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Monday, February 14 2011

It was a good day to die. The temperatures are mild again.  The sun smiled on us. Alice started her day, like every day, with a morning walk in the pasture. She went over to Grandma's house for fresh eggs.

She shuffled around the sheep.

Then she ate a hearty breakfast and went back to sleep. She woke in the middle of the day and went outside to lay in the sun. Before I took Trace to his puppy agility class, I made sure she was back in the house.  She was. She was sleeping in my bedroom. Farting. Bloodhound puppies smell like Fritos corn chips.  On a good day, adult Bloodhounds have a rank, hound smell.  Bathe them in rose water and they smell like wet Bloodhounds.  An ancient Bloodhound with skin problems and oozing tumors smells like a decomposing body. That's what Alice smelled like as she happily lay holed up in the Blue Heeler's kennel . . . farting. I'm sure Blue Heeler didn't appreciate Alice stinking up his kennel, but he would never say anything to evict her. No one argued with Alice.  She came. She went. She did her own thing. No one questioned it. 

If she wanted your kennel, you left it. If you didn't, she would just walk in there with you.  She was Pig Pen in the Charlie Brown cartoons - a funky haze followed her everywhere. Because no one wanted to be in a confined kennel with a Funky Bloodhound, the rightful owner never failed to vacate and let Alice have Squatter's Rights until she moved on someplace else. So I left her in Blue Heeler's Kennel.

I returned to find her in my office - on her own dog bed. She seemed fine. We left and went to dinner.  When we got home I went to the barn and fed the livestock while Other Half and Son fed the dogs. When I returned from the barn, Other Half informed me that Alice was dying.

"Do what?"

I was confused.  I argued with him.  No, Alice was fine.  I just left her a couple of hours ago and she was fine. She ate her eggs. She putzed around the pasture.  She had a good day. Alice was fine.

No. Alice is dying.

So I went to see for myself.  He was right.  He had found her on the couch, where she had thrown up watery foam. When he called her for dinner, she moved to her dog bed in my office.  She had thrown up white foam all over the office and her bed. She wouldn't eat.  I put a hand on her tummy.  I could hear her gut.  I could feel the motion of something, be it gas or blood, oozing through her.  This was so very bad.  She was in pain.  It was time.

So Dear Friend and Vet Husband rushed over with drugs.  He sedated Alice to help with the pain until he could get to the clinic and back with the drug he needed. While he was gone, Other Half and Son dug a hole. Dear Friend and I sat with Alice. And then the most amazing thing happened . . .

Dear Friend announced that she smelled lavender. I informed her that all I could smell was rank bloodhound funk. She insisted that she smelled lavender. I insisted that there was no lavender in the office or the bathroom across the hall. 

And then . . .  I smelled it . . .

She was right. I whiffed it too!  Here and there, hints of lavender wafted through the room.  How could that be?  I looked down at the old dog, sedated and dying, and the most bizarre thought popped in my head.  Perhaps, just perhaps, the angels that God sends for good little Bloodhound souls, smell of lavender.  Lavender Bloodhound Angels.

I have no idea where the lavender came from.  We both smelled it. I checked that room again this morning.  There is no lavender potpourri, no lavender candles, nothing. Alice is gone now.  And so are the whiffs of lavender.  But wouldn't it be fitting?  I know that I for one, will never think of lavender the same way again.  And I'll plant some lavender on Alice's grave, and always remember the Lavender Bloodhound Angels that came for Alice last night.



Kona passed away June 2010.

Alice passed away February 2011.

May they run through the lavender fields of Heaven together today.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  13 Comments  |  Email
Kona and Alice are healthy and happy running in Heaven's lavender fields. Godspeed Alice.
Posted by Janie on 02/14/2011 - 01:17 PM
Kona already knows how to share with Alice, doesn't he? Penny, too. I love the dark lavender throw on the chair Alice was curled up on. Hugs from Wisconsin.
Posted by Peg H. on 02/14/2011 - 02:43 PM
Godspeed Alice. Follow the Lavendar scents home.
Posted by Roosterchick on 02/14/2011 - 04:04 PM
Oh my! I'm so sorry about Alice. May she and Kona romp in Heaven together. I lost a buddy this morning too. Gloria, one of my Nubian goats. Lord only knew how old she was, I've had her 6 years. She was trying to kid and she ruptured. Thank goodness for great vets who are compasionate when this big, tuff, goat farmer breakds down and cries as they put her goat to sleep...............
Posted by shawna on 02/14/2011 - 06:30 PM
I'm sorry for your loss. May she run happily in lavender fields with all the dogs who went before her.
Posted by CarolG. on 02/14/2011 - 09:25 PM
I'm so sorry, but know it was time. Beautiful story. There's something comforting to the thought that beloved dogs are together again, doing things they loved. Good thing for Alice that God allows and encourages counter surfing.
Posted by CeeCee on 02/14/2011 - 09:47 PM
Sweet Alice, have a nice rest. I've always loved that you have such great pictures of all your animals. I also have a "little old dog" of nearly 17 years that I watch for signs of pain or that she is dying. Sometimes I wonder if we should help her along; and then I see her dancing around in excitement for her supper or to go outside. So...we wait.
Posted by Jonnie on 02/14/2011 - 09:50 PM
Thank you all so much. Alice will be missed. She is on her own journey now, farting lavender blossoms. (grin)
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 02/15/2011 - 11:33 AM
I am so sorry for your loss!!! Its hard to let the old ones go, because they have been there for so long but now she is at peace!! I know you were wondering a while back about her time, its a blessing she was able to tell you and you understood her and let her go..
Posted by Gin'.a on 02/15/2011 - 02:36 PM
So, so sorry for your loss. We shed some tears for the old girl. You have some great memories of her and her shenanigans over the years. Lavender at her gravesite is such a great idea. Ken and Mary of Fancyfibers Farm, Texas
Posted by Ken and Mary Berry on 02/15/2011 - 03:19 PM
I am so sorry for your loss. May Alice rest peacefully over the rainbow.
Posted by Carolynn on 02/15/2011 - 07:30 PM
I'm so sorry to hear the news about Alice. I had a blood hound once and they are unique to say the least. I loved the way they bay (don't know if I spelled it correctly). Either way, she is no longer in pain. May you always have wonderful memories of her. Cyber hugs. Letha
Posted by Letha Simmons on 02/16/2011 - 12:28 PM
Did not know her long but she certainly looked a grand dog. Not common here so it was nice to meet her. May she sniff the long trails at the bridge and be free from old age
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust,) on 02/17/2011 - 12:36 AM

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