|On December 14, 1991, I received a call from my dear friend Joan.
Her dog, Eska had just had a litter of puppies and she wanted me to stop
by to see them. How could I resist. After all, these were not just
ordinary puppies and Joan is not just an ordinary lady. You see,
Eska is a wolf hybrid, part malamute, part wolf. So is her mate,
Fenrir. I always loved Fenrir, he is big, friendly and gorgeous!
I should have known that after seeing these precious babies, I would end
up owning one. I already had my own wolf hybrid, Sitka, a tall, lanky,
handsome boy. I was starting a new job and knew I was not going to
be able to take Sitka to work with me any more so thought a "friend" might
be just what he would need. Joan wanted me to have the baby that
looked most like Eska. She had the same red coloring and beautiful
eyes so of course I had to name her Eski (a mini Eska). Her personality
was very dominant even as a baby. She ruled the house the minute
she arrived. Sitka was very tolerant of her puppy antics and they
soon became inseparable. She quickly grew into a beautiful, fuzzy,
full-figured girl with a real zest for life. She was healthy, active
and my best running partner. We have had many adventures in the mountain's
of Vermont. We have often run into bear's, coyotes and moose, swam in the
lakes and rivers. Her first major visit to the Vet's office ( not
counting the porcupine incident) was 3 year's ago when she had to have
surgery on her torn cruciate ligament. That was quite traumatic for
her and took some time to heal. She continued to be active but the
injury and age were starting to catch up with her. Sitka had been
put on Rimadyl at this time for arthritis he had developed in his spine.
The Vet felt maybe it could help Eski and her achy joints. So in
June of 2002, she started on Rimadyl, too. Within two weeks she was very,
very ill and rushed to the Vet's. She had a serious liver infection
and was put on some heavy duty antibiotics. That cleared up and of
course, I took both of them off of the Rimadyl. (My Vet says he is
not sure that the two incidents were linked but I was not going to take
any chances). In August, we noticed Eski drinking a lot of water
and urinating frequently. She had never messed in the house before
and now was having multiple accidents. The Vet diagnosed her with
diabetes and my heart sank. He said it was definitely treatable but
we needed to get her regulated as soon as possible. It took many
months but finally in December 2002, she seemed to be regulated.
At the same time, I had noticed Sitka had been loosing a lot of weight
over the past 6 months. He went through a battery of tests and we
found a large tumor on his liver. It was benign so the Vet
and I agreed that at his age (13) we should just monitor him rather than
put him through surgery. On December 12, 2002, I decided to visit
my Mother for a few days and my friend, Jeff was to watch the"kids".
Eski was doing great but when I got home on December 14 (Eski's 11th Birthday),
she refused to eat. She was vomiting and there was blood in her urine.
I began to panic. I called the Vet right away but they were all at
their office Christmas party. The Vet on call was from a different
office and I had never talked to her before. She was helpful but
didn't know Eski and her history. She thought it sounded like Eski
had a urinary tract infection. She had me force an antibiotic pill
down her throat which she quickly threw up. By the next morning,
a Sunday, Eski was very weak and my regular Vet had me bring her right
in. He put her on IV fluids as she was severely dehydrated.
She was not showing much in the way of improvement by Monday morning and
he told me I had to get her to Tuft's for further treatment. An x-ray
had shown a mass in her abdomin and she was not responding to his treatment.
I quickly bundled her up and took the two and a half hour trip to Tuft's
where they whisked her away the minute she arrived. She was diagnosed
with severe pancreatitis, I almost lost her. The ultra-sounds showed
a large mass on her spleen that the Doctor's at Tuft's felt should be removed
as soon as she was stablized. Twelve long days at Tuft's and she
was finally able to come home. I drove out 5 times during those awful
12 days to be with her and both Sitka and I were very relieved to have
her home. With in a few days of being home, I had her out for some
short walks and her appetite was slowly coming back. That was back
in January. She has been very stable since then, gets 2 shots,
30 units each of Humilin N per day (she has been very good about her shots)
and is on a very strict diet of W/D which she actually likes and home cooking.
It seems that when I was gone, she may have had too many good things to
eat and that could have caused her pancreatitis (I have learned soooo much
from this whole episode). Sitka has aged a lot from this long, cold
winter. I don't know what we will do if we loose him, Eski cannot
function without him! This last year has been very stressful on all
three of us. I lost my Step-father in July and a dear friend this
month, my kids are aging and watching this has been heartbreaking.
It has been a long, stressful winter and yet the three of us are still
plodding along. I figure that as long as they are eating well and
still enjoy their "walkies", life is good. Eski will have her spleen
surgery this Spring. Another trauma for her but I cannot put it off
too long. She has been through so much already.
Eskie's Photo Album
Eskie, Margaret & Sitka
Sitka's Baby Picture
Eskie's Baby Picture
Tue, 28 Sep 2004
I am writing to tell you of the passing of my beautiful girl, Eski.
I wish I could tell you she went peacefully in her sleep or that
I had to
make the decision and was
there as she slowly slipped away. Unfortunately because of my
ignorance and selfishness, she died a very painful, excruciating
death all alone. I will never forgive myself, she was never meant to
go this way. I always thought that the diabetes would be what would
take her life. Saturday night she was doing fine. She had her
dinner a bit late but went to bed seemingly normal. Around 2:30
Sunday morning, she got me up and was retching. Oh, great, I
thought. She is going to get sick. I brought her outside (can't
have her throwing up on the carpet you know!) and she pooped then ran
right over to her pen. I put her in and she retched a few more
times. I went back inside to go back to bed, whenever Eski gets sick
she prefers to stay outside. I heard her get sick again and figured
we would be making another trip to the vet's in the morning. She has
had two bouts with pancreatitis and this always seems to be the way
it starts. I woke up around 7:00am and went out to check on her. I
did not see her at first but did notice some foamy spots in the pen.
I then realized what had been happening. I ran in the pen and found
her behind her house, she was dead. Her belly was like a balloon.
She died of bloat and I did nothing about it. The sight of her there
and the knowledge that she died an excruciating death all alone will
haunt me until the day I die. I am sorry to bring such bad news
but I needed
to write. I lost Sitka last year
to old age, that was painful enough but I was able to be with him.
Eski did not deserve this, she had been through so much and had been
doing quite well for a 12+ year old diabetic. I am so sorry to write
this, please all of you with dogs become aware of the signals of a
stomach, she may be alive if I had driven her straight to the vet.
Now I get to live with the memory of her agonizing death.