Earlier this year Deb and I had some devastating news that our precious girl Princess Olivia had kidney disease.
After a lot of deliberation, consideration and tears we decided, due to Jaxon suffering separation anxiety, it would be in his best interest if we enlisted the help of an organisation now called Forever Hounds (but at the time before their name change we knew them as ‘GRWE – Greyhound Rescue West England’) an organisation that now rescues all breeds of Sighthounds.
One of their volunteers ‘Olivia GRWE’ (let’s call her this to save confusion) came to meet us for a chat and home check. After a good chat and a look around not only the garden but the property too, she decided that any doggy would be lucky to live with us! We’ve always thought it was the opposite, after all, Fugly belongs to the animals right! We’re the lucky ones to live with them!
Olivia GRWE said that now she knew what our dogs were like and of course what Deb and I were like, the fact that Ollie wasn’t keen on high energy dogs, that Jaxon was totally laid back Jack, I needed an easy walker so a dog that didn’t pull on the lead and Debs main ask was that it not be too big!
We were told when we had our first meeting with ‘Olivia GRWE’ that the time scale of them finding us a dog was unknown, it could have been as quick as a couple of weeks or as long as months.
We had a lot of correspondence between ‘Olivia GRWE’ and myself via email, letting us know they were still awaiting the ‘perfect’ dog for us. Even though they’d had a lot of rescues in, none of them ticked all the boxes!
Whilst we were waiting for GRWE to find the ideal dog our beautiful girl wasn’t getting any better.
It appeared to us that her health deteriorated rapidly, it was so hard to see her get poorlier. We did the best we could for her with things like treadmill hydrotherapy to help keep her muscles around her hips strong & different medications to help her with her pain.
Because she was prone to getting bladder infections we found that the hydrotherapy had started to aggravate this problem. Much to her disappointment we had to decrease the amount of sessions she had. Even though this helped reduce the infections, it had the opposite effect with her muscle mass around her hips making movement in these joints more painful.
We soon realised after trips back and forth to the vets that we were going round in a vicious circle, the more pain relief Ollie had, the worse her kidneys got.
She hid her pain well, she was always such a happy little girl, she loved her life and everyone in it. Because she was so happy it was difficult to know what the best thing would be for her.
We came to the conclusion that keeping her comfortable on the pain meds was the best decision, for her, even though it meant it would shorten the time we had left with her, at least she could be happy and continue to enjoy life.
We found out some even more saddening news after a regular pee sample was done in June, the results had come back inconclusive but highly likely Ollie had cancer of the bladder, the vets wanted to run more tests to find out for sure.
We had also noticed Ollie’s occasional accident at night was turning out to be a blessing if she had just one dry night! Alongside this symptom she was also showing signs of dementia, she would forget things like seeing me sitting in a room and get the fright of her life she she turned around, we thought she was having us on when she started forgetting she’d already eaten.
I’m pretty sure both her lack of bladder control and (pardon the expression) ‘craziness’ was due to her bladder and kidney problems!
More decisions to be made between Deb & I, no matter what we thought, we had to put Ollie first, her best interests. It wasn’t about us, we couldn’t be selfish.
Knowing how much Ollie used to fret when I took her to the vets, we decided to leave her as she was, we knew she wouldn’t have wanted her time remaining to be spent there (vets) she would have rather spent her time with the people she loved, eating popcorn and marshmallows!
4 weeks later on Thursday 7th July 2016 we had a phone call from Olivia GRWE, she told us about a young chap they had at one of their kennels. He was a young whippet they had called ‘Flute’ after one of the fairies in ‘A midsummer night’s dream’ as he was brought into rescue with three others at the time of Shakespeare’s anniversary. The only information they had on him was that he was found roaming the streets of Lincolnshire, no collar & no microchip so he was taken to a pound there & then collected by GRWE to be rehomed.
We received another phone call on Sunday 10th July from another helper from the charity, the lady that was looking after Flute told us more about him & his personality.
The same day Ollie was much worse, she was panting more than usual and kept trying to drink her body weight in water. Both of these were symptoms of her being in pain. As the day went on she didn’t get any better, in fact her breathing got worse and she went off her food.
I took her to the vets the next day as she still wasn’t eating but had been violently sick, the vet gave her medication to stop her being sick, an opioid injection for stronger pain relief and a couple of codeine tablets to help her through the next 2 days whilst we made the hardest decision any pet owner has to make!
We had already arranged to meet Flute that following Sunday but by the Wednesday Ollie was so much worse, she had at this point completely stopped eating. The vet had told us that the cause of her being sick was very likely because of her Kidneys. We knew at this point it was time. We knew that Ollie would be the one to tell us when she was ready. This was the day we all said goodbye to the kindest, happiest little girl that had enough love to give to everyone she met.
Our hearts broke, we were lucky enough to have met this sweet girl when she was four weeks old and honoured to be in her life as her ‘Fur-Mummies until she reached an incredible age of 13 yrs and 4 months.
We were all so lost, we could only focus on the moment, I had completely forgotten about that young whippet we were supposed to be meeting! All four of us were supposed to be meeting him!
Poor Jaxon, he was so lost! His whole world had been turned inside out & upside down!
We were now starting to realise that this was a dog that wouldn’t do well on his own.
With the support of all our friends and family and the thought of that little whippet in need. The decision was made easier to continue with the original plan.
So, Sunday 17th July 2016 the three of us jumped in the car and headed to Hertfordshire to meet the little Whippet named Flute! All being well if he and Jaxon got on we would be bringing him home that day and he would have a new name!
Two hours after arriving at the kennels where Flute was kept, we were returning home as a family of four again.
We all fell instantly in love with him! He might be a tiny boy but he has a big heart, he loves life, everyone he meets and thinks everyone should love him the same too and believe me, you will!
We’d like to introduce you all to ‘Walter Flute’