Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Braedy Boy aka Mr. B

A tribute to my beloved Braedy, also known as Braedy Boy or Mr. B, the love of my life.  Happy Birthday Braedy!  Today, December 30, 2012 you would have been 13.  Oh how I wish you did not leave me.  I am sad beyond words and my heart is broken in so many pieces that I don't know if I will ever heal from this.  I miss you so much!  

Partly to help me and partly for people to read what I've written about my Braedy Boy, is the reason behind this blog.  

Braedy was always such a happy boy.  Other than 12/22/12 when I picked Braedy up from my vet, I don't think I've ever seen him unhappy.  

Braedy's parents were Int. & US Ch. Merrymac Going To The Top & Ch. Snowtaires Fleur De Lea.  Braedy was one of the most special babies I've ever been blessed to have.  He was my soul mate.  He loved us and we adored him.  

On March 1, 2000, we drove to the cargo office in Phoenix, AZ to pick up our little bundle of joy.  Braedy was out of a litter of 9 babies and was Blue Boy.  He was chosen for us by Barb Decker and I will be forever thankful to her for picking such a perfect little guy for us.  I would not have changed this decision for anything in this world.  

Upon arriving at the Alaska Airlines Cargo Office, the folks there said that this little boy was quiet and so content to just watch everything going on around him.  I said hello to him and opened his crate door.  Out came a fawn looking, dark red, leggy puppy boy who gently climbed into my arms with a peaceful demeanor, not afraid of anything and happy to be with his new family.  I remember looking at this perfect little guy who was so red and so happy.  The flight, the waiting, the new family, nothing bothered him.  He was very secure in himself.  

Into the motor home we went and as I held him, I introduced him to his new brother, Sebastian who was a Scottish Terrier and Hillary a long coated Chihuahua.  Hillary was very maternal and was happy to see something smaller than she.  Sebastian was not too sure and quickly snapped at Braedy, causing him to scream and bleed on the paw.  Of course I consoled him but he quickly got over it and forgave Sebastian, though I did not leave them unattended together.  

I held Braedy for the 3 hour drive to Yuma, AZ and he sat in my lap, giving me kisses, sleeping some but watching all the sights pass by.  He didn't seem to want to close his eyes for long for fear that he might miss something.  ;)  That's my Braedy Boy!  

Once we were home, he checked out the house and the yard.  He wanted to run and play and he certainly had the legs to do so!  Very quickly, Sebastian & Hillary welcomed their new brother who would eventually outgrow them.  But for now, they were so happy to have someone their junior.  ;)  

Braedy was a good sleeper.  He would sleep in our bed and never wet the bed or the floor.  He was incredibly easy to house break and had a fantastic appetite except for the last few months.  

Braedy was game for anything and everything.  We would hike and he loved it; we would boat and he loved that too; we would camp and he adored that.  Braedy loved the desert, the mountains, the beaches, the lakes, camping, he loved the snow, the rain and the heat.  He loved our pool in Arizona and found great pleasure in jumping in.  

There wasn't anything in life that Braedy did not enjoy doing.  He was up for anything and we would explore so many things with him.  Only in the last 3 months or so, did he become more picky about eating.  Prior to that, it was always a standing joke that Braedy would eat foil if you gave him the chance.!!!!!  

My husband, Jess, would jump in the pool and when he would go under water, Braedy would bark and jump in to save him.  Braedy would grab his forearm and try pulling him to the stairs.  It was very interesting to watch him.  We tried it time and time and each time, Braedy did the same thing.  

Braedy and Sebastian would run around the pool and chase each other but Braedy was always careful never to fall in, whereas Sebastian would fall in the pool.  

We tried gluing his ears but he was not happy with it and figured out that jumping in the pool right after, loosened the glue.  He was too smart for his own good.  So, we let him have HIS own ear style.  He would have made a great show dog, but we wanted him to be our baby boy.  

Braedy loved going for walks with my husband and me every day.  The very first day as we walked in our neighbourhood, some sirens went off and his tail dropped but never after that one time.  From that point on, he was not bothered by city noises.  

At 5 months old, we decided to drive up to visit Barb, Robin Edgar (Flad at the time) and all of Braedy's relatives.  We got to meet Clair & Maggie (his litter sisters), Elliot (Wheaten Terrier) and Iris (his mother).  They had a grand time, though his mother was a little bitchy to him at first but he didn't let that stop him from enjoying himself.  

