I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.

Shakespeare had it right on that one.  God was kind enough to let us see and understand truly unconditional love through our dogs.  And last night, I had to say goodbye to a good friend of the last 9 years.  Not long after we got here to Hawaii, Resa developed megaesophagus, a condition which is characterized by the inability of the esophagus to contract properly and thereby propel food and water from the dog’s mouth to their stomach.  The condition probably started before we moved here, but didn’t show symptoms until after the stress from the [expletive deleted] quarantine hell-hole got to her.  She had been sick overnight for a couple of days, and unable to keep her food down.  Off to the vet, and after x-rays, blood work, and a full exam, we had the answer.  Not to what was causing the condition, but at least to what we were dealing with.  There was also an unidentified mass next to her spleen, which based on her age we simply assumed to be cancer.  Given her age, surgery was out, but Kelly showed me pictures of something called a ‘Bailey Chair’, which holds a dog upright to allow gravity to do the work their throat can’t do.  So a quick trip to Home Depot later, and I had extra framing to put the thing together.  Between the chair to keep the food down, and the antibiotics to knock out the aspiration pneumonia (a usual side effect of megaesophagus), we were able to get her back to a better place and re-evaluate.

As a minor benefit (from Resa’s perspective), was that for the last 2 1/2 weeks of her life, she got canned food 3 times a day.  Since we  wanted to make sure she was getting as much nutrition as possible, we switched to the ground wet food, and she was extremely happy.  She still couldn’t get water without issues, so we mixed it into her food and she got ‘meat soup’… every Ridgeback’s dream.  However, despite getting 15 minutes in the chair after every meal, we knew we would be trying to keep her from coughing food back up and aspirating again, and knew we were on borrowed time.  Since Sequoia had done so badly as an only dog after Jack was gone, I told her she couldn’t go until Angus made it out from the mainland with Kelly’s mom.  She made it, but after a couple of days of his being here, we started hearing the telltale cough again in the evenings.  After a couple of long nights of getting up to tend to ‘pukey face’ again, she let me know it was time.  I didn’t want it to be that way, but when I came home and she came straight to me, coughed, and hung her head, I knew.

The vet clinic we had been taking her to while trying to get her better was really good about getting us into an exam room when we got there.  I was doing okay keeping it together when we arrived, but they had the radio on in the lobby, and Adele’s wailing soprano pretty much made me lose it.  Having always been a music person, it’s not surprising how much the right (or wrong) piece of music can affect me.  She went peacefully.

I’m just going to post these, and let the shots mostly speak for themselves.  As you will notice, there is a recurring theme of her sleeping, sometimes in what appear to be the most uncomfortable positions you could imagine.  I still don’t know how she didn’t get a crick in her neck laying with her head over the arm of her chair, guess I never will.

(Still don’t know how she could sleep like this…)

This one’s on my desktop background, and will likely remain there for a good while.

Timer’s done!!! I get to come out now!!!


We all miss you big girl.  Sequoia’s keeping your chair warm.


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