In Sept 2004, a small sheltie was found on Lake Travis in a cove out in the middle of nowhere. The boater that found her brought her to PAWS in Lago Vista. The Houston Sheltie Rescue group was notified and agreed to pick her up in a couple of days.
Since the sheltie was in heat, she was taken to a foster home of two wonderful ladies, Jean and Cheink, who had about 7 other dogs (some fosters and some of their own). Linda, a good friend, was in AZ on vacation and just happened to call these ladies. When they mentioned they were fostering a sweet sheltie girl, she immediately called me with the news. We had 2 shelties at that time and we were not looking for a 3rd. I thought about it and finally broke down and called Jean the next afternoon. She invited me to come over and meet this sweet girl. Well, needless to say, it was love at first sight……even though Missy did not look very pretty then. But I immediately fell in love with her face and her disposition. She was not at all phased by running around the yard with all the other dogs….she acted like she’d been there forever. Linda was immediately dubbed as Missy’s “godmother” since she had brought us together.
Missy finally came home after taking a detour to Houston to get spayed. On her first visit to our vet, my vet decided that she felt something on the floor of her rectum that was not normal. It was soon determined that Missy had terminal cancer and because of the location of the cancer (between the wall of the bladder and colon), she could not be operated on and radiation would do more damage than good. We were told she had one year to live.
It broke our hearts to hear that we would only have this wonderful sweet girl, who was appx 8 yrs old, for one year. But we decided there was a special reason she had come into our home and hearts. In Aug, 2005, while vacationing in Colorado, we took Missy to an oncologist at the Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado. She verified the diagnosis and said Missy was a good candidate for Piroxicam. However, even with the Piroxicam, she felt Missy probably only had a year to live.
Missy passed her first year milestone and I kept telling my husband Tom that I would be so happy if Missy could be with us for 2 years….but I knew that would probably not happen.
In the meantime, Missy developed other health problems……….a heart murmur, bladder and kidney stones, a tumor on her rectum, and gall bladder sludge. If you ever met Missy, you would have never guessed that she had all these health issues. She had turned into a gorgeous dog with a really beautiful healthy coat. And she was such a happy little girl. Even with the new health issues, Missy passed her second year milestone.
In March 2007, Tom (a non-smoker) was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. We went through a very difficult month of endless tests, emergency trips to the hospital, and chemo and radiation treatments. Tom spent alot of time in bed because he was just exhausted and in much pain. Missy was always in bed with him providing him with much comfort and love. Tom and Missy now had something else in common besides their heart problems, they both had cancer.
In March 2008, Missy’s heart murmur got a little worse………..but she also got very nauseated. She quit eating and couldn’t keep any liquids down. She deteriorated a little each day and I knew my happy little girl was not going to bounce back. Missy’s godmother Linda drove us to the vet and Missy was finally at peace.
Missy had fulfilled her mission at our home. She was there to provide much comfort to Tom when he needed it the most. And after Tom passed away, she was there to comfort me and help me get through the first year of my terrible loss.
Missy passed away on April 3rd, a week short of Tom’s one year anniversary. She was in our home for 3 1/2 years and far exceeded everyone’s expectations of how long she would live. She brought alot of happiness to us and she was so special because we knew she was only here for a short visit. But she knew that her job was done and she needed to get back to her dad. It gave me much comfort to know that Tom was waiting to help his little Missy cross the Rainbow Bridge. She was his favorite dog……so I know how happy they are to be together again.
Even though I have 2 other shelties, my house seems very quiet tonight. And that’s so weird because Missy was the quiet one. I never realized that such a small dog could have such a BIG presence and leave such an impression on my heart.