We have a sad bit of personal news to share: On May 9, 2020, we made the gutting decision to put Izzy, our 14-year-old senior rescue Chihuahua and one half of the @american_chis dream team, to sleep. We were heartbroken.
We adopted Miss Izzy, a.k.a. Grandma Izzy, IzzBo, BoBo, BunBoNambo, and many other nicknames, from Fetch Wisconsin Rescue after learning about her through Susie’s Senior Dogs, a wonderful non-profit that helps find “furever” homes for overlooked senior rescues.
Izzy was estimated to be around 11 or 12 years old when we adopted her. She’d had a double knee surgery and all of her teeth removed, and had been in foster care for almost a year before we brought her home to Minneapolis. She took to us and her 12-year-old rescue sister Mia like glue. Izzy was pure gold — just the sweetest, most docile creature. She never protested our constant cuddling, and always made us lolz with that ridiculous tongue.
When she got sick, we had less than 48 hours to say goodbye to Izzy. Back-to-back emergency vet visits revealed a large mass on her liver – most likely cancerous and dangerously inoperable. We couldn’t bear to watch her suffer.
We are so grateful to Dr. Stephanie Pylka at the Animal Emergency & Referral Center in Oakdale for leveling with us about our limited options and making us feel confident that we made the best decision for Izzy, not for ourselves. Dr. Pylka had a wonderfully warm bedside manner, which can’t be said about all docs — particularly those working in the triage situations found in most emergency vet clinics.
Because of COVID-19, only one of us was allowed be in the room with Izzy during her final moments. Andrew said his goodbyes to her in the car, then Ashlea took her inside to a designated euthanasia room; she cradled Izzy till the very end, reminding her how loved she was.
We hope none of you have to go through something like this, but if you do, we can’t recommend AERC enough. Dr. Pylka was an angel in a time of darkness, guiding our girl out of this world in peace and dignity. We had Izzy privately cremated; the ashes were available within a week and AERC made us a sweet clay imprint of Izzy’s paws to bake at home. It now sits on Ashlea’s desk, a daily reminder of our sweet little girl.
If you’re thinking of adopting, please consider a senior. Local rescues include Animal Humane Society, Save-a-Bull Rescue, Feline Rescue, Bitty Kitty Brigade, Underdog Rescue, Wags & Whiskers, Ruff Start Rescue, Secondhand Hounds, and Grey Face Rescue. We’ve also had great experiences with Fetch and Albert’s Dog Lounge in Madison, Wisconsin. Though we only had Izzy for two years, one month, and 15 days, she was the light of our lives. And brutal as this is, we’d do it all over again.
Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota
1163 Helmo Ave. N., Oakdale, MN; 651-501-3766.