Friday, July 17, 2015


We unexpectedly lost our beloved Suzie on Sunday, May 31 and we miss hear dearly. To say we were/are heartbroken is a complete understatement…  I feel like we got robbed out of a couple more years that we assumed we’d have with her since her passing was so unexpected and being blindsided by her death has been a real struggle. 

In early, May Suzie had some sort of stroke/vertigo issue where we rushed her into the vet because she appeared really sick, but we were hopeful she’d be fine because she’d had this happen once before and recovered within hours.  After a day and night at the vet, and what appeared to be a nearly full recovery, the issues she was experiencing were partially attributed to an extremely low thyroid. She was put on medicine to treat it and we were told to come back in 30 days to have her thyroid level checked. Fast forward to the end of the month… We were starting to notice Suzie had been a little off (lack of energy, getting really hot, looking a bit bloated in her abdomen, etc.) but Suzie tends to go through ebbs & flows of energy, funks,  etc.   So we were just attributing anything out of the ordinary to her thyroid needing to be tweaked which was going to get checked on Monday, June 1.  She had a rough time Saturday night and was really restless, her heart seemed to be beating fast and she was breathing heavily. Sunday morning, she snuggled up with me in bed and her breathing was labored and she was extremely weak so we called the on call vet who told us to bring her in. I rushed her in and met the vet there around 8:15 a.m.  Fortunately, Suzie’s vet was the doc on call and he examined her, did a chest x-ray, ran some labs and decided it was best if they kept her for observation and to start her on some heart medicine as her x-ray showed that her heart looked enlarged (a sign of heart failure) and there was a lot of fluid or something going on around her chest. I gave her a quick kiss goodbye and left with the intention of picking up our sweet girl later that day or the next morning once she was stable.  Suzie has always been so resilient when she gets sick with random aliments (i.e. eyes popping out, allergic reaction to bee stings, allergic reaction to vaccines, stroke/vertigo, etc.) so we assumed this was also the case this time.  The vet called around 11 a.m. and said that her labs didn’t look good (especially compared to labs she had done in Feb.), her organs seemed to be in distress and her white blood cell count was really low. He also did an ultrasound on her tummy to see if there was something going on in there and he thought there could have been a mass on her spleen. But he said she was on oxygen and doing ok. The plan remained to continue treating her for heart failure, get her stable and then potentially do an exploratory surgery on her abdomen in a couple days to potentially remove her spleen.

Sadly, three hours later our vet called and I knew from the second I saw the caller ID what he was going to say... He said she crashed and they tried to revive her but she was gone…. He had just checked on her a couple minutes before and she lifted her head and perked up and then next minute she was gone.  I think I’ll always have so much remorse that our last moment together was just a quick goodbye and that she was alone when she died.

After replaying the days & weeks leading up to her death over and over wondering what we could have done differently or if we missed some obvious signs, I talked to our vet several days following her death and what happened to Suzie remains a bit of a mystery.

From the day Ian gave her to me (with an engagement ring & proposal!) on Sept. 1 2005, we were inseparable. She was literally within feet of me wherever we were in the house, she slept with me, she sat with me, she waited for me right outside the shower until I was out, and she’d sit in my lap while I nursed all three babies… According to Ian our relationship was borderline unhealthy.

Some of my favorite Suzie traits that I'll always remember…

Sitting right outside the shower always waiting for me to get out.
Always curling up on any pile of clothes, she could find on the ground. 
In her older years if she wasn’t in the house, she could always be found sitting outside, the pressed up against the slider door.
Running out of the doggie door and into the garage the second she'd hear us pull up.
Very anxiously and not so patiently waiting for breakfast & dinner every day.
Getting up with Ian during the week bright & early just to get a treat and then she’d come back to bed with me.
“Dancing” on the side of the bed, waiting for me to let her up.
Looking for any opportunity to lay down with me
Our afternoon naps together
Going nuts whenever anyone comes to the front door.
How you could tell so much about her mood depending on whether or not her tail was curled or straight.
Waiting under the high hair every time Emmie sat down to eat.
How much her & Clyde loved celebrating their bdays, getting a cheeseburger and opening presents.
Singing happy birthday with Clyde.
Her annoying tendency to bark and go nuts whenever she saw a dog (or animal) on TV. 
Her “period face” which only Ian will appreciate.
Following us from room to room in the house just to always be close.
How much she loved Clyde’s “car washes” (him licking/cleaning her).
Getting the “rips” after a bath.
The way she used to dive for treasures in her little kiddie pool.
How much she loved sitting on Emmie’s poof in her bedroom.
Insisting on always sitting in my lap if I was doing anything with the kids. 
Her backwards cough which always seemed to go away when I’d pet her.
How much she hated when I put clothes or her Halloween costume. 
Her alpha dog complex and always acting like a tough girl around other dogs.
Her ridiculously loud snore.
How you could always hear her even when she was in the other room
How much she loved riding in the stroller or wagon on walks, instead of walking.
How much she hated have her front legs touched (and how funny we thought it was to have the kids touch them).
How young she looked after her “spa” days
How she'd get so excited when we'd pick up up from the kennel or vet or when we'd come home after being gone for a while and she’d cry/squeal in joy.
How she loved sun bathing in even the smallest sliver of sun in the house.
How resilient she was…
How she’d go potty in the garage on raining or snowing days to avoid getting wet.
Every now & then when sleeping her tongue would hang out of her mouth.
Her stinky face.
Her littleness as a pup and having to put a bell on her so we didn't lose her.
How funny she looked when she'd poo.
Her loud toots.
How much she disliked daschunds.
Falling in the storm drain when she was an itty bitty pup and I thought we’d lost her after only have her for a few days.
How when she would eat & drink as a puppy her back legs would come up off the ground.
Her eyes popping out….
How when we did anything in the kitchen she'd stare at our feet hoping something would drop on the floor.
Going to bed together EVERY night (and how she’d always wait for me to go to bed).
Snuggly in my “nook”.
How soft her ears were.
    And how much she loved the kids and she was always so wonderful and protective of them when each one came home from the hospital after they were born…
    Suzie's 1st Birthday

    Napping with Bennett & Suzie the day I went into labor with Emmie.

    Christmas 2014
    Penny loved standing over her and Suzie never seemed to mind.
    Some of Suzie's last days...
    May 30
July 12th would have been Suzie's 10th birthday and just as I was sitting down to look through old pictures of her, Cal yelled at me to look outside and looking out from our front door, there was a double rainbow.  
RIP Suzie Michelle Hunter --- 7/12/2005-5/31/2015