My Little Dog is Dying

There is never a good time to find out your dog is dying, but this could not come at a worse time for me and my daughter. This morning we rushed him to our vet because he was in such distress. X-rays showed his heart is so enlarged and he is congestive heart failure. He is ten years old.

I don’t bring my personal life into this blog very much because it is about helping women. But today is a very sad day for us and I have to share it so that I don’t take this so internally.

So I am going to tell you about Beaux.  Beaux is a Yorkshire terrier with papers that no one wanted because his ears don’t stand up and he is larger than the cute tiny Yorkshire terrier’s you see sitting in women’s handbags.

Beaux was two years old when he came into our lives eight years ago. We had had another Yorkie during the last years of my husband’s life. Shags showed up at our house on a terrible thunderstorm day when the Mayor of our City at that time, stopped by to visit. At that time in my life I did a lot of volunteer work with children and everyone knew me and my husband. We were both community minded people and my husband built many things for my projects with children. So we knew everyone in that City. When the doorbell rang I opened it to greet the Mayor and ‘Shags’ shot in looking like a drowned rat. I had no clue where he came from but dried him off and fed him because he was ravenous. For the next few weeks we put out signs to search for his owner. My husband walked him around our neighborhood hoping that someone would recognize him as their missing little dog, but they never did. A couple of months later Shags, a name given for his unruly look, was firmly part of our household. The vet said he was about eight years old at that time and he had heart worms. A few hundred dollars later, and two very difficult stays at the vet for treatment, he was much better. But poor Shags had heart damage. But he lived another four years in a much better environment with us, his adopted family.

My husband died on Easter Sunday 2004. Shags died within three months of my husband. Many things happened that year and our lives were full of stress and pain. But we got through it, my daughter and me together. We weren’t ready to have another dog until eighteen months later and my daughter began searching for a new member of our family. We were pressed for money but she gathered $250 together, hoping she could find another Yorkshire terrier. However, these kinds of dogs costs many hundreds. She saw an ad on line for a male for $250, so we decided to go and see him. It was a fair drive into Houston and we arrived at a tiny apartment where one man going through cancer treatments had 4 dogs all kept in pet carriers, indoors. He let us in and there were various sized carriers with various sized dogs in them. Each dog raising hell as they knew we were intruders in their lives.

The man opened up one carrier and out came Beaux. He smelled bad, had huge matted clumps of fur but was very, very excited to see us. He was so friendly and so loving from the get go. The man put on a leash and we walked him around outside the apartment building to see what he thought of us. He was very happy. So we went back indoors where the man produced his pedigree papers and shot records which were out of date. He apologized and took $25 off for us to renew them. Of course you all know it cost far more, but we had already decided Beaux was ours.

Beaux wasn’t his given name. Kim named him Beaux because she liked that name and it stuck forever. We stopped by a big pet store thinking we could get his shots with their vet and get him cleaned up by a groomer. He reeked and it was really bad in a closed car. The store was open but the vet gone for the day and without updated shots, the groomers wouldn’t touch him, so be brought him home. Three baths later and a lot of clipping off clumps of matted fur, Beaux looked much better and certainly smelled it.

This is Beaux. My daughter has picked him up so many cute shirts after Holidays at Target when they go to 90% off. This one is his Rufferee shirt.

Beaux is not a prissy dog. We have to take a hundred photos to get one half way decent picture because when you dress him up he goes nuts showing off. He runs around barking and almost all the photos are blurred. Then he stares at the treat jar as if to say “I performed not it is treat time”. We always wind up in heaps of laughter.

Beaux is the sweetest dog you will ever meet. He is loving to children although likes to stay away from them just in case they get over exuberant. Not long ago I had someone come by who is a friend and lawyer. She brought with her, her husband and six year old daughter who fell in love with Beaux because her parents are both working and not home enough for her to have one. He wasn’t sure what to make out of this little girl who decided she worshiped him. But with his usual patience he decided she was okay and allowed her to be his friend.

Beaux is still alive but we don’t know how long for. But I had to write about him now because when the time comes and we have to say goodbye, I am not sure I can.

I have written poetic stories about Beaux and when he came into our lives I wrote this one about him. He rules our house and he is King around here.

