Lizzie Kemp

Last week we celebrated the life of my most loyal friend, my canine friend, my dog, Lizzie. We believe that even after being treated for Addison’s disease, she developed congestive heart failure. She began to retain water for which I prescribed her Lasix (the vet later agreed it would provide her with some relief) and she moved slowly around the house.

One day when she wouldn’t come in from out of the rain when I called her, I knew it was time. She didn’t understand me, or she couldn’t hear me, or she couldn’t see well–I really couldn’t tell which was the case. I ended up having to pull her in the house out of the rain. She hadn’t eaten all day either and she was extremely weak. I called my husband at work and he agreed that we should take her to the vet to be euthanized.

The next morning was hectic with things to get done. We both had a funeral to attend for a church member’s husband. My husband is a funeral director and he was handling the service. My husband loaded Lizzy into the Suburban. He had to pick her up and even though she was heavy with fluid, she managed to stand up in the back and look out of the window.

I followed in another car. My husband said that as they approached the vet’s office, Lizzie hopped over the seat into the middle section and laid her head on the front console. My husband rubbed her ears as he drove. The he said as he began turning into the vet’s parking lot, she began to cough and slumped down onto the floor.

I parked and got out of my car to try to help them into the vet’s office. When I got to the back door, Steve said that he thought that she was dead and we got the vet. He listened to her heart and confirmed that Lizzie had no heartbeat.

The way I see it, Lizzie went on her own terms. I would imagine that she found it kind of strange that Daddy lifted her into his car so early in the morning and said the word “vet”. Daddy has never taken her to the vet. Daddy has never even met the vet. Does Daddy know the way to the vet? Might Daddy be taking me on my last ride in the car?

There would be no shot, not euthanasia for Lizzie. Perhaps the anticipation was too much for her heart. And so now, when my son chooses an urn for Lizzie’s ashes, she will join Max our Shepard / Husky mix who lived to be 13 and Bandit, my mom’s Lhasa Apso, on the mantle of pets who’ve gone on. My family thanks all of them for filling our lives with such joy.