May 15, 1997 to November 14, 2008
Lexus came to us when she was almost 5 years old and our lives were never the same after that. She fit in perfectly with our home and our other Sheltie, Nikki, who was 8 years old at the time. She was the most affectionate, lovable dog I have ever known.
I started agility with her right away, as Nikki had arthritis and we had to retire her from agility. She caught on right away and was very dependable. Because my husband and I always go the lake every weekend in the spring, summer and fall, we didn't obtain any great titles in agility – just her Veteran Starters title. That was okay by me, because agility to me was just something fun that Lexi and I could do together.
In the spring of 2007, Lexus was diagnosed with arthritis in both her shoulders. We tried to just modify jumps in class for her but it became apparent that agility was too hard on her, so we retired Lexus, too, and she became our little couch potato. In the spring of 2008, I noticed on one of our walks that she seemed to be having trouble with her left hind leg. After many visits to more than one vet, it was discovered that she had severe arthritis in her hip joint and needed to have surgery (a femoral head and neck ostectomy) to remove the top of her femur. She had the surgery on June 27, 2008 and it was a success. After months of physiotherapy (thanks to Theresa Ziegler) and many sessions of swimming with Corinne at Bay's Waterpaws (and with us at Wakaw Lake), she was finally doing wonderfully. The hair was starting to grow back on her leg and you could hardly tell that she had surgery.
Just as she was at the end of her physiotherapy sessions with Theresa, we noticed that her behavior and eating habits had changed. We took her to the vet on October 14, 2008, and she was diagnosed with cancer. She had a tumor on her liver, which had metastasized into her chest (3 more tumors). She was given only 6 to 8 weeks to live. From that point on, our lives were spent doing everything we could for Lexi to make her comfortable. We even took her for one final trip to the lake on October 25, 2008, as she loved it at the lake. It was a miserable, extremely windy and cool day, but I wanted one last walk with her by the farmer's field that she and I always walked after supper at the lake.
Unfortunately, on Friday, November 14, 2008, she refused to eat any of her breakfast. By this time, we were feeding her basically just chicken and sardines – her favorite foods and pretty much the only thing she'd eat anymore. I came home from work at noon to check on her, and she wasn't doing well at all. We realized it was time to let her go. Dr. Corrigan (our vet) came to the house that afternoon. Before the vet arrived, Ken and I were able to spend a short time with Lexus to say our final goodbyes to her and tell her how much we loved her. As heartbreaking as it's been to lose her, at least we know she's in a better place where she has no more pain. Karin Stever, who was a part owner of Lexus before we got her, told me to just remember that having Lexi put to rest was the final gift of love that we could give to her. I truly hope that Lexus knows we were only doing what we thought was best for her.
I miss her terribly still and it feels like the hole in my heart will never heal. She was a huge part of our lives and I'd give anything to be able to hug her again. She followed me everywhere I went – even to the point of laying outside the bathroom door if I was in there. I know my husband, Ken, misses having Lexus share his pillow in the morning – she'd lay on his pillow and stare at him until he got up and fed her breakfast. She had nothing but love to give and we'll be forever grateful to have had her in our lives. She brightened every day with her little Sheltie antics.
Goodbye my sweet peanut – I'll never forget you and love you forever.
Darcy, Ken and Nikki