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Kylie's Shambhavi Rose (est. 1999 - July 3, 2012)

Color: Black
Weight: 55 lbs
AKC Number: ILP
DOB: 2000
OFA: not done
CERF: not done (Pannus)

Est 1999 - July 3, 2012
Today I helped over the bridge my Groen rescue Kylie, formally known as Kylie's Shambhavi Rose. I don't read obituaries anymore, not since Jayanta died. They hurt too much. But they feel good to write, so I am grateful for the white space to remember her in, and to permanently mark her down in history.

The process of euthanasia was not met without resistance from my local veterinarian. Despite some opinions to the contrary by veterinarians, or those only seeing her in a time capsule, I do know my dog. I am an empath also. And I felt her day coming. But when I put my hands on her abdomen, I felt decay, dying and disorder. I felt sloshing fluids. Yet my vet felt certain I didn't know what I was talking about when I said she was failing. I asked about possible perforation from a small bone that showed up on xray, but he said no. Her vomiting started on Thursday, and at first I figured she had a bone in her stomach. But by Tuesday things had not improved, and I was feeling that it was just time. We reran the bloodwork that we'd run a month ago, all normal. Checked her urine, it had WBC in it. Put her on Clavamox, but she couldn't keep it down. Friday, xrayed her, nothing impressive but that bone. Now the next Monday, I told my vet it was time. We argued. The argument ended with him telling me to get another vet. Some of his words included things like his desire for success rates, and why would I "kill" my dog without trying more. My 13 year old dog that had immune mediated disease in 2007 from which she was lucky to survive, whom I promised a good death, and whom I lived with for 12 years, yes I most certainly do know that she has declined to a place of having no quality of life, and poor prognosis in the event of illness. Thank you.

I found greater compassion in another vet this morning and after gently helping her over, she performed a necropsy. Kylie had peritonitis, cause by rupture or the small intestine. The rupture/perforation was not caused by a foreign body, but by cancer. A second tumor, assumed to be the primary tumor, was found on her pancreas. She forgot to check the microchip site, as I asked, but she promised to do this in the morning, and for data's sake, I will share if there is any metastis from the microchip, as most of us do have chips in our dogs.

Never again will a practitioner override my own very strong empathic sense. I made a promise to Kylie that when she fell ill again, I'd help her over. Not doing so the moment I felt it that Monday morning made me sick to my stomach. I knew it was wrong and felt I cheated her out of the most peaceful outcome. Kylie flies free now.

Where Did She Come From
Kylie was picked up by Animal Control in Upland California around 1999. She went into a rescue program from which she was moved to several different foster homes because of her skill and love of killing cats, and her heeling tendencies toward people. Finally, Sanya of Hugadog rescue took her in. She was upset at seeing a dog bounced around for a year like that. She herself was beginning to wonder if she'd ever get Kylie placed until I came along. I was looking for a Tervuren but found Kylie. We met at a dog park because Sandra said Kylie was not very social in her own home, was more protective. It was love at first site. Kylie was sitting on my feet.

Our Life
We began with leash walks on the beach and in Rolling Hills Estates on the horse trails. When I felt ready, I let her off leash. One evening she bolted after a fox. I felt idiotic, panicked and crushed. What had I done. I called and called and walked around the point last seen... she came back about 20 minutes later. After that, I played hide and seek with her, making it her job to always know where I was. We'd hike twice a day, on the horse trails, or at the beach in Redondo. We tried dog parks a couple times, but it just wasn't her thing.

My fiance at the time was really who I was thinking of when I got Kylie. I kept feeling he needed a dog to hang with and play soccer with. But Kylie bonded to me. Kylie was territorial. When Alex' kids came over I had to monitor full time. She'd heel them if they moved too fast. Really I think she liked children, but she has always insisted on order when it comes to children, sheep or ducks. But with those two kids, it was an invasion of her space when we had them on weekends. We tried having her loose in the house, and she'd mark the kids' bedroom. So she had a crate for our away times. It was an oversized crate, big enough for a Great Dane. When my mother visited me, Kylie would follow her around the house, her nose on my mom's calf. I did finally have to lock her up, but she'd follow my mom around and just glare at her. My mom would turn around and say "you stop that you nasty thing." When I took my mom to the airport, Kylie tried to nip her. She was pissed my mom was in HER truck. That was something I could never convince Kylie of... that I got to say who was in my truck or my house. She would have none of this. One day, we were visiting Terry Kenney's place, and Kylie was hiding under the truck. That was a denning thing with her, but also what she'd do if it was hot. Terry walked past the truck, over by the guest house, and she nailed him right in the calf. I was appalled. I didn't even know what to do, I was so stunned. Terry nailed her with a tossed spur, but it was more insulting to her than anything. After that, I was more on guard with Kylie. I hear she doesn't do that with other folks. But of course, they are not HERS to guard.

