It has been a couple days but I have been too upset to post this.
Monday morning when I left for work, Lilly was fine.
Monday night when I got home, she wasn't feeling too well. I thought
she might have pulled something so I gave her a Tramadol. Lilly has
been in early-stage congestive heart failure since June 2008 but no
symptoms and I had been aggressively managing her diet, exercise and
meds, so she never had a single problem or symptom until Monday.
Monday night she began coughing and heavy breathing. I work for a
rescue with its own animal hospital so I called the director at home
and she told me to bring Lilly in anytime after 6 AM on Tuesday, we'd
xray her and up her meds. Lilly didn't feel good but she ate her
dinner and came upstairs to the bedroom on her own, and wanted to get
in the people bed. She rested but didn't really sleep so neither did
I. I got up and turned the space heater on for her because she was
cold but didn't want to be covered with her special pink plaid blankie
Finally about 4 AM she asked to get down from the bed. I went
downstairs and got her a big drink of water. I knew she was thirsty
with a dry throat from the mouth breathing so although I never give
them water in my room I went and got her a big drink. Then she went
and layed on her doggie bed. She was quiet and seemed better so I
went to sleep.
When the alarm went off at 7 she was gone. She looked so peaceful,
like she was asleep. She never struggled or made a sound because I
know I would have heard her, I was barely asleep myself. It was such
a shock. I talked to our regular vet Tuesday afternoon--we were both
crying so hard we could barely talk--and she thinks Lilly threw a
blood clot and had a heart attack. Since she looked so peaceful she
probably went in her sleep. But our vet said, since she'd had a
Tramadol even if she was awake she wouldn't have been in pain.
I lost Agnes Marie Basset Hound to CHF and it was so hard to watch her
decline and then have to make the decision to send her to the Bridge.
I think Lilly loved me so incredibly much that she wanted to save me
all that pain, and chose her day and time to go, in her favorite spot,
with Mommy and Becky. Lilly never had a single symptom or bad day
until her last few hours. My heart is broken but I'm grateful to her
for that. She had a very severe heart murmur (5/6) and was only
given 6 months to live when this was diagnosed in June 2008...so she
lived more than 1 1/2 happy, healthy, wiggly years after she should
have been gone.
Lilly was very pawtite (@ 35 lbs), loved everything pink and pretty
and girly, loved everyone and being the center of attention at basset
events, loved to flirt with cute boy bassets, loved House of Puddles,
her late husband Lucien, her sister and BFF Becky but most of all
Mommy. She was a little hurricane who would attack any doggie that
dared to sit by Mommy (except for Lucien and Becky. Usually). Lilly
was my heart dog, there will never be another.
Hurricane Lilly ATB
My friend Jeanne Wells took that last photo. Jeanne does a photoshoot
at House of Puddles every year; I'm so grateful to her for taking that
beautiful shot of Lilly. You can see more at
And Jeanne said something
very comforting to me after Lilly died: Now she is everywhere. It
hurts, but that helps.