Loss of a Companion

On February 21, 2020 we had to do one of the toughest things any pet owner can do, we had to make that dreaded decision to send a beloved pet across the Rainbow Bridge. In the wee hours of the morning in Las Vegas, NV our little Ms. Allie Bear went over that bridge. She was 14.

When Misty and I first met one of the many things we had in common was our love for dogs. More than that, however, was our love for a particular breed, the Dachshund. I had fallen in love with the breed from a previous relationship. When that relationship ended I missed the dog tremendously and vowed I’d have a Dachshund of my own someday. When Misty and I were renting a house together we really wanted to get a dog but our lease didn’t allow it. The good news for us, however, was the fact that our landlords had two dogs and guess what breed? Yeap, Dachshunds. It didn’t take much convincing to get them to make an exception for us. The search was on.

I can’t remember exactly how we found the breeder, but in our search we found one in Albion, IL who bred miniature Dachshunds. A mini wasn’t exactly the first size that came to mind but neither of us had seen one and of course they sounded cute as hell! So we made arrangements to go see their very last one from a recent litter. She was the runt but we didn’t care.

Allie Bear at six weeks old.

Well, as soon as we laid eyes on this little fur ball with a head that reminded both of us of a bobblehead toy, we knew she was coming home with us. I’d never seen anything so darned cute! On the drive back home Misty held her in the palm of her hand. She was that small! She was just six weeks old, born on 1-4-2006.

Allie a few months old.

They grow fast and in no time she was her adult size at a whopping ten pounds. Needless to say she quickly captured our hearts. She was a well behaved dog who didn’t bark much, minded, never had any accidents in the house and took well to her kennel while we were away. She checked off every box for what one would want in a wonderful companion.

In early 2008 she got a brother when we added Sam to our home. She was always a happy dog but she changed for the better when she had him to play with. They were instantly inseparable! If one wasn’t around (one at the vet or something) the other would search the house for them.

There are a lot of wonderful memories and I’m not going to get into them all. While looking through images to use in this post, one common thing kept being shown, she had a good life! In October 2017, when we left for our Meandering Life through the USA, of course Allie and Sam came along. In the past two and a half years on the road, she got to walk the beaches of the Atlantic, Gulf Coast and Pacific Oceans. She’s seen the mountains of Colorado and the deserts of the Southwest. I’m always going to have the wonderful image of her walking with Misty and seeing her look up at me and just joyfully waddle along.

Before we left on our journey, the vet had given us the bad news about her having a heart murmur. It was fairly significant and she said we might have anything from six months to two years with her. She made it two and half years after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She was a tough girl.

We knew things were turning for the worse on 2-19-2020. Misty and I had been out for several hours with some friends and when we let her and Sam out of their kennel she yelped and quickly collapsed. It sort of looked like a seizure but she wasn’t convulsing. She wet and defecated herself but recovered in just a minute or so. She seemed fine at this point so we just kept an eye on her for the rest of the evening with no further incidents. The following day we had dinner with our friends and when we returned to the RV and again let her and Sam out of the kennel she collapsed again. Again, it was just for a minute or so. But this time, after recovering she yelped several times and collapsed once again. She again lost control of her bowels but this time she didn’t recover. Her eyes were twitching and her tongue was out and it turned blue. Of course at this point we just knew we were losing her. Misty was frantically calling vets in the area while I was trying to comfort her. I couldn’t feel a heartbeat but she was breathing.

Unfortunately we are about an hour from the nearest city but none of them had any facilities to help us anyway. We had to drive two and half hours to Las Vegas for an emergency vet. While on the drive she slightly recovered and got her color back. She wasn’t moving much though but seemed stable. Once arriving at the vet they did x-rays and reported the bad news to us. Her heart was so enlarged that it filled her entire chest cavity. She didn’t have much fluid in her lungs or chest cavity though. The prognosis was very poor. He thinks that she was getting excited and her heart was trying to beat so hard and fast but had no room to really do so. So she had a heart attack which caused her blood pressure to drop so low she collapsed. This was going to be our new normal and she’d likely continue to have heart attacks until she just wouldn’t recover from one of them. Obviously that is no way to live for her or us so we made the dreaded decision to ease her pain. She didn’t really seem like the same Allie anymore either and it just seemed like the proper decision.

Our last few minutes with Allie.

We got to spend several hours with her though. Misty and I took turns holding her, loving her and telling her she was a good girl and we’d miss her so so much. Then the vet came in and administered the shots that would end her life. It was tough to witness but at least she died in Misty’s arms with both of us loving on her. When the vet took her lifeless body from Misty’s arms though, well, it’s a sight I’m not ever going to forget. He took a little bit of us with him when he left that room.

The RV hasn’t been the same in her absence. Sam seems to be fine. We thought maybe he’d look around for her or something but he hasn’t really done that. Maybe he knew already. We had our little routines that all four of us have been doing and now that it’s just the three of us, well, things are a lot different. We’ll make new routines and life goes on but so will her memories.

RIP Allie Bear Massey 1-4-06 – 2-21-20. We love you!

Allie Bear

Jason

Photographer, nature lover and geek. Driver of tow vehicle and setter-upperer of the outside of our RV. Webmaster of this very site.

14 thoughts to “Loss of a Companion”

  1. Oh my, Jason… I am so very sorry for your great loss. I’m so thankful that you had her for 14 years. You gave her the very best life. I know how your hearts are breaking. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Misty.

    1. Misty and Jason, we are so sorry to hear about Allie. She was blessed with such a beautiful life with the two of you. Mick and I have had the same experience with two of our babies and it is heartbreaking but we wouldn’t change anything about our time with them. Keep sharing your wonderful memories of her.

    1. Thanks mom. It was a very tough decision and one we hope we got right. But I believe we did. Her quality of life was going to be very bad going forward. But still, hard to watch her leave us!

  2. Thank you for sharing your love for Allie Bear~
    Loved the part of you watching her “joyfully waddling along”. Many of us can understand fully your loss. She was well loved & that’s the best part! May God bless you & Misty.

  3. I’m sorry you lost one of your best friends. I lost my best friend Bill and my dogs are a great comfort. Allie has a beautiful life story that will live in your hearts forever.

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