Some say Love,
it is a river; that drowns the tender reed
Some say Love, it is a razor; that leaves the soul to bleed
Some say Love, it is a hunger; an endless aching need
I say Love, it is a flower; and YOU it's only seed.
It's the heart,
afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance.
It's the dream, afraid of waking, that never takes a chance.
It's the one, who won't be taken, who cannot seem to give.
And the soul, afraid of dyin', that never learns to live.
When the night
has been too lonely;
And the road, has been too long –
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong....
Just remember in the winter-far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed, that with the suns' love, in the spring; becomes -
Bandit was born to Wolf and Malamute parents in
Pa. I found out about him when he was only 4 weeks old-he was not being cared
for properly by his mother since he was the runt, and apparently had been sat on
causing his hips to have problems. I fell in love with him the minute I saw
him-his soulful eyes caught me even back then. It was then I knew I had found
my heart- my "soulmate pup". He was so small, he could curl up and sleep in his
food bowl; yet his brothers and sisters were almost double his size.
His growth was slow at first....he never seemed to understand that his size was SO much smaller than his attitude! I'll never forget the panic that went through me when he was 3 months old...I had him outside in the fenced yard and there was a horrible commotion. I ran outside and there he was-barking down 2 Great Danes!!!!! Of course, I believe they were more shocked at his nerve than scared. They were in my yard, heads hanging straight down at him, while he's straining to bark up at them, with his fur all ruffled!!!! "The Big B" always did feel that anything he could see was HIS territory.
I have so many fond memories of him-like the time I had found a dog with a large amount of wolf in him (more than Bandit) and he was quite large; so I named him Moose. He sort of took Bandit under his wing a bit, and once when we went swimming in a lake that we always went to, but Bandit wouldn't go into the water for some reason. Moose actually "yelled" at Bandit.......well, he proceeded to put his proud little ears and tail down, and walked right into the water!!!!
When I found this site for his seizures, he was so sick- I thought it was his time. But the loving and quick response I received from a then stranger saved his life from a fast-acting raging bacterial infection. He gained almost 2 more years of quality life being relatively seizure free after discovering his hypothyroidism, and eating home cooking.
Bandit-you are, were and always will be my heart. You were and still are the best teacher of life, and what it means. I can only hope I was a good student. Did you see the butterflies on the pink flowers near your birdbath the other day? I love you.
Bandit has been my "Guardian" and protector (so to speak) through many things, and I miss him terribly...yet I feel him still. His love remains. The many things he has taught me over our 14 year journey together-remain.
March 4, 1988-July 13, 2002
At the Rainbow Bridge
In Memory of Innisfree's Rosiegirl, CGC, TDI
November 5, 1990-June 13, 2002
My husband & I recently lost our dear, beloved Siberian friend & companion Rosie. You can read her memorial on the Siberian Husky Memorial website at: http://www.sibernet.org/memorial/Rosiegirl.html
I would like to share Rosie's experience with canine epilepsy on this website in an effort to help others deal with the disease process, its treatment & lastly the devastating loss that eventually occurs. Rosie was about 6 months old when we 1st observed her having a tonic/clonic seizure. Her extremities were rigid, she shook all over & had periods of apnea. We were terrified & took her to the vet the next day. Unfortunately, that vet did not recommend medication but wanted to send her to a major vet center for CAT scans & thousands of dollars of other testing.
We decided to change vets to someone we had used many years before. Dr. Rubin promptly recommended phenobarbital & explained that very few cases of epilepsy are due to brain tumors for which you would do all of the previously recommended tests by the other vet. It was also explained to us that longterm phenobarb use can lead to liver failure. The choice was to treat the epilepsy & give our girl good quality of life, understanding that longevitiy may be sacrificed. The necessity for follow-up blood work & the signs & symptoms of overdose were also explained.
It took a couple of weeks to get the dose of phenobarb just right. We noticed Rosie dragging her back feet & the dose was lowered. Eventually Rosie was well controlled on a twice a day dose. She always took pills well and from our friend who would come over to feed her if we were working late, Rosie would just take her pills right from Sharon's palm. We had bloodwork every 6 months-Phenobarb level & liver function studies. Rosie's epilepsy was stable for 7 or 8 years having seizures only 2 or 3 times a year. Then her liver enzymes started climbing. So then we started to have chemistry panels with liver enzymes done which always remained normal.