Our laundry room in Arizona could be entered from the family room or from the pool area.  Braedy never liked knowing that we were somewhere he wasn't or couldn't be.  Braedy was no more than 6 months old.  I was doing laundry but could hear him outside the laundry door leading to the pool.  He would scratch on the door.  I would say "no."  He would wait and start again.  I would open the door to let him see where I was and he would very happily come inside and run off with socks or hand towels.  I was trying to finish my laundry without having to run after Braedy constantly so we'd start the process all over again.  One day as we started all over again, Braedy walked through the pool area door into the laundry room.  OMG, he ate a hole big enough to put his body through.  Yes that is correct!!!!!  At this point, he made it to the top of my list of naughtiest dogs I have ever had in my life!  So now we had to replace the door.  What a determined little fellow he was.  

The pool area had a 6 foot fence and gate.  Every once in a while, I won't name names, a certain someone would forget to close the gate.  I would look out my window and there was Mr. B in the middle of the pool on TOP of the pool cover.  I think he thought it was his floating chair or something.  All he needed was sun glasses and a Guiness and he would look the part.  Really!  

He loved the pool very much and would push a big beach ball in the pool and swim.  

8 months later, we decided to move to Washington.  A 3 day drive with a one year old Irish Terrier was definitely not dull.  Braedy had the time of his life going on different walks as we explored different places on our way up to WA.  But, the entertainment that kept him busy and distracted was a 2 litre bottle (empty).  Braedy would run to the back bedroom of the motor home and up to the front and that would go on multiple times daily while on the road.  He would always end his activity on my lap watching the sights as we drove by and falling asleep in my arms/lap.  

The first Irish Terrier picnic we attended was in 2001 at Ellen's home in Arlington.  Braedy won the bobbing for hot dogs contest.  Why doesn't that surprise me?  He was so food motivated that he would do anything for it.  ;)  He was also such a character.  It was blazing hot at the picnic.  There were buckets of water all over the 5 acres.  Braedy decided, in front of everyone, to go into a bucket that certainly was not a pool, and he laid down in it to get cool.  He always loved water.  He also proceeded to steal his mother's hat and made it well known that he wanted it on him.  So, we did just that.  There were a good 50 dogs there and Braedy was great with all of them.  

We arrived in Washington in January 2001 and stayed with some friends of ours in Renton until our home in Kent, WA closed in March.  These friends of ours lived on a ranch with dogs, cats and horses.  They boarded horses so there was always someone there coming to feed or exercise their horses.  Braedy would tell us each time someone arrived and left.  His ability to jump with his feet touching about 6 feet was very noticeable.  

Finally we moved into our home in Kent, WA in March 2001.  Home sweet home.  A gorgeous home with two levels and a huge entertainment size deck and great yard.  Braedy enjoyed going up and down the stairs, checking out all the rooms, running on the deck, peeking in through the windows to see what we were doing and chasing rabbits and squirrels in the yard.  On those rare sunny days, Braedy would get to the top of the deck and watch what the neighbours were doing.  The deck was at the second story level so he could see everything.  There were a few Evergreen trees in the yard that squirrels would run down, torment him and run back up.  Braedy was never going to forget those pesky things that just would not leave him alone.  Each day he would go under these trees and wait for them to come out. Each day he would bark with his mouth open alerting me to the pests that tormented him.  And each day, Braedy would attempt to reach them by jumping up, grabbing ahold of a branch and swinging like a monkey.  No joke!  I have some pics of him doing this.  

One day while Braedy was outside chasing something, I was calling to him "Braedy Boy" and he came.  He ran inside the house with this long thing with a long tail hanging out of his mouth.  I was sick to my stomach watching it and hoping he would not eat it.  He never did eat any game that he caught.  So after chasing him around the dining room table, Braedy finally sat for me and dropped this huge thing in my hand and into a paper towel.  I called my friend Kris who had Braedy's brother Murphy in Wisconsin.  Any way, we discovered it was a young possum.  YUKKKKK.  I had cooked spaghetti that night and when I sat down to eat, I could not bring myself to eat the long spaghetti noodles as they reminded me of the Possum's long tail.  ;)  

Next on Braedy's list was a slug.  I did not know what it was.  All I knew was that it was gross looking.  Braedy could not breathe properly and he was doing something strange with his tongue.  A vet in Covington told me that after eating the slug, his tongue and throat would be anesthetized from the slime.  Braedy's new nick name was Slug Breath.   

