After fighting the good fight for four months, Our Nora has crossed the rainbow bridge. She succumbed to congestive heart failure and pulmonary edema. She syncoped on a walk, Melody rushed her to the vet and and I came down from work. She was getting prepped to go to the hospital when she syncoped again and they almost lost her in the exam room; the vet told us that at this point, nothing could help, and she was suffering terribly -- blood oxygen was below 60. We had 10 minutes to say goodbye; she kissed us both, and that was it. After the fact, the vet told us that based on that final syncope, even if it did't happen just then, she wouldn't have made it through treatment. She saved us $5,000, but I cheerfully would have emptied out the 401-k if she had had a chance.
Nora always knew when one of my arthritic joints was acting up and would curl herself around it when we went to bed. She spent her last night successfully relieving my Achilles tendinitis.
She was the goodest girl in the world, doing anything to spite another dog, doing anything to keep us from fighting, sticking her little butt up in the air for other dogs. She would climb any height and brake up any unfair dog fight. Even though they're known as boneheads, there was a lot of thinking in that little pea brain of hers. When we went exploring, she would remember hazards from years before, even when I had forgotten them. Somehow she managed to keep it from raining on morning walks, and to keep on fending off the rain long enough for me to bike to work.
She was magic; like a shao-lin priest, she could move without being seen or heard, and much to our surprise, no walls could hold her. She always did a complex thank-you dance after she ate, a dance neither Snoopy nor George Balanchine could approach. We think she was trying to bury the taste of the food.
She was our Nora. We can't imagine life without a dog, but whatever we wind up with, we will treasure Nora forever.
This is the last photo of Nora, two days ago, with her favorite chewie.