We continued the phenobarb. Rosie had a happy life. She competed in obedience trials, was a therapy dog, marched in many local parades, loved children & best of all was our wonderful companion. She was a house dog but also loved to be outside in her yard.
When we were home with Rosie she would have to be right at our sides. My husband often works in his office at home & Rosie would always lay under his desk or next to his chair, sometimes so close he would run over her tail with his chair. She loved to lay at my feet when I was working in the kitchen, lay in the middle of the leaf pile as I was raking or lay in the pile of potting soil as I was trying to plant flowers.
Rosie always seemed to have an aura prior to a seizure because she would always try to get to us, sometimes scrambling before she would seize. We would lay on the floor with her, hold her, talk to her & try to keep her calm.
In December, 1999 Rosie ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of her R. knee. Because of the epilepsy & elevated liver enzymes she required medical clearance to have the ACL repair. Of course this required a specialist to do the ultrasound and an internal med specialist to clear her. The ultrasound revealed diminished liver function with several nodules & suspected hepatoma. Rosie sailed through the surgery & recovered well. After her recovery from surgery we switched her potassium bromide because of her deteriorating liver. As you gradually decrease the phenobarb dose, you gradually increase the potassium bromide dose. Of course this requires blood work to monitor the KBr level to keep within a therapeutic window. During this time, Rosie had an episode of status epilepticus. We were terrified as we rushed to a local emergency vet center in a torrential thunderstorm. That's when I made up an emergency kit for status epilepticus. This is for the rectal administration of Valium. We did have to use this in the future twice & I am thankful that I learned about this from the canine epilepsy site.
Rosie did well on the Potassium bromide & her liver enzymes remained elevated but stable for about a 1 1/2 years. However, in December 2001 she ruptured her L. anterior cruciate ligament. We still don't know how she did either one. Of course she again required medical clearance. Yes her liver enzymes were again climbing & her repeat ultrasound of the liver revealed a further decline. The specialist told us if she was a human she would be on the liver transplant list. We were told with an aggressive medical regimen she might live 6 months to a year. However, Rosie didn't act sick in any way. She remained her happy self, eating, drinking, eliminating without any problems. Since she exhibited no signs of illness, we wanted to maintain her quality of life by repairing the L. ACL. Prior the surgery date we had to restrict her activity & carry her up & down the steps. One morning after carrying Rosie (55 lbs.) up the steps I herniated 2 discs in my back. I was also in graduate school at the time & it seemed that nothing else could go wrong. But Rosie sailed thorugh the surgery. She was able to return to playing out in her yard, go for long walks with us. After her recovery we started her on a regimen of S-adenosyl methionine (SAMI), metronidozole, amoxycillin & actigol to help preserve her liver function. This was costly but since she still seemed to feel well we continued this for almost 6 months. Then the decline started. Rosie started to get short of breath & sluggish on our walks. Blood work revealed anemia, worsening liver enzymes & bile acids. A STAT ultrasound revealed multiple hepatomas, & a very diseased liver. The ultrasound was interpreted by 2 specialists who felt that it was likely that she had progressed to liver cancer and that one of the tumors might have a slow hemorrhage that was causing her anemia.
We consulted back with our vet. We discontinued the 4 meds but continued the KBr. One week later Rosie awoke a 3 AM with vomiting & diarrhea. This persisted off & on for about 5 hours. We knew this was the beginning of the end. My husband & I vowed to do everything we could for Rosie as long as she had a good quality of life. We could not see her suffer and called our vet to bring her in. My husband was going out of town on a business trip he could not cancel so he had to say his final goodbye to Rosie that morning. I have never seen anything sadder. I took Rosie alone to Dr. Rubin's. I held her in my arms while he administered the euthanasia. The vet's staff all loved Rosie & were very supportive. I stayed alone with her for quite a while & then they lovingly wrapped her in a quilt & carried her on a stretcher out to my car. It was like she had an honor guard. The staff went inside & Dr. Rubin stayed with me arranging Rosie's quilt just so in the back of my car. We hugged & cried. We had been through so much together with Rosie. I took Rosie home and a dear friend came and dug the grave & helped me bury her under a small maple tree.
Our lives were enriched by Rosie. Having a dog with epilepsy is a big commitment but if you are willing to go the extra mile you can still have a wonderful life together.
We know Rosie awaits us North of the Rainbow Bridge & that we will someday see her again.
Denise & Michael