This little girl kept my feet warm at night.
This little girl woke me in the morning with a sloppy wet kiss.
This little girl could melt even the most hardened heart.
This little girl was always happy - except on bonfire night when she was terrified.
This little girl loved chewing sticks - and my best shoes.
This little girl loved life and lived it to the full.
This little girl could be a proper little madam.
This little girl loved me unconditionally and I her.
This little girl went away much too soon.
This little girl will never grow old.
Canine Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia is a disease I knew nothing of, it's symptoms are initially mild - lethargy, lack of appetite, and can be progressive or appear suddenly. Other signs can be pale or jaundiced gums, ears and eyelids. In AIHA antibodies attach to the red blood cells and cause the body to believe the red blood cells are a "foreign invader". This causes the immune system to attack the red blood cells and destroy them. It is serious and it can kill. If detected early enough, it can be treated though the dog will most likely be on steroids for the rest of it's life. The cause of AIHA is not known with certainly, fortunately it is rare. Studies suggest that middle-aged female dogs and certain breeds are at a higher risk.
My little girl was 6, her symptoms were mild, we thought she had a bad tummy, like dogs do. When she didn't improve after a couple of days, we took her to the vet - we were told we had a very sick dog. The vet showed us her gums - they were yellow (why didn't I think to look inside her mouth). She was admitted immediately for treatment, she died that night.
You can read up more about this disease on the internet, one site is here, but there are many more. If you have a dog, especially a female, please read up and be aware of the symptoms to look out for. I don't want to worry you, it is uncommon, I just wish I'd known what to look out for.
My little girl was called Pickle - it suited her personality. She went away 2 ½ years ago, I think of her every day, it broke my heart.