It was the day after Christmas, and I came running outside to feed Sandy our nine-month-old Beagle, on a cold morning.
Usually, Sandy came out by her kennel door eager to greet me, but today it was different. She slowly walked over to me.
Knowing something was wrong; I came in her kennel and started petting her and looking her over. She looked up into my face. Poor girl, I thought. Then Sandy started coughing. Great, I thought. Sandy has kennel cough.
Of the few dogs I have had in my life I never had one sick, but from doing dog research in the past I figured that was what it was. Just kennel cough. Little did I know how wrong I was.
Two days later Sandy was worse. She ate little food—and for Beagles that is very rare—and was not active at all. She would just watch as a ball rolled by her nose and lay down when we tried to get her into a game of dog tag.
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My mom said to bring her in my room, where it was warmer and away from the Washington cold and wind.
I was glad to have Sandy inside where I could keep my eye on her, and I think she was too. Instead of exploring my room, she just lay on her dog bed and followed me with her eyes. I figured Sandy would get better, but later that evening Sandy coughed up blood. Immediately, I knew something was seriously wrong. This was not kennel cough. Doing some research, I found Sandy had all the symptoms of rat poisoning.
Sandy had gotten into some rat poisoning somehow, and now she was sick, and possibly dying.
I immediately prayed to God, “Lord, don’t take her away.” Please let her get better. There was nothing more we could do until morning, when we would take her in to Kulshan Veterinarian Hospital.
That evening I didn’t sleep much. I was too worried about Sandy and afraid that she would die while I was asleep. She was breathing hard and I wished I could do something to help her, but I could do nothing.
Later that night, I stayed up and held her in my lap. “Don’t die Sandy,” I gently whispered to her. “Don’t.”
Eventually, I did go to sleep and I woke up early the next morning. I quickly got dressed and then to make Sandy more comfortable I slipped her red collar off.
Waiting for my mom in the van I prayed, and hoped that Sandy would get better.
“Maybe it’s not as serious as we think,” my mom encouraged as we drove to the vets. I hoped she was right.
However after the vet looked her over, she said that Sandy’s condition was very serious and that they could do surgery, but it wouldn’t guarantee if she would make it. I knew we didn’t have the money for that, and I knew that she would have to be put to sleep.
“Good-bye, Sandy,” I said quietly as the vet took Sandy out of the room. A lump began to form in my throat.
As we left the building the lump in my throat grew, knowing I would not see my beloved Beagle again. At home, I cried as I saw Sandy’s red collar on my desk, never to be worn again by our beloved dog.
Even though Sandy is gone, she has left with me some great memories. How she use to run away from us on a trail of a squirrel, how she use to bark until we let her out of her kennel. They were happy memories she has left.
Yes, Sandy is gone, but she was a fun dog to have. Sandy loved everyone and brought a smile to anyone. In the spring, when the weather is warm, I will again be searching for another dog to love and care for, and I look forward to it.