Kylie had some cute denning habits. Initially she filled her crate with my stuffed bear collection, never chewing on them. She just piled them in there. She also liked very fluffy beds and would pile her blankets into a big mound. In her older days she ripped her blankets up, more a product of having bones buried in them than in a desire to tear them apart. She also began to prefer the hard floor, don't know why. After numerous shredded beds, I resorted to lining her crate with cardboard. Whenever I got a new big box, she got a new cardboard.

She loved squeaky toys, but was not really a fetch or tug dog. She did love to chase moving objects though. I got her into herding lessons in Long Beach-CA. The first year seemed like she just chased sheep. She did well if the trainer handled her, beautiful in fact. But when I handled her, it was always a mess. I nearly quit, but I was addicted, and I knew she needed to learn responsibility and have a job. We squeaked through started sheep, ducks and cows. I still remember my JHD. My first trial I think, at Ondracks. At the hold at the gate, she had to sit. She started to move to cover a sheep that moved, but I was too green to see that, and corrected her. Poor dog, would have been great but for me, lol. But she found her bliss on ducks. I started raising ducks for herding trials. I had 65 ducks, and let them free range the pastures by day, and sometimes the agility field at Chris Libs' place. The ducks would eat the snails and slugs on the field. Then Kylie would have to put the ducks away at night. Sometimes I'd wonder what kind of screwing around she was doing to take so long... only to find that a duck was having trouble navigating over a bush and Kylie was patiently waiting, never leaving a duck behind. Sometimes she'd gently push the duck with her nose. Kylie liked routine. Perhaps with a better handler, she'd have had more confidence to work with stock on any task, but she always had this proud air about her for routine chores. It made us both happy. I'd open the gate, and she'd trot off to collect the ducks.

Her other chore was to keep the sheep from knocking me down at feed time. She also liked this chore. Perhaps her favorite task was to chase the ravens off the feed if they threatened to steal from the sheep. Her other favorite chore was hunting rodents. Not only did she have a great passion for hunting and killing, but she would do so when requested. And if I was surprised by a rat and screamed, there'd she'd be in an instant to joyfully dispense of the thing.

But Kylie was a princess in her heart. She was certain she'd melt in the rain. If it was raining, she put her ears back, hung her head, and looked at me over and over, begging to be let out of chore duty. She also found her weakness in lambs (and cats). One day she killed a lamb I was tasked with caring for. It had pneumonia and was hanging out with the flock. I had only turned my back to count ducks, and when I turned back, she'd killed the lamb. I was stunned and shocked that my partner could do this. That really changed my perspective of Kylie. But it was an important lesson for a shepherd, to remember always that the dog is still a dog, no matter what. I had to walk away that day though. I was devastated and furious.

Kylie's trialing career wound down after we moved to Oregon. She was slowing down, seemed unwilling to work in bright sunlight. We later found she had pannus, but it had not manifest at that time. She just didn't want to participate in hot sun. The last sheep class I entered her on, she went and sat in the corner. That was an AHBA class. I had a full chem panel and thyroid screen done on her, the former of which I did annually. All normal. She did help set out stock at a couple trials, and she really liked that. She'd also played stock dog for some duck trials, and really that was so touching to watch. On one ASCA run on ducks, the judge said "that was a sweet run, one of the sweetest I've ever seen." Truly it was.

I started Kylie in training for Search and Rescue. Most times it seemed she really enjoyed it. But occasionally she just didn't work. I really couldn't figure it out at the time, other than the only times she didn't work well was with one particular group of people. I think the feeling was mutual in any case. She did a demonstration for a boyscout unit. I was a little nervous about all the kids. But she found them joyfully. And when 10 little boys wrapped their arms around her, she ate it up. I was shocked.

