it just insult to injury for her.
    I hope your dog gets better soon.
    Thanks for coming by.


I love hearing your thoughts and your visits mean a lot to me.