Sunday, May 30, 2010


Sunday morning at the Emergency Vet office is never a fun experience.  People filled the waiting room, with animals needing assistance for things ranging from high fever to broken legs.  I came to the Conroe Emergency Vet Clinic to be with Arabella, our little distemper dog, in her last moments.

On Saturday, I took the little Chihuahua from a Vet clinic in the Woodlands to the Emergency Clinic since The Woodlands Clinic would be closed for the Memorial Day weekend holiday.  The dog's sponsor was willing to keep trying to bring Arabella around.  But after receiving an estimate that began at $1,400 with a high of $2,500, and no guarantees or end to the critical care (the estimate was good through Tuesday morning, when the EC Vet would close), the sponsor was forced into making that tough but familiar decision.

"Every time I started thinking about that bill, I'd get a cold knot in my stomach," she told me on the phone this morning.  "I'd spent so much already, and the dog wasn't improving."  I agreed:  it was time to stop, and do the best thing for Arabella.  I had already made it clear to the sponsor that  I would go and be with Arabella at the end since the sponsor was out of town and was handling the dog's treatment via phone and email.

So Sunday morning, instead of going to church, I went to a service of a different kind.  I took a little red collar that Arabella had worn, a pink squeaky toy that she had enjoyed and the softest fleece blanket I own.  At the  EC clinic, the staff was awesome.  Unfortunately, I don't have anyone's names, but every staff person, from the presiding Vet to the Techs and Desk Staff treated Arabella and I with the greatest compassion and respect.

I was ushered into an exam room.  I couldn't take Arabella outside (she was still shedding the distemper virus and would put other clients' animals at risk) but I spread the fleece blanket on the exam table, and when she was brought to me, I removed her Elizabethan collar and slipped a red dog collar around her skinny neck, because in my house, we never have "nekkid dogs"--every foster gets a collar.

She perked up and wagged her tail as I cuddled her.  I showed her   the small pink squeaky toy I'd brought her, and made it squeak.  She reached for it and took it into her mouth.  She didn't have the strength to squeak it, so when she dropped it, I squeaked it and gave it to her again.  She seemed happy and held it contentedly in her mouth (at my house she had walked around with that toy in her mouth, just squeaking and squeaking).  After about 10 minutes, the Doctor and Tech came in with the syringe of pink fluid.

One month ago, I had to put my own dog down.  It was chaotic and hard because my daughter panicked when the dog jerked as the needle went in.  This Vet didn't do a pre-sedate, but she was good at this procedure.  Arabella did tense and jerk once, but I was ready when her head flopped limply into the crook of my arm.  She went easily and fast.

Both the Doctor and Vet Tech were attentive and gentle.  They talked to Arabella through the entire procedure, calling her a good, good dog.  She was a good dog. A very good dog.


  1. Poor girl. I'm usually not a chihuahua fan, but she looks like a sweetie. She also looks very ill in the last few photos here. Thank you (and the vet staff and her sponsor) for caring for her.

  2. I am so sorry! But I am glad Arabella is out of the woods.

  3. poor little angel. rest in peace sweet arabella.


Please leave a pawprint! I appreciate comments.