Dachshund Rescue of North America
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Kadie Elisabeth Tag #2558
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Story submitted 2011-07-21
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We adopted our first dachshund, Kadie Elisabeth, on April 12, 2004 after being referred to DRNA by my cousin, Jim, who had had a great experience with the organization. She was everything we could’ve wanted in our new addition … crate-trained, fully house-trained, knew basic commands and quickly picked up many new tricks, loved people (all kinds!), loved to play and talk and go for long walks … did I say she just LOVED LIFE and EVERYONE in hers! She was amazing!

Christmas 2010 was no different than all the ones preceding it … she woke up excited and ready to open her gifts she had so patiently been waiting for! She had a blast opening her gifts and helping her human brothers open theirs … and playing and playing and playing!

Then, late on Christmas Eve, she became sick. Her vet had been telling us for several years that she was apparently having seizures, even though I never witnessed them. She would hide under the bed, her neck would become stiff, she would appear dazed, and wouldn’t eat or potty for many, many hours. Her symptoms indicated she had a seizure on Christmas Eve night, another on Christmas morning, and a third one on Christmas night. She was a very sick little girl.

I took her to her vet on Monday morning. He started an antibiotic, gave her fluids, and drew blood. By the next morning, her belly was extremely distended, so big she could barely walk. When she pottied, it appeared her urine was mostly blood. I immediately called the vet when they opened, and took her in to see him.

He didn’t have good news … Kadie’s blood work resulted in terrible numbers. He told me she was apparently in the final stages of liver failure and probably had 2-3 more days to live. There was nothing more he could do, aside from expensive biopsies and ultrasounds, which would only aid in determining a more definitive diagnosis, but wouldn’t help her get better. He advised that we stop giving the Phenobarbital and multi-vitamin, because her body couldn’t process them, and to allow her to eat whatever she wanted. He said, “Go home, hold her and love her while you can.”

So, for the next four days I did just that … I held her, and prayed, and cried …

Instead of dying, she started recuperating! I went by the vet on Friday to discuss what was happening, and he supplied me with medications I may possibly need over the weekend. I didn’t end up using the meds, except one injection for pain. After that, I reported to him weekly, then he re-checked her blood the third week. Her results were almost completely normal. He said to continue what I was doing and she should be fine.

Kadie was fine for a month, then had another bout with her liver. This happened over and over again from January to June – several great weeks, followed by a few terrible days. The great weeks shortened and the last time her liver flared up took her two weeks to recover. But, Kadie was a fighter and wanted to live! On June 17, I videoed her playing with her favorite blue, plush, squeaky ball and doing all of her tricks! She made us laugh and loved us unconditionally!

On June 19, my father-in-law was admitted to the hospital with congestive heart failure. He and Kadie were buddies, and both had fought a good fight. On Wednesday, June 29, after the cardiologist told Pop he couldn’t do anything further to help him, he decided he wanted to go home to be in his own bed and was transported that afternoon.

The following morning, I sent a text to my son to check in. Kadie wasn’t feeling good, he said, and wouldn’t eat or go potty. She was very weak. I decided to drive to the beach to pick her up and bring her back to help take care of Pop. I arrived home to find just what my son had described … she didn’t bark to welcome me home, she wouldn’t potty, and she was so weak she could barely walk. She lay in her bed and in her kennel while I finished up a few things and packed more clothes so we could leave. I told her I was going to see Poppy and that she could go with me if she wanted. Normally she would’ve raced me to the door to “go”, but not this time. She didn’t move or even acknowledge the invitation. I left the back door open as I started putting my bags in the trunk of the car. I turned to go back for another load, and there she stood in the doorway… so weak, but so determined.

I prepared her kennel with all her favorite blankies to make it very comfortable for her ride and told her we were going to stop by Wendy’s to get some fries and a frosty. I never imagined saying that to her, but her vet told me that I’d know, and that at that moment I should let her have whatever she wanted. She only sniffed the fry and the frosty, and laid her head back down on her blankie. I told her to hold on just a little longer, and we’d go see Poppy.

Kadie’s breaths became shorter and shorter, weaker and weaker. About 15 miles shy of our hometown, I decided to call our vet there. It was about 9pm and I was worried that I may need him later that night, so I wanted to make him aware of our situation. He talked to me for a while, finally ending with this advice, “You should depend on the Eternal Physician; He can help you with Ken’s dad better than any doctor, and with Kadie better than any veterinarian.” We hung up the phone and within 2 minutes I heard a little noise from Kadie. I turned on the lights inside the car just as she was leaving me. I said, “You’re not waiting, are you, Kadie? You’re leading the way for Poppy. Well, you just run on up there and be sure to find his mansion and wait by his door; he’s coming right behind you and he’ll play ball with you until I get there. I’ll always love you, Kadie girl … I’ll always love you!” It was 9:20 pm on June 30.

I was just shy of the exit I needed to take to go to my in-law’s home. That was a blessing, because I couldn’t have driven very far in that condition. I was forced to let go of Kadie ... despite what I thought I wanted and needed, I didn’t get the opportunity to hold her like I did back in December. A piece of my heart broke and left me that instant.

Pop held on a few more days; remember he was a fighter, too! It was over in the late afternoon on July 4th. I was finally getting my shower that day, when I could hear family members begin to sob. Once again, I was forced to let go. Just as it was when Kadie passed, there was no way for me to be there to hold on to Pop. He redefined freedom for us; I’m sure he saw the best fireworks show of his entire 75 years of life! He was an amazing man and the 4th of July was an awesome day for him to finish his race! We’ll celebrate each year!
I will forever love my little Kadie girl ... she was both smart and funny, loving and bossy ... everyone who met her immediately loved her because she loved them first! Her long battle with liver failure and seizures is over, so she hurts no more. I believe she's already met up with loved ones and asked them to throw her ball so she could fetch it, and been squeaking the best toys heaven has to offer! I just know she'll be barking at my mansion door when I get home!
We love you, Kadie!

The Powell Family (Mommy, Daddy, Kenny, Josh & Tim)

Chrisa and Kadie at the beach 2011