Reggie by Jack and Julie / See you there, Mommy

Our lives were blessed at Christmas time when I picked the runt of the litter. Reggie was the last puppy left and I had told the breeder I wanted him sight unseen.

Puppydom was wonderful. He reached four pounds in weight and grew no further in size. We took him hiking and it was amazing to see a four pound dog go on a five mile hike.

At age six, I took him in to get his teeth cleaned. He came through fine, but within a few weeks he quit eating, stopped playing with his toys, and had terrible breath. I returned to the vet and they did a blood test. Reggie was diagnosed with a liver shunt. I began to research this and decided this was not the problem. I took him to another vet and they said the same. They told us if he did not have surgery he would die and if he did have surgery he had
a 50-50 chance of pulling through.

Reggie showed no symptoms of a liver shunt. The problem seemed to be coming from his mouth. After months of homeopathic, Chinese herbs and IV fluids we took him to another vet. He only weighed 2.5 pounds. This vet was a specialist in liver shunts. He agreed with me after a blood test and thorough exam. He then was diagnosed with stomatitis, was given an antibiotic and the symptoms went away.
But not the underlying problem.

A couple of years went by- Reggie was off and on antibiotics during this time. Our lives were joyous, watching Reggie grow into an unbelievably smart, athletic dog. We hiked every spring and fall. He became a dog of many names and had many fans. We took him everywhere.

His symptoms came back though and the antibiotics stopped helping. I took him to a vet specializing in dentistry. He underwent surgery and had ten teeth removed. He once again pulled through surgery and was doing well. I took him in for a recheck and his kidney levels were a bit high. The toxins from his mouth had hurt him. I asked the vet if I should start him on sub-q fluids and he said no.

He continued to do well but was never a big eater. At this point I had him on a homemade diet, which he loved. We had to start him on IV fluids not long after to help his kidneys and I did sub-q at home. During this entire time, Reggie was always upbeat, active, and happy. We took him back to the hospital where he had been diagnosed with stomatitis and discovered he had a bone infection in his gums. They removed all but his canines and front teeth and found broken teeth and exposed nerve endings. How he must have suffered and not even shown it. He was so brave and strong. He lived on love, our love together. At this point he was doing great. He went in for an IV fluid treatment before we went to Colorado and lead the way, as always. Four months later I took him in for a check. Reggie had a heart murmur since birth and I told them to check his heart. Sadly, they put him om aggressive IV fluids and he was returned to me in heart failure. I regret to this day that I took him to the vet. We had to use diuretics to revive him and those are hard on the kidneys. Once again he pulled through, but he soon had a stroke and lost the sight in his right eye.

He then was diagnosed with a calcium deficiency and was put on a calcium drip. He did much better but acquired phlebitis and all the skin on his leg fell off. Reggie persevered as did we. He almost gave up, but remained hydrated by drinking water from our own mouths.
We adored this angel.

Our last two trips, Arkansas and Minnesota were much different. He didn’t have much energy, but still remained upbeat. He became totally blind after another stroke and had neurological problems. The heart medication was hurting his kidneys. Up until the day we had to let him go he was a trooper.

Thank you for barking at the mailman and singing to me the day before we had to let you go. Thank you for that last kiss, good morning kisses, goodnite kisses, the spin moves, crawling on our chests to get your belly rubbed, standing at the helm of the pontoon, sitting on the console of my car, following us into every room- even when you could barely see, playing with your soccer ball, greeting us at every turn, mugging it up when you wanted puppy did-din or wanted to go for walkies, standing on your hind legs to look out the picture window.

Being the best traveler and hiker known to man, relaxing on the backs of our necks in the car, curling up in the small of our backs in bed, and last but not least, being the best company we could ever have.

We miss you and love you
more than life in the world.


Here's to Rainbow Bridge My Tiny, Tiny Toots
Jack and Julie