Sasparilla started showing signs of improvement. Unfortunately, her disease had spread. Last Monday night, I found Sasparilla, seizing, on the floor. An incredible friend drove us to the vet as fast as possible. The ride there was an experience I wish I could forget. She seized the entire 50+ minute drive. When we left, they were still having some trouble getting control of her condition. They were able to get a handle on things early Tuesday morning.
I am normally pretty grounded in rational thought and scientific explanation, but I remember the distinct feeling that Sasparilla left her body at a specific moment, during the frantic and interminable drive to the vet. Like most people who aren't ready to let the things they love go, I clung to denial and hope, pretty desperately. On Tuesday, I chose to taper off the seizure medication, hoping that she would improve with aggressive therapy.
The one thing I have never questioned is the level of care given to her at her veterinary hospital. She received only the best medical care, and seemed to be adored by everyone. Despite this, by Wednesday, I knew that her condition had already made the choice for me, regarding her treatment. Yet, having seen her battle and overcome obstacles that no life should ever face, I still hoped for a miracle. On Thursday, she was treated for comfort until I could make it to the vet.
The dog I was greeted with was not the Sasparilla Brussels Sprout that I (and a great number of people) knew and loved. Which is, perhaps, the greatest tragedy of this. My sister and I were only able to say goodbye to the body that housed the thing that gave her life. Her little person, her spirit, her character...it was gone.
Sasparilla was, and offered, so much more than her body was made for. This is a huge loss, but I know it is not my loss, alone. In a recent email, a friend wrote, "I don’t think any dog possesses the ability that Sasparilla had to make people just fall in love with her the moment they met her.... She just had a way of making people feel special." Sasparilla Brussels Sprout was an extraordinary little life.