Trigger warning. This post might be too emotional/graphic for some. I need to get what happened to Tallulah off my chest, but if it is going to upset you please do not read it.
My heart is so heavy writing this post. Tilly was taken to the emergency vet a few months ago for a seizure that we couldn’t control. She’d had a couple of minor ones in the summer, but they had stopped within minutes so no medication was needed. After her last status epilepticus we were given some diazepam to sedate her, should another episode occur. And so when I woke up at 4.30am yesterday morning with her having a seizure on my feet, I didn’t think much of it. I laid her by my lap. I used a whole kitchen roll mopping up the foam that came from her mouth. I managed to get two whole diazepam into her system (we were advised to start with half a pill and move up by halves until she’s had two – and then phone the vet if two didn’t work). After almost an hour she still wasn’t stopping. Her body would tense up and begin to seize for a few minutes, before what sounded like asthma attacks (we always called it her ‘inward sneezing’. To understand the noise you’d probably need to own a French Bulldog) for a couple more minutes and right back in to it. There was one point, between seizing, that she looked up at me, right into my eyes. She tried to turn her body so she could rest her head on my lap. And then she began to seize again. It was that moment that made me phone the vet. Looking back, I think she knew. I laid her head on my legs and spoke softly to her while I rang the emergency vet. I was stroking her tensed legs when they told me she needed to come in immediately. Her body was still shaking violently as I wrapped her blanket around her and walked downstairs carrying her. We put a duvet in the foot of the car, just like last time, so she wouldn’t hurt herself while James was driving. And then I closed the door, went back upstairs and waited in bed for James to bring her home. Just like last time.
It wasn’t even an hour later that James came home and told me she hadn’t made it. They had administered several medications and none of them had worked. They were about to finally try general anaesthetic, despite the risks, just to give her body a chance to recover and reduce some of the swelling in her brain – she also had fluid in her lungs from inhaling the foam from her mouth, but that was a secondary concern at that point – and James watched her body just give up on her. She was no longer seizing and he assures me it was not a violent death. She gave up, and she went to sleep peacefully.
I can’t begin to explain how shocked and heartbroken we are. Our sweet girl is gone. I called in sick to work for the first time since I began working there, because I just couldn’t face plastering a smile on. And I couldn’t leave my babies. We gave them both the day off – partly for them, but partly because we just needed them close to us. It makes no sense to me that such a wonderful girl could only be given one year of life. She had the kindest heart, the most earnest eyes. She drummed her paws on me, left right left right, to say ‘I love you’. She rolled over onto her back if she was on trouble, and we would laugh and say in a silly voice “please sir, I am so sorry sir”. She knew how to sit, lay down, jump, give paw, high-five, hop and most of all love us unconditionally. If she ever saw me crying she climbed onto my lap and put her head under my chin so I could lean on her and stroke her soft ears until I calmed down. Her things are still where she left them. We keep thinking we can hear her snoring, or scratching around somewhere, but those are other noises now. Every time I open a door my heart sinks, because she used to lay at the bottom of doors and wait for me to come out. The buzzer goes and there is no dog jumping around and yelping. I even miss telling the little bugger to shut up. I’ve got Christmas outfits and toys for her. I’ve got the most ridiculous harness that makes it look like Santa is riding on her back, and I never even tried it on her. We cooked sausages yesterday and still made one extra because we’d always give her one after we finished eating. There was a baby gate on the bathroom door to stop her eating kitty litter treats (!) and even the act of NOT shutting it behind me because I no longer need to is so painful. I still haven’t sat in the living room. It just hurts too much that she’s not there.
It feels fitting to title this post Tallulah Dixie, because that was the name of the first post I ever wrote about her. She was such a happy girl. She had a short life, but it was full of love and happiness every single day. We will receive her ashes in a couple of weeks and we’re going to take her on one last walk and scatter them down at the stream where she loved to play. For now, the kids are making her a special memory box where we can store her favourite toys and the things which remind us of her.
My heart is hurting. I miss my gorgeous girl so much, it’s like I have lost a part of myself. I am so happy she will never suffer again, but my goodness there is a hell of a lot of pain still here. If I’d have known the day I picked her up that we would still only get one year with her, that the brightest star really would burn out the quickest, I would still do every day all over again and I would squeeze her just that little bit harder each night.
I love you, Tilly. We will never forget you. Sweet dreams, sweet girl. xxx