We Love You, Hayley Girl

Our sweet Hayley girl
We lost our Hayley girl yesterday.

Many of you know the trials that Hayley has gone through over the years: her diabetes diagnosis, Cushing's disease, canine blindness. She also had a severe hypoglycemic attack a few months ago and extreme pancreatitis two years before that.

Each time we were warned that her prognosis was not good and she may not survive. Each time, we worried and prayed, and each time, she recovered.

She was the amazing Hayley, and literally nothing would keep her down. She would come home with her energy renewed and right back to her old self, lapping up her food with delight. Even after she lost most of her teeth, she still loved her food. Always in a happy mood, always running around in a quick pace, Hayley was the literal example of living life to its fullest.

This time everything was different. She started displaying neurological symptoms and all signs pointed to a brain tumor. And still, she tried her absolute best to push through and eat and walk, and there came a point when we had to let her go because Hayley, the incredibly strong and incredibly sweet girl deserved to be happy again and pain free.

At the park
I can't begin to explain how empty the house feels without her. Django is acting quite sullen and slightly nervous. She knows something is just not quite right.

All of you who have ever cared for a senior or a chronically dog knows how much work goes into their daily routine. For three years, I have given her twice daily insulin injections, oral medication, and special meals (with her always storing a kibble or two in her cheek for late night snacks!).
Django stayed by her side for the last few days

We have put her out in the yard countless times a day carefully watching so didn't get hurt since losing her sight, cleaning up after her potty accidents indoors.

The past few months she even sported doggie diapers —  rather proudly I might add — nothing got Hayley down!

Hayley girl was with us for 11 years. We adopted her from a North Shore Adoption van that conveniently parked outside our building in 2003. She was matted, not potty trained (although she was 3 or 4 years old), and was completely afraid of everything and everyone. She has an inch long scar at the top of her head and I shudder to think of what she lived through before we found her. 
Being a clown

In the beginning, we couldn't even scratch our heads without her screeching in fear thinking we were going to hit her.  She locked eyes with Kate inside that van and that was the start of our lives together. She and Kate had an unbreakable, sustaining bond, and I know they always will.

This past weekend, we spoiled her with everything we could, special meals, stroking and cuddling sessions, and tons of love. I had a conversation with her last week and told her she had been a very good girl and it was OK, she could go, she had done so well here with us but it was time for her to be free.

Hayley valued her sleep time!
Making this decision was the most difficult one I have ever had to make but I know it was the right thing to do for her.

I told the kids how there would be a point when we would get a sign from her telling us she was OK. I don't know when but I firmly believe it will happen, and maybe it already has. We got two small and funny indications yesterday.

We stayed with her until the very end and the vet gave us some time with her afterwards. I wrapped her in the blankie, gave her a final kiss and moved her head toward the side, and then I noticed one solitary kibble that fell out of her mouth (even at the end she took one for the road!). Later on in the day, we noticed a small puddle in the dining room, a place we had walked by several times earlier that day. but not noticed.... one last and final 'gift' from Hayley! Is that a sign from her that she's OK up there, and happy? I can't say for sure but I do know bigger signs will come.

In the meantime, I hope she is running around up there, super fast the way she did years ago, with full sight and strong legs, no pain and no constraints. I hope she is eating everything that there is — and has a full set of teeth to chomp down with. As I sat in the vet office yesterday, I told my late uncle Richard yesterday to be waiting, ready to catch her, and I know he would.
This past spring sporting new products for the shop

The pain runs so deep that we almost question ever getting another dog. But then we consider how these beautiful furry beings will be here on earth anyway, so if we can help them live a good life and take care of them while they are here, it is not only our duty but an incredible privilege.

Living with Hayley was an absolute privilege. She taught us so much about strength and unbreakable love.

Thank you to all of you who got to know her. While we are heartbroken, we are relieved that she is now pain free in heaven.

We love you Hayley girl — be free and fly high!

Best friends forever



Beautiful Hayley

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