2/25/2010 - 6/18/2017 Height: 20" Weight: 62 lbs OFA Hips Good OFA Elbows Normal Eyes Clear No Notations Full Dentition, Scissors Bite MDR1 M/N DNA Panel - clear on everything else
There are truly no words for everything that Ali was to me. She came to me just before her 4th birthday, at Thanksgiving 2013, an early Christmas present to myself, and I fell hard and fast. I bought her to become my foundation bitch, but she became so much more than that. Sure, she was an absolutely amazing mother, and she blessed me with a couple of beautiful daughters that I am so very thankful for, but more than anything else, she was my best friend.
Titled Offspring: Gemfire's A Dance With Dragons OTDd STDs RN CGC Gemfire's Magic Dragon NW2 Gemfire's Zu SAR Gemfire's Dockside Dive CD FDC RN TKN CGC ASCA/UKC CH URO1 Gemfire’s Fun On The Run RA/RN CGCU CGCA TKA DNA-VP ASCA Mjr Pt’d Gemfire’s Spark In The Dark CA RNX RNC LS-N AKC CH Gemfire’s Ours Is The Fury CGC Gemfire’s Lollobrigida NA NAP NAJ NJP OA OAJ NF JS-N DNA-VP
Pointed Offspring: Gemfire's Reign Of The Dragon (2 ASCA Pts) Gemfire’s Quoth The Raven (2 ASCA Pts) Gemfire’s Fools Rush In (7 AKC pts) Gemfire’s Summer Out West (2 AKC pts) Gemfire’s Lloyds of London (5 ASCA Pts (major win))
Buying her as an older girl, with a very frequent cycle, I wanted to go ahead and get her breedings done and get her spayed. That way we didn't have to worry about sudden infertility, uterine infection, or loss of entries in performance venues. She gave me 4 gorgeous, healthy litters of beautiful babies, some of whom are already out there rocking the show and performance rings, and then she was spayed and we began her performance career.
Ali loved to play. She was the happiest, silliest, most outgoing girl I have ever owned, and she always had a smile on her face. She had already been shown in AKC and had points, but couldn't compete there anymore since she was spayed, so I started showing her in the ASCA Altered program. She did very well, picking up several Best of Breed and Best Opposite Sex wins the couple shows she was entered. She also quickly picked up legs in Rally, Beginner Novice, Dock Diving and Jumpers Agility, but sadly she never got to complete any of her titles.
Within 6 months of being spayed, I noticed something was off with Ali. She wasn't acting quite right. Nobody else noticed it, the vets couldn't pick anything up, and they told me it was just hormone changes from her spay. Over the next 3 months, I watched her change before my eyes. My normally bright-eyed, happy girl was not herself. She became belligerent, barking constantly for no reason, agitated in the house, seemed constantly uncomfortable and couldn't relax, and when outside did nothing but pace. She just couldn't settle. I knew something was wrong, but again, the vets didn't find anything and told me she was fine.
Then came the horrible day that my world crashed. I left for work after feeding breakfast to everyone, and Ali was perfectly fine and normal. When I got home that same day, Ali was almost comatose. She had a HUGE mass on the side of her neck, her lymph node on the left had swollen in 6 hours from normal to the size of a soccer ball. She could barely breathe, was gushing blood from her rectum, and was very disoriented. I quickly loaded her up and rushed her to the emergency vet.
After several hours, the vet came back and gave some hopeful news: he had gotten her stabilized, she was intubated, on IV fluids and antibiotics, he drew several vials of blood, aspirated all of her lymph nodes at neck, elbows, abdomen, groin and thigh for biopsy, took samples of her "stool" such as it was, and said she was going to be in ICU for a while. So I left her there and went home, absolutely devastated but knowing I had done all I could. I couldn't understand what had happened - we had just been at a show the previous weekend, and she had been fine, showing well and even getting a couple of wins in the Altered ring again.
Over the course of another 3 months, Ali rallied back and forth several times. The vet was initially convinced that we were dealing with lymphoma, and I still firmly believe that had he listened to me from the beginning, Ali would still be alive today. By the time we finally had answers, it was too late. Ali was suffering from a severe gastrointestinal infection, which had caused progressive damage and sent her into renal failure. By the time I made the decision to let her go, she could no longer absorb any nutrients, and was slowly starving to death. Her intestines were hamburger meat, her colon, kidneys, liver and pancreas had started shutting down, and there was nothing more to be done. The culprit ultimately ended up being well water contamination. The previous residents on our property had poultry that they did not treat regularly for parasites, and Ali paid the price for their negligence.
On June 18, 2017, Ali and I went to the lake where we played fetch with tennis balls and she went for a good long swim. Then we stopped by the diner and she had a hamburger and fries and a butterscotch milkshake, and then we were off to the vet. I held her in my arms, my heart breaking, tears pouring out of me, and promised her that she was done hurting. All the pain went away for her, and I will carry it in my heart instead for the rest of my days.