Monday, November 30, 2015

Jelly Bean Goes to the Rainbow Bridge

 Jelly Bean and Sophia November 27.

Allison & I had double sadness yesterday, November 28, 2015. Jelly Bean, the Boston Terrier mix we took in as a foster in November, 2014 and subsequently adopted from Northeast Boston Terrier Rescue, died sometime during the early morning hours of Saturday, November 28, 2015. Her “gotcha” day was November 17, 2014. A little over a year ago she was a stray, pulled from a New York City shelter on Staten Island. I saw a photo of her from “Death Row Dogs,” in a NEBTR appeal, standing in a pen in the City shelter, looking very frightened and sad, and Allison & I decided to apply to foster her. We were away in Gettysburg, PA on the day she was to be pulled from the shelter, so another NEBTR volunteer got her from Staten Island. After driving home for Gettysburg in a torrential downpour, I then drove down to Monmouth County to pick up Jelly Bean. She had been fine when she came out of the shelter, but the day after we got her home she became lethargic & stopped eating. We took her to our vet, who took x-rays & diagnosed her with an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure, recommending we immediately take her to a veterinary cardiologist. We did this, and a cardiac ultrasound and echocardiogram showed she did NOT have these conditions (although she did have a grade 4 heart murmur). She did, however, have a severe case of pneumonia, which was successfully treated with antibiotics. Her eyes were cloudy, as well, and she was diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalmologist as suffering from corneal endothelial dystrophy, which we kept under control with sodium chloride ointment. 

Once she got over her health issues, we discovered she was a barker! Loud, high-pitched “yip-yip-yips,” lifting her two front paws in the air with every “yip.” We managed to get that somewhat under control, but she always barked! She was always fairly sickly, and went through another bout of pneumonia in June. She also seemed to be a little “not quite right” in the head, but she was very sweet. She liked to sit next to me in my chair while I watched television, and she loved “Cheez-Its” (only 2 or 3, once in awhile). She got sick again on Tuesday November 24th and stopped eating – we took her to our vet, who gave her some i.v. fluids and nutrition, took a chest x-ray and diagnosed another probable case of pneumonia, but also stated there appeared to be some neurological impairment, as well as low blood sugar. He gave her an antibiotic injection and a prescription for tablets. Her condition seemed much as it did the last two times she suffered from a bout of pneumonia – she refused food but was drinking water, and was receiving a concoction three times a day to keep her blood sugar up. However, this time she did not respond to the antibiotics. 

Allison and I went to bed on the night of Friday, November 27th, with Jelly Bean under the covers between us (she was an “under the covers” dog) & Sophia, our other Boston who we adopted from NEBTR, on the foot of the bed. She was breathing a little heavily, but did not seem much worse than she had been over the past several days. Allison woke me up at around 1:30 Saturday morning to say that Jelly Bean had stopped breathing. I lay in bed, unable to sleep, and finally got up around 2:45, wrapped her little body in a blanket and put it in her little pink bed. We took her body to the vet that afternoon to have her cremated. I wondered what her story was, why she was a stray and why her owner never tried to find her at the shelter – I suspect she was deliberately abandoned. She was a very cute little thing, and ended up as my goofy little dog. I include a photo of Jelly Bean, taken about 2 weeks ago, of her sitting in my chair. Coming along with the loss of our other Boston Terrier, Sophia, Saturday afternoon, this one was especially hard to take.

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