Sheina Marie & Me: The Miniature Schnauzer I'll Never Forget!
The Most Incredibly Smart, Loving & Brave Miniature Schnauzer I Have Ever Had!
Sheina Marie came into our lives in 1997 when my husband and I had bought a new home and felt we were finally settled in to a good routine in our new location of Omaha, Nebraska. This was before I learned that there were Miniature Schnauzers in rescue, so our first step was to visit our local puppy kennel with a good reputation. We saw little 8 week old Sheina and it was love at first sight for us all. She became my constant companion and best friend, going with me just about everywhere. She even tolerated being dressed up now and then in pretty outfits. As a puppy, we took her on a summer vacation to southern Missouri and Arkansas where she got to wade in the White River and watch the tiny trout chasing each other around her feet! She ate incognito at a Denny's nestled in her doggie carrier and would have gotten by with it had she not decided to bark at the waitress!
About a year later, Sheina was joined by her new best friend, Sparky Lynn, another Miniature Schnauzer dear to my heart. They were inseparable whether they were lazing in the summer sun or romping through the paths my daughter would shovel in the deep snow for them in the back yard in Winter.
After eight happy years, I discovered a lump on Sheina's neck one day and rushed her to the vet to have it checked out. The news was bad. Sheina had Squamous Cell Carcinoma, a vicious fast growing cancer.
By that time I had been working in Schnauzer rescue for a number of years. Two of my rescue's best volunteers, Sheryl and Bob, offered to underwrite Sheina's treatment at Iowa State University vet clinic in Ames, Iowa. Right now, many years later, I am tearing up at remembering that vet visit. I couldn't stop crying throughout the whole visit. Thankfully Sheryl was with me for support. They proposed a course of chemotherapy which would be administered by our local vet in Omaha. Being desperate to do anything to save her, I agreed to the treatment.
Sheina got very sick with the chemo and suffered a great deal but then did rally and make a substantial improvement. She had several very good weeks before the cancer got the best of her. On her last day, the vet gave me a steroid injection to give her which allowed her to breathe more comfortably as she took her final breaths while guarded by Scrappy Jack, our youngest Schnauzer who had been her "nurse" all along.
This experience with Sheina taught me one thing about this horrible disease. In the event I have another dog diagnosed with this disease, I will have its suffering ended early and not put it through what Sheina went through. Sometimes letting go is so hard, and we tend to keep the dog alive for us rather than for them. It was a hard lesson to learn.
Remembering Sheina in happier times though gives me hundreds of precious memories that I can never forget! And memories are the comforting shawl we can wrap around ourselves when nights are long and cold.
Sheina & Sparky - Good Times!
Sheina, enjoys the cold water "pool" in the hot tub with her BFF Sparky!
A Hard Question...
If your dog were diagnosed with a terminal illness, what would you do?
This Is MY Remote! - You think you're changing Animal Planet? I don't think so!
Sheina On The Trip Back From Iowa State - One Tired Little Girl
It was a hot July day when we made the trip to Iowa State, and it was around 100 degrees. Mommy had to make a pit stop at a rest area. It was the first... and only time I have ever risked being arrested for the sake of a dog! There was no shady parking, I couldn't leave the car running while I ran inside... so I decided Sheina was coming along! Inside, we encountered some state official guard who curtly informed me that dogs were not allowed in the restroom!
Being very brave, I informed the gentleman that he had two choices: He could let my dog go with me, or I would go right there on the floor and he could clean it up. He shook his head, turned and walked outside, and in we went! I do admit I kept watching my rearview for state troopers until I got out of Iowa!