Princess Daisy Zamborski, The Duchess of Lewis-Upshur

We had to put my 'purty-girl', "Princess", to sleep this morning. She fell over shortly before 7am this morning, we don't know if it was a stroke, or a heart attack, or ??? - but after literally laying where she fell for a solid hour, she continued to have a LOT of trouble being ambulatory and was breathing poorly/strangely - she was clearly in distress. Being that it was a Saturday morning here in Podunk, USA - and a dangerously snowy one a that - the lone (and crappy) vet here in town wasn't open (and they apparently CANNOT be bothered to give you their hours in their after-hours recording - we had to drive by them to see what the story was); our regular vet in Fairmont (who is SUPPOSED to open @ 9am on Saturdays) wasn't open when we got there around 10am (nor on the way back after 11am); and even the "emergency" clinic in Fairmont wasn't going to have a vet there until 1pm. So after a really awful trek all over the blizzardy roads of North Central West Virginia, we finally got her to a different vet in Fairmont.

Princess was getting older, and we had talked a lot, for awhile now, as to whether it seemed to be time to put her to sleep. She had spondylosis of the spine that gave her serious problems with her back-end mobility, but with a regular dose of steroids (a tiny pill in a hot dog - something she NEVER complained about!) she was back to being functional - and most importantly - seemed not to be in any discomfort. But I was braced/prepared to have to put her to sleep in the very near future - when the steroids stopped working well enough to keep her feeling alright ... apparently other parts wore out ahead of the schedule I had in my mind, though. I'm just really grateful that my dad's superior snow-driving skills got us to the vet in one piece and in time to end her suffering, and that I got to be with her when she went.

Princess was a Boxer / Basset Hound mix (we only learned of the Basset Hound after a doggie DNA test) - and the sweetest, gentlest, over-grown baby in the world. We got her from the Lewis Upshur dog pound (down in Buckhannon, WV), along with her puppy Cali, after seeing her on a local tv adopt-a-pet segment. She had been dumped, with 4 of her puppies, in a large mailbox-like structure the shelter had set-up outside to facilitate anonymous (middle of the night) "donations". She was severely underweight, and had a ring around her neck where her fur had been worn off by her collar being too tight. I don't know what happened to her before we got her, of course, but she spent the rest of her life being terrified of thunderstorms and brooms. 

We got her in July of 1999, they estimated she was about a year old at the time, so we know she made it to at least 11, but there's also every chance she was older. Her name came about because we were trying to see if we could hit on whatever name she might have had before - trying Princess and Duchess both seemed to elicit a glimmer of recognition from her. Daisy is what my mother wanted to name her, Zamborski was the last name of a reporter on the local news who had a bit of an underbite (just like Princess), and Lewis-Upshur was from the name of the pound (from which we got her) that served Lewis and Upshur counties.

When we got her she was totally unsocialized to humans - she didn't have a clue what you were doing if you tried to give her a hug, and mind your nose if you tried to give her a kiss. But eventually - many "hugs" (involving clasping her nose to your bosom with one hand and embracing her with the other) down the road - she got the hang of it all, and became one of the sweetest and most loving dogs I've ever had. I will miss all the little things about her like her "wiggle spigot" (wagging little stump of a tail) and her "pumpkin head" (a move wherein she laid on her back asking for a tummy-rub, sending her jowls into a smiling Jack-O-Lantern position). I will miss everything about her - but I like to think she's now bounding (untethered and pain free) through a field where the flowers sprout roasted chickens (she had a life-long chicken addiction) and there are NEVER any thunderstorms.

Princess:
July1998? - Feb 6th 2010









4 comments:

La Yen said...

I can see the Bassett, now that you mention it.

Love and kisses. Losing a pal is hard...

Kayt said...

Thank Yen :)

Rockabilly Hippie said...

sorry doll, that's always a sad thing, but at least she isn't in any discomfort anymore.

Natalie, basset hound care expert said...

I just lost my labrador 3 days ago and it's really a separation anxiety on my part,

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