Then came July 2007. I had just let my Jayanta go, God Rest his Soul. I was scheduled to participate in a SAR seminar with Kylie the following week, and I was terribly out of sorts. I really wasn't feeling it. But I went because it was paid for. I took my new puppy with me, Savannah. The trainer told me to send Kylie for the search, and Kylie sat down instead. She'd never done that before, accept at that herding trial. I was mortified. And I noticed the scoff from that particular group Kylie didn't like. Regardless, a search dog should have passion for the search and so it didn't matter if she liked someone or not, she should just search. The rest of the seminar was spent starting Savannah.

After the seminar, I took Kylie to the vet, a board certified oncologist, Dr. Franklin. That was on Saturday. He phoned me Sunday morning and told me she was in danger of bleeding out. She had dangerously low platelets and wbc count. We started her on prednisone and doxycycline, and tested her for erlichiosis, and did a bone marrow aspirate. I had to work to pay for the procedures, so Lilith Meurer was so kind to collect Kylie from the hospital for me. Both tests were negative/normal. The prednisone did horrible things to poor Kylie. She lost control of her haunches, couldn't go up the stairs, couldn't hold her pee, and started eating feces. Her teeth started to break. She was already missing 5 premolars, so breaking teeth didn't help. Her thyroid crashed while on the prednisone. No less than 3 people told me she would die. The vet wasn't so sure. But he said "what the shit is wrong with her?" I put her on the same regime I'd had Jay Jay on after his mast cell tumor rupture, and then some. She was on yunnan balyao, caulis meletaea, artemisinin annua and noni. Probably other things I've forgotten. Her blood came back to normal quickly. She got acupuncture and as she weaned off the prednisone, her thyroid came back too. I treated her for four years, and her blood was always normal after that. I tapered off the treatment the fourth year, and hardly at all this last year. No regrets, we have to die of something.

Kylie helped raise puppies. She helped with a Golden Retriever puppy in a foster home, helped with a GSD litter at an employer's residence, and helped raise my first litter here in Montana. She's good with puppies, not so much with older dogs that annoy her. She had it in for Jairam's mother Disco, and inflicted some damage on my Savannah, after Savannah matured. But with puppies, she was a good teacher.

Kylie's cat passion was interesting. When we moved to Chris' place, she found a cat she couldn't kill. That was Chris' Bengal cat Zambi. Since Zambi was unafraid of Kylie, he couldn't be prey. And so they hunted together. I hope when I get an adapter for my old hard drive, I will find the photos of Kylie with Zambi, and maybe even herding photos. Those two would hunt the ravines around the Modjeska Canyon house. Occasionally, Zambi would curl up with Kylie and she would just get this look of disgust on her face...but do nothing. I think she would eventually just move, never being one to cuddle. One day before I moved to Oregon, Kylie saw Zambi coming across the driveway with a young rabbit he'd scored. Kylie wasn't fast enough to catch a rabbit. And she wanted that bunny. So they played tug of war, and of course she won. I did return the bunny to Zambi, but it was such a site to see her tugging with that cat.

Once in Oregon, Kylie had a new kitty friend. Samantha was a tuxedo kitty that lived in the barn. She'd go in the hay loft and race up and down with Kylie, who would run in the aisle below. At night, we locked the cats in the laundry room in the barn. They didn't always choose to come in, and so Kylie's new job was to herd the cats. It was funny, and maybe a little cruel, to watch her quiver as the battle between prey drive and trained behaviors would begin. But she was good, and Samantha found it quite amusing also. But not all the area cats were friends. Not really having much of a job at our new home, a horse farm I was managing, Kylie would hunt voles out in the field with my employer's GSD. They'd spend hours, and have so much fun. But there was a prey I didn't know about... a cat was living in the culvert under the roadway that entered the field by the barn. Kylie decided she had to have that cat. She ate her way through the diamond mesh horse fence to get to that cat. One day she did in fact have the cat. He'd come into the property, and into the old tobacco barn. Kylie caught him in there, and he was no more. I caught her in the act and the poor cat was still alive, I wisked him off to a hospital, and before I could get out the driveway, he took his last breath. That was an aspect of Kylie I hated. But I had to respect who she was, and thats when I would tell her "reincarnate as a bird of prey, then it will be okay for you to just kill."