King Beaux

 He came this year into our lives
The cutest dog I know
We welcomed him, he gave us love
A funny dog named Beaux

 He rules the house and makes us laugh
He’s there when we feel down
He wags his tail and barks hello
For us he wears this crown

 So now our world is happy
Each day he makes me sing
And so I’ve proudly crowned him
A royal and gracious King

 Linda Kilpatrick
Christmas 2005

 When Beaux arrived. October 2005.

 I wrote this when I wrote this poem. “About the name Beaux! His previous owner had given him the registered name Manolito after a Spanish bull fighter. He called him Manno for short, but the name just didn’t work for us. After much deliberation we changed it to Beaux. In the meantime, Beaux is here in our home and he makes me want to write again. I haven’t felt that way since the death of my husband. That is just amazing to me!”


  1. Karen

    Dear Linda. Thank you for sharing about your precious little Beaux. I love the name! As you know, I have been a dog lover since I was a young child. I understand how hard it is to receive the sad news that your dog has a serious illness. I pray that medications or other treatments can give you a few more good years with Beaux. It’s really true that “Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.”

  2. Marianne

    Oh Linda& Kim, It is WAY TOO HARD to say goodbye to our fuzzy life companions /children/ flea bags/ friends/ hot pads/ crumb catchers/ best buds… Or what ever we call them. They are so unconditional in their love for us that we become dependant on them for their cheery tail wags everytime we reunite. I KNOW THAT incredible heartbreak we go through when they pass over the Rainbow Bridge. How I wish I could spare you two of the inevitable, but I can’t . When Kim said Beau had collapsed trachea my first thought was CHF instead. Dogs can live many years more with modern medicine. Prayerfully the diuretics and heart meds will give him some relief and ease his breathing. THAT’S your goal I know. No pain and no suffering. What a gift we can give our pets that we can not extend to our humans -Death -when it’s time, with dignity and with grace. My prayers and tears are with you. He knows you have been blessed by his little self. Thank you for sharing his antics with the world.

    1. lavalinda

      Marianne it is hard to believe because he looks so good on the outside. Doesn’t that sound all too familiar? When he is calm he does better but even seeing us causes him excitement and he goes into terrible coughing fits that scare us so much. We try to calm him but we’ve found the best way for him to calm down is to leave him alone so that he settles. But that is the hardest part of all. We are hoping his meds will give him an extension on life. We are not ready to let him go yet.

  3. Nancy Mikitka

    I am so sorry to hear your precious Beaux is so sick. Beaux is blessed because he has had both of your love and you both are blessed because of his love for you. How I wish he could have many, many more years of time with you, but I know whenever his time comes, the years he has had, have been better for having lived his life with you.

  4. Sylvia

    Look at that cute little boy with the smiling face! I am praying the medicine will ease his discomfort and the coughing will ease up a bit. May Beaux give you extra special moments in the days ahead. Beaux is blessed and so are you and Kim! I wish you a peace filled sleep tonight!

  5. Gina

    Linda, I’m so sorry to hear this, its always so hard to go through this. They bring us such joy and yes they become apart of our family. My thoughts and prayers have a blessed day.

    1. lavalinda

      Gina he is doing better on the meds but there is no cure. We just hope we will keep him around much longer. Thank you for your message.


    Linda, This is RR again, I forgot to tell you that our Vet gave the old Pom we had with the heart problem and collapsed Trachea a medicine that helped the coughing. ALSO we found out what worked for US was holding the little dog and rubbing her sides and chest, that seem to help the coughing stop too. I KNOW how SCARY those are!

    They didn’t get BAD to where you couldn’t help our old little rescued Pom with meds and attention until her last week when her poor little heart made her so sick she could barely walk and could NOT stop coughing hardly. THEN we knew it was time. YOU will know when it is time.

    I KNOW God sent us to save the poor little elderly Pom the day of my Mom’s funeral to get my mind on something else that needed ME! And we made her last yr a HAPPY one!

    Meanwhile ask the Vet all that is available? If you email me I might still have the name of the medicine that helped our OLD little Pom stop coughing, knowing me I might even have the bottle tucked away somewhere needing to be thrown out! OH MY!, But I could get the name off of it and email it to you before I threw it away if I look for it!

    Just email me (note my new email I think I’ve sent you before) because I KNOW we were given a med SPECIFICALLY to help stop the coughing attacks and as I said massage seemed to help much until the very end. MY PRAYERS and my HUSBAND’S too are with you all! RR


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