Suze Q Russell
Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)
February 16, 1999 - April 19, 2010
Story told by M. Russell
We talked about getting a dog for quite a while, we tried a dog from the local animal shelter, after a week we noticed he had a mean streak and wanted to bite. The vet said it was due to his mix so we returned him to the shelter.
I was heartbroken but took the vets advice to research various breeds and determine the right breed for us. I decided on a sheltie.
Before being able to tell my husband, (little did I know), he was searching frantically for us a puppy to love. He was unsuccessful. When he came home I told him I wanted a Sheltie. We searched news papers, internet and phone listings of pet shops and breeders. At 7:30pm we spoke to a pet shop that in fact had (2) Shelties left. They told us they closed at 8:00. We had 30 minutes to get across town.
We got there in time but they told us one of the Shelties were already sold. We went back to see the one they had left.
There she was a little ball of fur! It was love at first sight! We only spent a few minutes with her and my husband said, “let’s go pay for her”.
She was a momma’s girl from the start, I carried her around in my arms every morning, (that was our time), she would look at me and I instantly started my day with a smile!
We had a cat, Dusty, Suze loved him, they played and ran around together, they were best friends. In fact Suze would act like a cat and climb on the back of the couch.
She grew more and more everyday and like Shelties her looks changed too.
The first snow proved to give her the winter nick name of Snow Angel, she loved the snow. She would eat it like she might run out and play till her fur was covered and all you could see was a white dog. When she came to the door right before she came in she would turn around real quick for just one more bite of snow.
At age three we moved to our new house. At first she wasn’t sure of it but after a short time she fell in love with her new surroundings, even the steps!
Now she is called Baby Girl, as her and dad got a lot closer, he repeatedly called her Daddy’s Baby Girl and the name stuck.
I’m not sure if she was 4 or 5 but she developed a bump on the side of her nose. We took her to the vet and they wanted to put her under and do a complete teeth work-up.
We said we would talk about it. A few days later it went away. We rejoiced!
Baby girl stayed in good health, she went to the vet and never missed a yearly appointment or shot. She chased squirrels and birds. Ran around the yard frantically when she heard a trash truck. That was because when she was still a puppy she ran out in the street and a trash truck stopped just in time! However, she never liked the air break sound.
Around 2003 we lost our cat to cancer and in December we got Lucky man, (A year old Sheltie), we wanted Suze to have someone to play with again. They became like soul mates.
Early 2009 our baby developed a tumor on her leg. We took her to the vet and he said he needed to remove it and send it to a lab to find out if is cancer. He told us he would have to remove 1 or 2 of her digits, (toes). I was devastated but knew it was something we had to do for her. We scheduled the surgery and a few days later we picked her up. It was sad to see the big lamp shade looking thing around her neck and her paw all bandaged up.
We had a time keeping her from licking and chewing on it. Then I thought of putting little footie’s over the bandage and it helped a lot. At first she was not healing ,the doctor confirmed it was cancer and feared he had not got it all. He recommended taking her entire leg. I wanted time to see for myself that it wasn’t going to heal. She was at the vet every other day for a couple months. One day after the vet visit my husband and her came in smiling. The doctor said he might have been wrong and confirmed she was healing well.
We thought no more about amputation. We were happy to have our sweet baby back to normal. She regained her energy, played, ate good and didn’t even have a limp anymore.
January of 2010 we noticed the tumor was back. We were in denial. We knew in our hearts what it meant. We waited till the end of February to take her to the vet. He confirmed our worst nightmare and told us to take her home and give her plenty of love. He said if the tumor didn’t bust her chances would be a little longer. A couple weeks later she had been chasing squirrels and I saw she was licking her paw. She tore it. From that day on it was downhill. I changed the bandage every day. We loved her like we have never loved any living thing for the next month and a half.
Our baby started to change. She would hide behind a chair with her back to us. She let us hold her tight, she always like rubbed, scratched and petted. Most of all Belly Lovin; (we called belly scratching), but she never like being too smothered. Now she welcomed it. She also developed a cough, dark urine and constipation. She went from youthful looking to a beautifully aged lady. Her eyes were sad, especially when she was no longer able to run and play. She kept her bark and smile right up to the end.
The dreadful day we knew it was time, she tried for over an hour to have a bowel movement. Her paw had no hair and it was extremely difficult to andage without terrible pain. I looked into her eyes and knew I had to let her go while she had her dignity. I called the vet and he cleared his afternoon schedule. Then I had to call my husband, (we developed a code word for when the time came). The next couple hours were the hardest of my entire life. We held her and loved her, We put her paw up to our heart and told her she would be in our hearts always and forever.
At ten after twelve o’clock noon it was time to leave. We had a 45 minute drive.
I am sorry but the last hour is too hard to put into words, as is the last nine months.
If it were not for this web-site I’m not sure if I could have made it through the most difficult time of my life.
Be sure to seek the advice of your veterinarian about any question you may have
regarding your pet's health and behavior.
No diagnosis can be done without a veterinarian actually seeing and examining the patient.
DOG OWNERS SHOULD REPORT ALL CASES OF HISTIO TO THE BREEDER AND THE BREED CLUB!