I always found safety with Kylie. Most people like to believe their dog would protect them if an intruder came. Many dogs really won't. But Kylie would. I found out quite by accident that she' nail a person as sure as she'd nail a sheep. One day my friend Lynn and I were doing some chores around her farm, where for a time, my ducks lived. We were doing rat patrol, lifting up stored materials around the property and having the dogs kill them. Call it redneck, but that's what we did. With so many dogs, cats and poultry, poison was not an option. So Lynn and I were carrying something. I heard Kylie "talking" and mistakenly thought she saw a rat. We were just walking past my truck. I told Kylie "GET IT!" She got Lynn instead. I was mortified. But after that, I knew Kylie would "get" whatever I told her to "get." She had been talking because Lynn was approaching HER truck. No amount of correction ever changed that, nor treats from "visitors." That was just Kylie.

Kylie never would sleep with me, or cuddle. She was selfish or something, or had space issues. I will never know which. But she'd hear my eyelids open in the morning, or hear my breathing change as I passed from sleep to waking states. She'd get in my bed then, and ask for scratches. The moment I stopped scratching she'd leave. One morning, early in our relationship, I felt her curl up by my pillow and so I woke up. It was just unusual, so I had to. That was when she had giardia, and I'm sure the cramps scared her. So I knew she found her safety in me. That was the first time she ever turned down food. The second time in 12 years that she turned down food was last week.

I loved my Kylie. She didn't find the growth of my dog population much to her liking, though she did adore Jay Jay and Jairam. When she first fell ill, I truly panicked, not knowing how I'd manage my stock without her. Who would kill the rodents, and who would make me feel safe when I camped in my truck? Who would guard my home and protect my puppy? I've had five years to prepare for this day. It still hurts. But it is also a relief because my old girl just didn't have much vitality and joy after she got sick in 2007. And really there had been some declines before that, with the bright sun and heat and such. At the time, as her medical exams were all normal, I didn't know what to think about it.

I wish I had more fond memories of Kylie in her later years. She really just slept a lot, and moped around. Her coat had stopped shedding in 2008, and the hair would grow long like a Beardie, turn red, and die. I would rake and brush until she complained. I contemplated shaving her. I tried GroomKings and other things. Finally I resolved to just cut her hair to keep it short and brush out what I could once a week. It hardly looked like it help, and in fact, in some places, the undercoat came out and didn't seem to be replacing itself, so I stopped. I had shaved an old dog before, and it was a disaster, he couldn't keep warm. So I just kept her trimmed, and kept cutting mats out.

I miss my Kylie. I feel I didn't give her the best life, in the end. But I gave her the best death I could once she showed she was sick. I always told her she should come back as a bird of prey. That way she could kill whatever she wanted, without repercussion. I truly hope, that after her difficult life, she can just fly free forever.

The Last Weeks
Touching was painful for her. Meningitis is like that. The meningitis was secondary/tertiary to the cancer of course. A couple of the other Belgians became aggressive toward her, which was a big clue. I know Aarti had smelled cancer on a friend and growled at her. Some dogs respond that way. Kylie didn't. She smelled Jay Jay's tumor, and also a tumor on a friend, and she would just nose it deeply. I tried to take Kylie outside once a day at least to just sit there. I mean this outside her potty break. We just lay in the grass. Mary, my Great Pyrenees, kept coming to lay by Kylie. This really endeared her to me. But on this one day, she looked Kylie in the eyes deeply. She lay down, and put her right paw on Kylie's right paw. She put her head down then, and they lay there for a bout 30 minutes like this. The farm kitty came over and rubbed up against Kylie. The sheep came by, and paid their respects to a dog they hadn't any love loss for. One of the lambs put his head down to her nose, and Kylie licked him. That was another way the animals were letting me know. It made it so much more wrong to have that confused with medical manipulation. I was right. I'm sorry my dear. I love you.


Health Record

Bite Scissors
Dentition missing 3x pm1, and 1x pm2

pancytopenia/vaccinosis or undescribed cancer - maintained on artemisinin

pannus - maintained with oinments

Kylie's Resume


AKC Herding
HSAsd (and 3 legs on HSAc but two legs under same judge)

AHBA Herding
JHD (sheep) and one or two leggs on HTDIId, I think

ASCA Herding