Chiquita came to me at 2 years old from a rescue group. She had been left on the streets of the Bronx to fend for herself.
Somehow, we found each other.
At 4 years old, she was diagnosed with mitral valve disease and at 6 years old with congestive heart failure, which Chiquita and I fought for the last 7 years, thanks to the wonderful care she received from Dr. Rind and Dr. Tell at the Great Neck Animal Hospital in NY.
I imported medications from Vanuatu when they were not available in the US. I researched her disease until I had read just about everything about canine heart disease that had ever been written, which by the way I could never have done without the help of my Yahoo Group for Canine Congestive Heart Failure. If any of you have a furbaby with a heart condition, please please use the following link. If you are as fortunate as I was, it will add years to your little one's life. Mention Chiquita's name when you join so that she may live on in memories.
For the most part, Chiquita's disease was under control until this last June, when she went into kidney failure. At that point I had to change doctors for her, so that she could get 24 hour emergency care closer to home.
To help combat her kidney failure, I home cooked for her (not that she liked my cooking, and she has a large contingent there). I took her every day to the vet for subcutaneous fluids. Every day. We did not miss a day, thanks to the vet techs who took care of her, with special thanks Nicole Thompson, and all the staff at West Hills.
My new vet, Dr. Asaf Kerem of West Hills Animal Hospital to whom I am eternally grateful, and I both researched any available supplements for her to keep her alive, and we succeeded in that. We really did. He is the kindest person I have ever known. He treated Chiquita as though she were his own. He listened to everything I said, and treated my thoughts on her treatment with respect. The two of us became more than the sum of the parts, and Chiquita was the better for that.
It's a wise man who knows what he does not know.
Unfortunately, all the meds she was taking took a toll on her liver, and she went into liver failure in July, but you know what? We beat that too. We made it a mission to keep my little girl alive, and her quality of life was wonderful.
Then, on October 2, Chiquita collapsed due to a stroke, and was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and pulmonary hypertension. Still, unbelievably, the next day, she started to recover, but her kidneys again began to fail and her little heart finally gave out. She was a trouper with a will to survive. I always said she didn't want to go until I was ready to go with her.
But she went on alone.
I hope someday to be with her again, for the thought of spending eternity without her would be more than I can bear.
Until we meet again, Boo Boo Girl.
Mommy loves you.