365 Days – Kiwi’s Story

Today, this is dedicated to Kiwi.   I’ll be back to blogging about writing in the next post.

We watched you change, almost overnight.  We thought you missed your sister, the little one we’d just let go two weeks before.  We noticed how you, our outdoor dog, our hunter, no longer cared when a door opened,   That sound used to send you into a frenzy of churning legs, feet barely finding purchase on the hardwood floors.  You’d skid around the corners, unable to get outside fast enough, a blur of black and gold fur.  You’d charge across the front yard, barking and carrying on along the fence, as if every dog in Harnett County had challenged you on your territory.   We always laughed and called you our own personal “border patrol.”

But then, you just…stopped.   None of the “magic” words worked.  “Squirrel?”  “Outside?”  “Treat?”  You sighed.  You slept.

We watched you carefully, held you tighter, loved you more, the pain of loss still fresh, still raw.  Despite our attention, you seemed different, so sad.

On August 15th, we took you to your vet and for our “peace of mind,” we began to go through the very same steps we’d just been through with your sister.  It was late afternoon.  We waited for the results of your blood work.   Other dog owners came and went.  The longer we waited, the worse the feeling.  It was only later, we realized your vet was trying to clear the lobby, trying to provide some privacy because she had the results.   You too, were sick, like your sister.  How could this have happened?  To both of you?

We already knew we couldn’t save you, but we tried.

We were more aggressive with your treatment.  We went to IV’s right away.  We left you, something we hated to do.  You struggled to get to us when they put you in the cage where you’d receive treatment.  We didn’t know you only had a little bit of time.   Five days of treatment did no good and we brought you home.

On a hot summer evening, the eighth day after your diagnosis, we sat on the patio with you listening to the cicadas.  The sound they made seemed to help with the small seizures you’d begun to have earlier.  We sat with you for two hours, letting you see and smell the things you’d enjoyed for eleven short years.

The ride to the specialty hospital was quiet.  You lay on my lap, seeming to know it was almost over.  This time, we didn’t leave you.  We made sure you knew we were there, and with our arms around you tight, we let you go.

Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,

but laugh and talk of me as if I were there beside you

Do not let the thought of me be sad

For I am loving you just as I always have,

You were so good to me!  I loved you so…,

Twas heaven here with you.

~Isla Paschel Richardson~


SPECIAL NOTE:  Since losing both of our “girls” last year, I’ve written to our congress woman, state senator, the FDA, and signed numerous petitions.  Bella and Kiwi developed kidney failure from eating jerky treats made in China.   They ate Waggin Train duck treats, but Canyon Creek and Milo’s Kitchen treats were also reported by other pet owners whose dogs had become sick.  The FDA was aware of the reports.  They’d sent a delegation to China to do testing on the product.  The delegation was not allowed to bring samples back.  The FDA conducted their own tests but couldn’t trace any causes.  Miraculously, these three brands of treats were pulled from the shelves, along with many others, when traces of an antibiotic not allowed for use in poultry or other meat sources within the US was discovered, inadvertently by a private lab.  Most pets who consumed the jerky treats developed kidney failure, or Fanconi like symptoms.  Some survived.  Some did not.  Many pet owners do not know about these treats and what can happen.

We had no idea, until it was too late, and by then, they were too far gone.

Currently there is work being done to provide Point Of Sale (POS) warnings to consumers.

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