Apparently my last post was too philosophical, so let me just lay it bare… I am overwhelmed by feelings of loss, sadness and guilt which equal grief. Our journey ended Labor Day, September 3, 2018, at 8:16 pm. Isadora aka “Izzi” was 17 1/2 years old.
Here we are together at the Grand Canyon in 2009. She was eight here and I was… well nine years younger than I am now. People who have only seen her recently will gasp at what a big, strong dog she was in her prime. She weighed nearly 50 lbs here and trust me, I always felt safe traveling with her. My nickname for her was Growly Grrrrryl. She was one mean bitch.
My K9 companion Izzi was truly my best friend. She was loyal no matter what awful thing I did, or when I left her alone too long. That is my guilt, the hours I left her alone when I was working. I tried to remedy that in 2005 when I got the mobile dog house aka our van. From then on we traveled together.
No one could approach our RV van, not even friends, without her barking or growling. She would bare her teeth and look extremely ferocious, because she was. Izzi was a mish-mash of mean breeds that made her truly Bad to the Bone. That was her theme song, along with Wild Thing (by The Troggs.) It was a never-ending struggle to socialize her, until the last few years.
When she was just six weeks old our vet, Dr. Patricia Levitt, warned me she would be a handful. What an understatement. I was proud that she was great on a leash, because I persisted on that one. But her will was often stronger than mine (and that’s saying something.) So, she jumped too much and could rarely settle down when I had visitors (again until recently.) My friend and biz partner Jonathan assured me she would calm down by the time she was five or six (or seven or ten), but only age slowed her…
really old age.
Izzi was always healthy until 2015, when I discovered she couldn’t hear me. Both she and I had sharp hearing. We had our own unspoken eye communication if we heard strange sounds at night or while out in the van. But on a trip to Questa, NM (almost exactly three years ago) I couldn’t call her back. Important side bar: when she was very young, a few months old, she got away from me and headed toward traffic. I screamed her name and from that incident until this one in Questa, she would always stop in her tracks and come back when I called “Isadora!”
She became totally deaf; no response to door bell, thunder or the loudest sounds. That was the beginning of her slow decline. Looking back I can see how that changed her. She couldn’t protect me the way she had. She lost weight and her hips went bad. I was able to keep her going over the next couple of years with Ceytl-M (a miracle joint compound, works for me, too!) I could go on and on… but this year she turned 17 (over 90 in human years) off the chart for a dog her size (check that photo again.) She was truly incredible.
I’ve posted tips for other dog lovers on her Twitter page @Bizi_Izzi since we took that trip in 2009. I’ll post a few more, including this link. I thanked @SteveStucker (our NM Weatherman) again for celebrating her long life on his Parade of Pets. And, now a shout out to the staff at Rio Grande Animal Hospital who sent a card with these touching condolences. Thank you so much.
Most of all I thank Diedra at VESC-NM who comforted me, Dr. Megarry, and Dawn a super wonderful tech. Even though it was THE most awful experience, they were especially kind. Bless all of you, especially my friends. 🙏
Claudia Isadora aka “Izzi”
04.01.2001 – 09.03.2018