In Memory of

Zoe Buechele

 

 

Rescued Feb 2012

Passed away on 23 April 2012

 

Zoe came to me in February of 2012 after being abandoned by her owners at my vetís clinic. She had been there for 4 days and after numerous unsuccessful attempts to get in touch with her owners my vet called me and asked if I would take her in. He told me that he thought she had a liver shunt and that she was 2 years old and weighed less than 1.6lbs. When I saw her for the first time I almost cried as she was so tiny and frail. She scared me as I have never looked after one as small and sick as she was. It didnít take us long to bond though.

When I first brought Zoe home she didnít have the strength to stand up on her own. I got her cleaned up and started her on the proper diet and medication and within a couple of days she was up on her feet and moving around. Our biggest challenge was getting her to eat. I tried mixing baby food into her canned food and that was okay for a short time and then she didnít want it so Iíd have to try something else. One day I was cutting up strawberries and thought I would see if she liked them. When I offered her the first piece she loved it and wanted more. It became a routine every morning when I took the strawberries out of the fridge for breakfast she would stand on the edge of her bed or climb down to the lower bed and wait for me to bring her some. Over time we discovered that she also loved green beans, bananas, yogurt and yogurt drops. Her last feeding was usually about an hour before we went to bed and if I couldnít get her to eat her food I would heat up some green beans and she would wolf them down.

Zoe got strong enough that she was up walking around on her own. She did better on carpeting than she did on tile floor. To try to give her some exercise and build up some muscle mass Franz would play a game with her every night before bed. He would take a couple of yogurt drops and break them into small pieces. He would put one down in front of her and then walk to the other side of the room and wait for her. She would move as fast as she could to get to him for the next piece and they would do this until there were no more.

I took Zoe to UT about a week after she came to me to find out if she might be eligible for liver shunt surgery. I had found what felt like a piece of her skull was missing and questioned it. On examination it was discovered that she had a number of open fontanelís. An ultrasound was done through the openings and they found that Zoe had hydrocephalus. Because she was so frail and with this new finding they decided that she wasnít strong enough to survive the testing for liver shunt or surgery at that time. She was put on medication and we hoped that with time she would get strong enough to be able to have the surgery. That wasnít to be. She did get stronger for a couple of weeks and actually started to gain some weight but then she took a turn. She started stumbling and falling more. Franz couldnít play the game with her at night any more as she couldnít go more than a few steps without falling. About two and a half weeks before we lost her she developed an infection. Her lymph nodes were enlarged and also her tonsils. She went on antibiotics and again seemed to get stronger. Her last couple of days she was back up on her feet moving from one bed to the other, and she was eating better.

On the night of April 23rd she had her usual green beans before bed and then her yogurt drops at bedtime. Zoe slept in a purse carrier lined with a fleece blanket as she got cold easily and I wanted to make sure she was warm through the night. I was getting ready to put her to bed when she suddenly cried out as if she was in pain. When I turned her around and looked at her face I knew something was wrong. About 10 minutes later Zoe passed away quietly in my arms.

I only had Zoe for about 2 months but in that time she firmly embedded herself in my heart. I miss the feel of that little body in my arms, I miss the way she would put her head back and just stare up at me and then curl up and go to sleep in my lap, I miss those little eyes staring at me over the rim of her bed as I work in the kitchen. I will always remember how excited I got the first time she wagged her tail in excitement because I had come home from running errands and I will always remember how she made me laugh when I tucked her into the carrier while I took a shower only to find her standing outside the bathroom door when I was done (I didnít think she could climb out of it so didnít zip it closed).

Zoe, I will see you again one day but until then you will always be in my thoughts and in my heart. I love you little girl.

Barbara Buechele

 
 

 

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