Thursday, June 23, 2016

Adora Deer

Adora came to us 10 years ago as a tiny puppy.  She was about 7 weeks old, a little imp of a thing, with ears that didn't quite have enough cartilage to stick up all the way.  She was freaking adorable.  I mean, look at her.  So stinking cute.  She was our new foster puppy and I had delusions of letting another family adopt her once she was spayed and vaccinated.

Adora got her middle name, Deer, because A, her ears, when held in a certain position, resembled a deer's ears and B, I sang the "doe a deer" song from the sound of music (you know the one, "Doe, a deer, a female deer.  Ray, a drop of golden suuuuuuuun...") except I sang, "Adora Deer, a female deer..."  It drove Randy crazy, but Adora liked my singing....

Anyway, all of our dogs have middle names and it should have been a sign back then that Adora would become a foster-fail.

On her first night with us, Adora decided that Jackson was her buddy.  Jackson didn't share her feelings.  Adora didn't care.  She wanted to snuggle with Jack and she moseyed her cute puppy butt into his crate...he growled at her, how dare she encroach on his personal space.  Adora wasn't deterred.  She plopped down right against him as he heaved a big sigh of disgust.

From then on, Adora was his puppy.

As time went on, we came to the realization that Adora was the perfect addition to our family, if an unexpected one.  Odie, Jackson and Adora quickly became a pack.

They pack-hunted, pack-napped...

...and pack-begged for treats.

Adora Deer was the sweetest and gentlest of the pack.  Even as a tiny puppy, I never had to teach her to be gentle like I did with the boys.  She never accidentally bit my finger when taking treats, she was never one to jump up on people, she practically potty trained herself by copying the boys...she was just....chill.  Very low-maintenance.  Like I said, the unexpected, perfect addition to our pack.

We lost Jackson less than three months ago.  Odie and Adora took it well.  There didn't seem to be any mourning period for them (I, however, didn't want to get out of bed for three days).  They ate, slept, played...all pretty normal.  I was a little jealous of their ability to cope so well.

Two months after Jackson's death, Adora didn't want to eat much.  She'd eat a few bites, then walk away from her bowl.  Not totally unusual for her, but after a week of this, I took her to our vet thinking that she broke a tooth or had some other dental issue.


Her teeth looked fine.  The vet suggested that we look at her belly.  Maybe she has something intestinal going on, her blood work was wonky, it might be a gut issue.  We got meds, I made her bland meals of boiled chicken and rice, which she ate, but when we switched back to dog food, she stopped eating again. 

Back to the vet for more blood work and we were instructed to give Adora whatever she wanted to eat as she'd lost more weight.  This time the blood test results were even more wonky and over the next couple of weeks the vet went in search of cancer and found it in multiple areas of her body.  By this time Adora had lost ten pounds and, though she was taking prednisone, she would only eat a few bites of chicken several times a day and select dog treats: the stinkier, the better.  Her feet would slide out from under her when standing on the tile floor, she was losing her balance frequently and her walk was slow and deliberate.

Randy and I knew that we didn't have much time with her.  On Monday morning, she was barking out the front window and wagging her tail while begging for treats.  By Monday night, she could barely lift her head.  She wasn't eating and she wasn't drinking.  Tuesday morning, she had no tail wag and she didn't get up to go outside with Odie.  We knew it was time.  

Adora Deer, my sweet, sweet foster-fail passed away surrounded by love and tears on Tuesday morning.  Just before her heart stopped, I asked her to give Jackson our love.  I'm sure moments later, there was a lot of tail wagging going on in Doggie Heaven.

Cancer has claimed two of our dogs within three months.  My emotions swing like a pendulum between heartbroken and really fucking pissed.  Most of the time, I can keep myself together, but every once in a while, a tantrum sneaks up on me.  I'm sure, with time, that will lessen.  I hope it will, anyway.

Happy tails to you, Adora.
4/26/2006 - 6/21/2016