This is a bit long, but I hope everyone will read it all the way. There is a section that has links about the warning signs of diabetes in dogs. I think every dog or cat owner should read this post, if for no other reason than that. I would love it if you would read it and allow me to share my dog Brandie Muffins and how much I still love and miss her.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love dogs, my dogs in particular. I love almost all other pets and creatures, well, not spiders and for sure not snakes.
Genesis 1:26-28; God has a special reason and place for each of His created beings. Animals, too, have a purpose in God’s creation. Man, as the highest order of creation, has been given dominion over the animal kingdom
Tonight as I was working on my churches power-point, I got to thinking about how blessed I am to have my four-legged family members in my life. As I was doing one particular slide for Ranger Antrim, I kept thinking about if my furbabies who have gone over the Rainbow Bridge will be there waiting for me. Barbara Antrim is a very dear friend of mine at church. Her four-legged son Ranger has had a hard road to toll. He has seizures and other medical problems and has recently gone missing. I 100% believe that God protects and watches over Ranger and all of our four legged family members.
When I lost Brandie, I was devastated. I answered an ad that was place in our local newspaper around 1999 or so. We were looking for a fawn boxer and this ad stated that they had boxer puppies for $125.00. I made arrangements to go to Cedar City which is 50 miles from me. The man said he had 5 brindles and 1 fawn. My daughters and I went there to see the puppies. Almost immediately, I had my eyes set on Brandie. At the same time, I was upset when I seen Brandie.
The reason I was upset is because there are these 5 brindle boxer puppies that are all happy and yapping. When I spot Brandie in the corner of the front of the truck, she was scared to death. She was cowering down and shivering. She looked nothing like the other puppies. I knew that I was bringing her home. When I got home, I also called the animal shelter to report the guy who was selling these puppies. He brought the mom and dad, who looked nothing like Brandie and they were skin and bones. They looked like they have been beaten and starved.
Everything in my heart, mind and gut told me that Brandie was not Boxer. If she had boxer in her, it was very little. Her tail was bobbed and it looked like it was done just a few days before we got her. The man knew a week ahead that I was coming for her. When I took her to the vet to get checked out, he told me that she may have some boxer, but he was leaning towards a staffordshire terrier/boxer. Below is a comparison of what a staffordhire terrior is, a boxer and then Brandie. You will see why I think she is most staffordshire than boxer. But, that doesn’t make me love her any less.
I told him how I got her and the whole thing about how she was acting and how her siblings looked nothing like her. I got her because I felt she needed to be saved and rescued. At the time I thought I was rescuing her, but in fact she rescued me and literally saved my life a few times by giving me signs that something was happening.
Anyhow, the vet told me that there has been times when people will either pass off another puppy and say it was part of the same litter or the mother can actually get pregnant by a different dog. He explained it, I didn’t totally get it though. He also told me that she may always be very timid and afraid. He suggested that we don’t scream or yell at her. Noises and raising your hand to her made her shake and tremor like a leaf.
Because of the way I treated Brandie, which was with kid gloves. She is the only dog I had to really intentionally be quiet around, cuddle and tell her everything will be fine. Every-time I think of Brandie, I honestly feel that God put her in my life for a purpose. When I get upset, I’m very vocal. I couldn’t raise my voice around her since she would tremble so bad. I had to change my behavior to help her, which in turn helped me.
Not long after I got Brandie, I had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. I didn’t know I was that sick though. It was her actions that prompted me to call for help. She had this thing she did. She would come up to my face and she would smell my breath. We started noticing that the only time she does this is when something is going on health wise. On this occasion, I had endocarditis. That is an infection in the heart or the lining. I spent 8 weeks in the hospital and coded a couple of times. If it wasn’t for Brandies behavior, I would have gone to bed and slept off the tiredness.
I can’t even count how many times she did this. Now, emotionally it was difficult for her and for anyone who had to watch her. She was so connected to me that she wouldn’t eat and she would just tremble. I had to call her all the time so she knew I was OK. The hospital sent me to the care center for a month or so and Brandie was able to come and visit then.
The pastor I had at the time would come and visit all the time. One of the times he came to visit, he wanted to pray for me, which is a normal thing and he would bring communion if I wasn’t at church. During this one visit, Brandie was there with me and as he prayed, she bowed her head and rested her paw on my hand. I didn’t teach her that. That was the first time I have ever seen her do that. As soon as Pastor Ellis Keck said Amen, Brandie lifted her head and jumped on the bed and rested her head on my lap.
