Chapter 34 – Year 16


“Here’s the World War I flying ace zooming through the air in her Sopwith Camel…”
Nope!  Just Doc Slobody administering some laser therapy to Gabby.

I kept waiting for the year Gabby would slow down.  Year 14 came and passed… and she was still going full speed.  Then came year 15, and other than the beginnings of CRF and the seizures towards the end of her 15th year, she was the same old Gabby all the time. 
Year 16 was definitely the year when things became more challenging.  I almost posted a “Happy Sweet 16 Gabby” message on my Facebook Wall on November 7, but did not want to jinx things! 
The proin took care of the incontinence, and her heart was holding strong. The seizures were very scary and somewhat unpredictable. When she had one it usually took the appearance of her fainting and falling over, and they were usually 6 to10 weeks apart, not frequent enough to medicate yet.
Every once in a while she would have a bad day where she didn’t want to run around much, or Darlene would leave me a note saying that Gabby just sat in the yard staring into space, or even shivered a little bit.  Those days she would not feel like playing and would just cuddle next to me.  Then the next day, she would be back to running around.

Most days though, she would play just like she did in the video above. These “bad days” were not very common though… once a month or so, perhaps.

There were two scary incidents in her 16th year. One was over relatively quickly.  Her CRF was not advanced enough that Doc Slobody wanted to limit her protein intake as much as a prescribed kidney diet would restrict it, so we tried putting her on the liver prescription diet. It has a bit less protein restriction than the kidney diet.  She liked it and wolfed it down, but the next day she was throwing up all over her crate.  That food REALLY did not agree with her. I was out in the afternoon and Darlene called and said I should get home right away.  At this point Gabby was weak, hunched over and trying to throw up, but couldn’t.  She had a vagal reflex and passed out.  I took her to the Castle Shannon VCA ER and they took care of it quickly.  Bloodwork was fine, but she was dehydrated and nauseous.


Some subcutaneous fluids and a shot to take care of the nausea brought her back to normal almost immediately, though she slept all that evening after I brought her home. I took the picture above that night after I brought her home from the ER. She had a comforter next to my desk where she would relax or sleep when I was writing, and she is curled up on it in the picture above.
By the way, that comforter is still by my desk in exactly the same place. After she passed I never moved it, and probably never will.  Beni uses it once in a while, but he usually curls up on the carpet behind me when I am working there.
The day after this incident she was back to normal. She was a tough and resilient little dog!  I made the video above the day after this all happened.
While this was scary when it happened, it is nothing compared to the first time I thought I might lose her.  That is the story of the next chapter.