Ouchie and Dizzy were inseparable from the time we brought them home, but as they matured, it was easy to tell Ouchie from Dizzy.
Ouchie was the one with the floppy ear.
They fought as litter-mates, and with no mama-dog to stop them, they continued to tussle more and less seriously as they grew. Scotties are born with floppy soft puppy ears, which perk up to the traditional shape in the first few months of their life. Sometime after Ouchie's ears perked up, her right ear flopped back down. We never knew whether it was just a quirk - something that occasionally happens - or whether one of her tussles with Dizzy had gotten a little too serious.
Ouchie was the one with more grey in her face.
On the 23rd of October in 2002, Ouchie was hit by a car. She lay bleeding in the road, and we thought she was dead. But she lifted her head when we approached, so we rushed her to the emergency room. She survived that night. The next day, our vet operated on her to stitch her upper lip back together, where it had been torn away at the gum line. She had a dislocated hip, and strong little trooper that she was, she kept pulling it out of the specially constructed sling. It heeled that way, but she adapted to walking a new way. One of her canines died. It turned grey, but never got infected or caused any trouble that required extraction. Both Ouchie and Dizzy are brindle, which means they have multiple colors in their coats. After the accident, Ouchie had more and more white in her coat, especially around her muzzle.
Ouchie was the little one.
Ouchie was always smaller than Dizzy. Recently, though, she lost her appetite. She wasn't finishing her food, and letting Dizzy finish for her. She never complained. She never acted sick. But when we took her to the vet, he said her lymph nodes were swollen. In her neck, and throughout her body. It might be an infection, he said. He gave her antibiotics, but they didn't help. He said it could be chronic inflamed immune system, but he also took a biopsy to test her for cancer. The test was negative, but a few weeks later, a new biopsy came back positive for Lympho-Sarcoma. In August of this year, we were given the diagnosis and some choices. Her prognosis without treatment was not good. The vet said Ouchy had at most a month or two to live without treatment. We were planning to leave town in two weeks, and be gone for 3 more after that. How could we face leaving Ouchie behind and coming back just to wait for her to die? There were treatment options. The is a doggy oncologist in town. The treatment would be expensive, and might not work any better than the treatment offered by our own doctor.
We chose for Ouchie to be treated by our own vet. For six weeks, she came to the office once a week for an IV solution of Vincristine, a chemotherapy drug. She also took a half-tablet of prednisone each day, and one tablet of cyclophosphamid four days a week. At first, she loved the cheese-wrapped treats, but she quickly learned to spit out the tablets. Peanut butter worked as a strategy for a short time. Eventually we found Pill-Pockets, which are apparently Doggie-Crack. Her cyclophosphamid was a prescription we had to fill at Kroger, as the vet does not keep it in stock. Her little bottle read Ouchie "Dog" Hisle.
After six weeks, she started getting her chemo every three weeks. For a time, her swelling went down. She was perky, and she loved the extra attention. She was the only dog in the pack of three (our foundling Flood joined the pack in 2002) who got those yummy pill pockets. She got to ride in the car to get Tigger at school after she saw the vet. She got used to her route in the office, and would trot through the exam room door, and back to the scale for her weigh-in. She got a chubby little steroid tummy, but we could feel her spine through her back.
She was first on the pampering list and got lots and lots of positive attention these last four months. We'll miss our sweet scotty.
When Flar came home this evening, he let the dogs out of their crate to go outside. Ouchie didn't follow Flood and Dizzy out. She lay still in the crate. She wasn't breathing. She passed quietly in her sleep.
Critter says they will wait for me to be there before we put her to rest in the backyard. Next to Zesty, on the hill over the apple cellar. Mom and Dad will be there.
I'll add more pictures of Ouchie to the gallery when I get home.