I told my husband that I think we needed to get another dog for Brandie. He gave me a puzzled look. The reason I said that is because Brandie is so attached to me that she would starve if I was gone anywhere or in the hospital. She needed a companion for herself. So, we got Maverick who was a white boxer. Of my gosh, he is my next post. Instead of Brandie laying at the front door motionless, she began playing. She never went through a puppy stage. She didn’t play with toys or anything. She was my shadow. I knew this wasn’t good for her. So, Maverick was the answer for Brandie and she was a new dog and much happier.
I miss Brandie so very much and always will. Brandie was only 7 yrs old when she died. We were living in a small area close to where I live now. She went outside to do her thing and I heard a yelp in the back yard. She fell off of the deck and couldn’t make it up the stairs. She went out healthy and when I got her inside, I noticed that her eyes were bugged out and she couldn’t see. She was stumbling. My heart was broken. How could something like this happen in the matter of minutes.
I immediately took Brandie to the vet to have him check her out. Well, the next morning, we have no Vet ER’s where I live. We do now, but back then we didn’t. I took her to the vet and he told me that it looks like she was having an episode from diabetes and her sugar levels must have been really high. I didn’t know dogs can get diabetes. He did a lot of tests and told me that she would have to have one of her eyes removed and she was totally blind in it. The other eye is iffy. He said she can still see a little, but not much more than light. He did urine and blood work on her. Her blood work showed she had some elevated levels in her kidneys, but her urine had blood in it and a weird smell. How can this all happen so fast? Click Here or on the picture below to learn more about the signs, symptoms of diabetes in dogs. The website will open up in a new window.
The vet told me that I can take her to a specialist in Vegas, but he said he didn’t think she would even make it long enough to get to Vegas and the appointment. Since she would be a new patient, there was no openings for a couple of weeks. Dr Esplin sent Brandie and I home to think about what we wanted. Brandie saved my life so many times, how could I not save hers? Dr Esplin set me up with an appointment for Monday. Since I seen him on Friday, there was no openings till then.
I prayed so hard for Brandie. I prayed for God’s will to be done. I begged him to spare her life. I needed her in my life so much.
Recently a country singer Eric Dodge lost his dog Anna and his cat Bart within weeks of each other. I was reading his posts about the love he has for Anna and just how heart wrenching it is to lose a family member. For those who say a dog is a dog, you might as well just stop reading this post. As he shared the love he had for Anna and Bart, I couldn’t help but think of my Brandie. Hopefully he is OK with me posting this picture of his dog Anna.
Back to the vet visit with Dr. Epslin. I did make it to the appointment. I knew before I left the house what the outcome of this visit would be for her. I so feel like I failed her. I failed to protect her. I failed to watch for signs of diabetes. The vet did reassure me that most times there are no signs. Dr. Esplin has seen most of our four-legged family members. He treated her since she was 6 weeks old. He told me in her case, there were no signs. I was emotionally spent.
I knew I had to relieve her suffering. She was in a great deal of pain. She couldn’t even stand alone so she could pee. My husband was on the road. My daughter Jessica and her husband lived in North Carolina. I had my mother in law living with us and my niece Bridgette. I didn’t tell them what the decision was.
As I drove to Dr. Esplins office, I was in tears. Not little tears, these we full on alligator tears. I was a mess and I was alone on this final journey with Brandie. I had to pull off the road a number of times because I couldn’t see the road. I finally got to the vet with Brandie. I had so much guilt over what happened. Dr Esplin was great about giving me time to talk to Brandie and cuddle her.
Dr. Esplin was very kind and she passed over the Rainbow Bridge. In all honesty, I was ready to go with her. My husband called me as I was driving. I was sobbing heavily, my voice was shaking and I felt like I was going to pass-out any time. I’m I was hysterical over Brandie. My husband must have been worried about me because he called my daughter Jessica in North Carolina. She did call me and I’m pretty sure she couldn’t understand what I was saying. I was in the mindset of “Why Brandie and Not Me?”
The ride home was horrible. It was as if my best friend died. As I walked into the front door to my home, I was holding Brandies collar and the leash. I went into my mother in laws room and told her what happened. She began sobbing along with me. Little did I know that my mother in law loved Brandie. My mother in law was not a dog person. I didn’t think she would be emotional since my mother in law tripped over her and broke her hip. But she did. I didn’t know she had made a little bed for Brandie in her bedroom. She was devastated too. I’m sure that my mother in law and Brandie are having a good time now. Brandie touched everyone’s heart
Then I went and told Bridgette and she had a melt down too. Anyone who had the chance to meet her, loved her and she loved them. Needless to say when Brandie died, we all died a little bit as well. I literally spent days in my bedroom sobbing and not wanting to out to do anything and I didn’t want to talk to anyone.
To this day I miss Brandie. When people say that once dogs die they are dead. There is nothing more for them. In my opinion dogs will be there because God created them.
This is the first of three blogs that I will share with you all about animals, heaven and what the Bible says about animals in Heaven.