This time last week everything was fine. We had just come home from visiting a friend who sent a new toy to Heloise. She loved it so much all the pictures I took were blurry.
I went to bed that night and next thing I knew, it was 12:30 and Lee was waking me up. "I think something's wrong with Heloise."
Something was most definitely wrong. She was visibly bloated, drooling, and having difficulty breathing. We loaded her up and drove to the emergency vet. When Google Maps tells you the hospital is 15 minutes away, it seems like an eternity. Traffic rules go out the window.
When we arrived they took her back immediately. They knew exactly what was going on. I had suspected as well. It was bloat. I had been terrified of it happening when I had my borzoi, Oscar. I never would have guessed it could happen to a dog the size of Heloise.
They got x-rays and the vet came to get us. She showed us the film and it was the worst possible situation. Heloise's stomach had twisted.
The vet told us we had gotten there in time to surgically repair the torsion, but in a senior dog with kidney problems there were risks. First, the anesthesia would further damage her kidneys. That is if her kidneys could handle the anesthesia at all. Another possible scenario is that she could get in there and find cancer, as that sometimes happens when older dogs have twisted stomachs. They have no explanation as to why bloat happens in the first place, so they're not sure if there's a connection to cancer or not.
We opted to go ahead and let Heloise go gently to the Rainbow Bridge. Lee was devastated. She was his dog; he saved her from the shelter. He said goodbye to her, but couldn't stay in the room during the procedure.
I stayed. I held her and rubbed her ears, which she had always loved. I told her she was a good girl and that soon it wouldn't hurt anymore. She went quickly.
We had Heloise such a short time and there were so many things we hadn't gotten to do yet. This past Saturday was Barktoberfest at a local park and we were planning to take her. We planned to take her to Three Dog Bakery on the Plaza.
But for all the things she didn't get to do, there were lots of things she did do. We took her for frozen custard at Sheridan's.
She got to meet a miniature horse at PetSmart.
She got to warm her old bones in a cozy bed in front of a fire.
She even got to ride shotgun.
I will always cherish the sweet memories we made with this old grandma dog.