My baby princess, my best friend

Bangsiri is the one who picked me at the animal shelter three years ago. I had no plans to adopt an animal, but she ran up to me just as I was getting ready to leave. She was so lovable, so cuddly, so affectionate and so angelic that I couldn’t leave her behind.

Ever since that day, she’s been there for me as a best friend and guardian angel. She gives me kisses every night. When I’m tired or sick, she acts as if she’s the mother and I’m the baby. I think she worries about me as much as I worry about her.

Since Bangsiri left the shelter in 2008, many of her brothers and sisters have died. Recently her brother Timmy died of heart failure—it happened suddenly, after he’d improved and gotten more active. Ollie died the same day, but I don’t know how.

I’m struggling to write this post because I know how lucky I am to have my angel with me when so many adopters have lost theirs. But I would like to clarify some of my earlier statements.  Bangsiri has grade 5 heart failure and she seems stable on her new medicine, but there’s no way of knowing how long she’ll live—maybe three years, maybe less than a month. Any day could be our last day together.

I didn’t know how old Bangsiri was when I took her from Ms. Jung, but the first vet to examine her thought she was about 10 years old.

“She doesn’t have a long life ahead of her,” the vet said.

I didn’t listen, and I still don’t want to listen. Bangsiri still eats well and enjoys her walks—I think she can take more exercise on the new medicine. I’ve tried to learn about her condition, but what I’ve learned so far isn’t very encouraging. A valve in her heart is damaged and will never be normal—so I can’t expect a miraculous recovery like the one Fionna (another ARK dog) experienced.

Fionna was close to death from heart failure, but suddenly got better and was able to stop her medication altogether. There was no medical explanation. Fionna’s condition must have been different from Bangsiri’s—all I can hope to do is slow down the progress of this disease. She’s getting coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, enzyme supplements and cranberry supplements in the hope that they’ll keep her as strong as possible for as long as possible. I also ordered some amino acids for her, but they mostly sit on my shelf—what if they do more harm than good? Would herbs help? Her vet couldn’t give me a yes or no answer.

I probably could have prevented this problem by taking better care of her teeth. I don’t know what else might have made a difference, but my gut tells me that leaving her in a pet hotel for a week this past winter was a big mistake.

I love my beautiful princess. I’m very sad that she lost two brothers in one day and I feel terrible for their families. I also feel terrible for the animals who are killed to make prescription food, and angry that I may have to use this disgusting product for the rest of my angel’s life. I just don’t see what choice I have. I can’t feed her a product that will shorten her life. And I can’t look forward to a vegan future without her.

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