"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sweet Jezebel

It's been nearly two years since we took Jezebel to the vet for a "routine" biopsy and they lost her on the table.  What a horrible day.  Technically, they "brought her back" but by the wee hours of the 26th, we let her go.  She was too far gone, too much damage.  She wasn't coming back.  I sent in a vibrant, happy dog, full of life although at the last minute, she resisted and didn't want to go with the vet.  I insisted.  I sent her in there, casually, thoughtlessly.  Maybe she knew something I didn't but I didn't listen to her. 

 Jezebel was a good traveler:

The next time I saw her, she was lying on her side on that slab of a table, utterly still, hooked up to every kind of tube and wire, surrounded by silent vets and techs.  I stood and looked down at her.  She looked dead.  The spark was completely gone.   I asked the vet if they've brought me back there to say goodbye to her and they hemmed and hawed and then said sometimes dogs will respond to their owner but only 1 ot 2% come back.  So I called to her and before long, she responded.  The staff went wild - thrilled that we'd reached her, that she'd heard us.  Her heart began, her temperature began to rise, she began breathing on her own.  We thought we were going to bring her home the next day - that we'd seen a miracle. 

But we hadn't.  We left her to stay at the vet overnight, fully expecting that she would come home the next day - even though she'd not regained consciousness by the time we left.  Looking back, I'm sure they knew the odds were that she wouldn't recover but no one told us that.  We thought she was going to be okay which made the decisions we made thereafter all the more painful. 

They called us around 3:00 in the morning asking for permission to let her go because she was not getting better.  They'd put her on pain meds but couldn't control her fever - it was all over the place.  She was still unconscious.  Her vitals were unstable.  Her brain was sputtering out.   In shock, we gave permission and she died without her family there to comfort her or say our last goodbyes or kiss her beloved snout one last time - and it just kills me. 

Husband says she never really came back and I believe he's right.  When I looked down at her on that table, Jezebel really was dead - at least the part that was Jezebel was gone.  At some primitive area of her brain, she heard me calling her and that jump started her system.  But she wasn't really back. 

We could have had them wait for us to get there to put her down but we were hours away and she was unconscious and in a bad way.  Chances are she wouldn't have lasted until we got there and there was no point in risking her suffering for our sakes.  I didn't want to risk her suffering a single second.   But it still kills me. 

So I was looking through old photos, this morning, crying.  Pearl was across the room and I saw her watching me, alarmed.  She came over, reared up and covered me with kisses.  She's very attune to how we feel.  Jezebel was that way, too. 

Here are some photos taken of Jezebel and my mother, just days before Mom passed away from cancer.  Mom was not a dog person and Jezebel didn't know her before she came to stay with us those last weeks.  But she immediately attached herself to mom and appointed herself mom's caregiver.  Jezebel was a complete angel and brought mom a lot of comfort.  I honestly believe she helped mom deal with pain.

 Jezebel wouldn't leave her.
When Mom's mental faculties had eroded, Jezebel stayed right with her "herding her" to keep her away from unsafe areas.  On the night she became bedridden, Mom made one last wander down the hallway, lost.  Jezebel came and got me, thank god. 
 What a darling, she was.   She loved her sister, Sapphire (that's Jezebel on the right):
 Jezebel didn't consider this to be "Evelyn's" chair.  She claimed it and Evelyn could just deal with it!
 Jezebel was a squirrel hunter:

 Jezebel (left) - Evelyn (right):

Husband came by, in a good mood, then saw my tears and told me to stop - to quit torturing myself.  He hates to see me sad and he fights his own grief.  Jezebel was like our little girl.

I continued to look through old photos but started to feel a little better, especially seeing lovely Ms. Evelyn as a cute puppy and an awkward adolescent. 

Jezebel and Evelyn as a pup:
 Jezebel in the middle.  Check out Evelyn's puppy ears!:
 The girls (Sapphire, Evelyn and Jezebel):
Evelyn adored old Sapphire.  She'd bring her toys because Sapphire was too crippled up to go get them, herself.  Sapphire didn't care that much about toys but she'd indulge Evelyn with games of tug of war:
 Taken when Jezebel first met Evelyn:
 Baby Evelyn:

 Evelyn and Jezebel were good friends:
 That topknot!:
I love this Christmas photo because it shows why Husband used to lovingly call Jezebel his "slick headed dog:"
 Evelyn (left), Jezebel (right):
Jezebel would just be nine, nearly ten, if she had lived. We'd still likely have a few more years with her. It hurts so much to think about her not being here. I still have a lot of tears left to shed over my baby but not everyday and only for small periods of time.

This was taken the week we learned she had cancer (which she beat).  Jezebel (left), Evelyn (right):

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


ad hominy said...

That was a wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing Jezebel.

I lost an 8 year old two years ago. I keep thinking about all the time she had left, too. She got me through two major health scares with her sweet, doting personality.

My grandfather, in his last couple years of life, kept telling me about all the pets he lost over the years. We never stop loving them.

Miriam said...

I have tears. We lost our Snoopy 2 days ago.
Jezebel was a special dog. Thank you for sharing your memories and photographs with us.

Anonymous said...

I lost my Chocolate Lab (Nikki) 2 years ago this year and yes, I still tear up when I think of her and see pics of her. I think that pets have such a important part in our lives and that love never ends, it just gets easier to deal with them being gone. Remember jezabel with love, that is what she would've wanted. The pics are wonderful. Enjoy your pets!

Anonymous said...

((((((((Penny))))))))) I remember hoping and praying Jezebel would make it through, and how sad it was to read that she didn't make it. Thank you Pearl for taking good care of you today.


Paula said...

I think of Jezebel quite often. I put you and her on every prayer list I knew of when she was sick. Enjoyed the tribute. That was really neat. There's soooooo much love in them little furbabies, isn't there?


Penny said...

So many people were so good to us when we lost Jezebel and I appreciate the kind comments, today. It helped them and it helped now.

For those who are stil grieving the loss of a beloved pet, I am so sorry. Most of the time I enjoy the happy memories more than the loss, but sometime... well not all the time.

My Jezebel was such a good girl. Pearl is such a happy, loving girl that she stepped right into the void. But every now and then, the things about Jezebel that were just Jezebel, just slay me. I miss her still.

LindaWI said...

Thanks for sharing your memories of Jezebel. We lost our Roxie a few months ago, she was only 4 1/2. We miss her so much, she was a very special dog.

BilboWaggins said...

Jezebel was a very special lady, you will probably never stop hurting but in time it will lessen.

I remember finding your blog 18 months ago just after we lost our darling Ollie.

Many tears since then, and I am sure there will be more in future. Thinking of you. J. xx

Paula in Studio City, CA said...

I remember following Jezebel's brave fight on the Yahoo group, and how I cried when I read your posting about that dreadful day. She was a sweet and wonderful dog.

Every Monday night, I light a candle in memory of the beloved furbabies that are no longer with us. I have included Jezebel in the memorial since she passed away and will continue doing that.

Hugs to you and your family!


Stephanie D. said...

I remember sobbing when I read the post about Jezebel's passing, and how it brought back memories of Libby's death 18 months before. Like you, I sometimes flash back to Libby's quirks and her last hour, because Libby was definitely my dog.

On the other hand, Tandi is far more loving and snuggly (and neurotic) than Libby, and divides her attention equally between hubby and me--something that pleases him no end. She was the perfect follow-up dog for us.

Thank goodness you got Pearl, if for no other reason than to keep Evelyn from sinking further into the depths of despair.