Though this is for "Wordless Wednesday," I have to say something.
The little bulldog in the picture to the left isn't Bodhi; it's Leo (AKC Name: King Leonidas of Sparta). He was with us from Father's Day last year until August 15, 2007. In his short little life, he shone brightly and charmed everyone who met him.
We met him on my birthday last year when he was only 26 days old. Lily was immediately enamored of him, as you can see in the picture. Leo became sick at 10 weeks old, two weeks after he came to live with us. He started exhibiting strange neurological behavior. A trip to the emergency vet confirmed our fears. Something was dreadfully wrong. They sent us to Leesburg at midnight to the specialty clinic. We had to leave our sweet little guy there for fluids and such. At three a.m., we got the call. His ammonia levels were 300, when they should have been less than 50. This meant that his liver was not filtering his blood.
The next day he was diagnosed with a liver shunt. his blood was bypassing his liver. We went through a major surgery with him, only to continue to battle his condition. Eventually his condition grew so much worse that we ended up at the specialty clinic again during the night. It was two weeks before we were to have his blood tested again to see if the surgery had worked. In our hearts, we were afraid it had not. At 16 weeks of age, he weighed less than 10 lbs. The next day when we saw the internal medicine specialist who had treated Leo all along, he did an ultrasound and told us the bad news. He shut the door, pulled up a chair and explained that Leo's body had now developed multiple shunts and that there was nothing we could do.
We made the difficult decision to say goodbye to him that day, 8/15/07, but we have never forgotten him. I will never forget the way he felt in my arms after the medicine stopped his heart and brain functions. He finally stopped having tremors. I whispered in his ear how much I loved him and that I hoped he would forgive us for not being able to save him. I whispered to him to be at peace.
Less than two weeks later, the breeder arranged another pup for us - Bodhi. He was more for Lily than for us, because she quickly became depressed when Leo didn't come home. At first, it was hard for me to accept another puppy. I kept waiting for him to get sick, too. I felt beaten down. Hubby was even worse. He is still very much affected by what happened. But Bodhi grew on us and quickly became a part of our family. He will never replace Leo, but he has helped heal our hearts.
If you want to see more about Leo (more photos, poems, etc.), please visit his memorial page here.
Peace - D