In 2002, my parents came to visit for 6 weeks.  One time after dinner, my father left his plate on the edge of the counter with an entire corn on the cob that he did not eat.  Braedy who was a master counter surfer, quickly snatched it up and before I could say "drop it," he swallowed the entire thing.  He seemed to be trying to bring it up but could not so I called Robin and she told me to give him some Peroxide.  I did that and he started to throw up but nothing was coming.  Around 2 am Braedy started vomiting violently so I called Robin again.  At this point in time I was very worried.  His body seemed caved in and he was clearly very sick.  Off to the emergency vet we went.  Braedy lost about 8 pounds of fluids over the last day.  Before the vet would even talk with us, we had to give a $500 to $600 deposit.  The place was cold (not literally).  The vet came in and after looking at Braedy, said that he probably would not make it through the next day.  He wanted to perform surgery.  I wanted to know if he could save his life.  He was very aloof.  I  told him about how my previous boy died and again, very coldly he said "this one may very well die too."  At this point in time, I made a decision.  I told the vet to NOT do surgery unless he thought Braedy was dying.  I told him that I wanted him to basically keep Braedy alive until 8 am at which point I would take him to my wonderful vet, Dr. Onorati.  I prayed and prayed and at 8 am, Braedy was still a very sick boy but I could not get him out of there fast enough.   Dr. Onorati took Braedy in and after some xrays, he said that we could do surgery OR we could give him Barium and xray him and continue this to see where and how it was moving.  He said that if he thought the corn was going to puncture a hole he would go in instantly.  So we did as he suggested.  Braedy went home with Dr. Onorati to be monitored closely.  Long story short, Braedy never needed surgery and was as good as gold.  Corn on the cob was never looked at the same way again.  

Braedy did not need anyone to help entertain him.  He found so many things to do and to enjoy.  He would bug Sebastian to play and for the first few years, they would chase each other.  Hillary was not so keen on doing too much running as she was a lazy girl but she had great joy in watching Braedy and when he would calm down, she would clean him and care for him.  Braedy's best friend, Moe, was a Rottie mix who lived next door.  Moe did not have a fenced yard, so she would come over for a play date and the two would wrestle and run and play for hours.  

Moe's parents did not like her coming inside and running around.  She was allowed to be on a mat and that was it for the inside dog privileges.  One day my nephew left the gate open accidentally and Braedy was gone.  I thought my heart was ripped out of my chest.  We lived next to a wild life area and my mind started racing on all the horrible things that could have happened to him.  I ran around, drove around, my nephew went on his bike.  We could not find Braedy.  The phone rang and it was Moe's father.  He said Braedy was on their NEW swing on the deck just chilling.  ;)  Imagine how relieved I was and yet I was also laughing inside.  Braedy was waiting for Moe it seems.  What a character.   

We use to enjoy going to grandma's house in the country because Braedy just loved it there plus we enjoyed seeing Robin & our redhead family.  Lucy, who was a half sister to Braedy, was in season.  Everyone said neutered dogs do not tie.  Well Braedy was interested in Lucy.  We were watching them but were not too worries as he would not tie with her and therefore pregnancy was not an issue.  Of course Braedy would be his determined self and he tied with Lucy.  Imagine our shock!  

When we visited Robin, we would stay in our motor home on her property but every morning, in the wee hours, Braedy would ask to go out.  He would make his way to Robin's doggy door which by the way he never had one before or any experience with one, and he would go through and go right into the bedroom and kiss Robin to wake her.  He also knew where she kept the treats in the pantry and would sit and watch the door to subtly hint to her that he deserved some treats.  Braedy adored his grandma and regardless of how old he got, when he saw her he would become this 8 week old puppy all over again and his entire body would wag in excitement.  

Braedy hated to be groomed after he had a bad experience at 5 months old.  He would get pretty bad on the table but Robin and I figured out that if we kept his mouth busy, we would be able to do what we needed to do.  So, we would get the peanut butter and while Braedy's mouth was busy trying to unstick the thick peanut butter from the roof of his mouth, we would get the grooming done.  This went on for years but after a lot of patience on my part, Braedy no longer was bad on the table.  It only took about 3 years!!!!!!  Or was Braedy conning me into thinking he hated it so that he could get anything he wanted...hmmmm Mr. B..clever!  

In October 2002, Bronwyn (same mother) joined our family.  Braedy couldn't be happier.  He was so happy to have another redhead to run and play with.  Bronwyn was very small and sweet and Braedy loved her instantly.  The two were never separated.  They slept together, played together, walked together, ate together.  Braedy would teach Bronwyn some boundaries and she would listen to big brother and never challenge him.  He was a great teacher that way.  

Braedy taught Bronwyn that if they were getting treats, he MUST always have the last one.  He would teach her that his food bowl was his and she must NEVER advance toward it no matter what.  Bronwyn never took a chance to challenge these rules.  Braedy's relationship with Moe changed after he got his baby sister.  Moe did not take to Bronwyn and Braedy became very protective of her so the only time Moe and Braedy got to play, was without Bronwyn around.  Bronwyn ate but was not super food motivated whereas Braedy would eat foil if you gave him the chance.  Bronwyn slept under the covers where Braedy slept on top.  Bronwyn rarely barked where Braedy would bark to alert us for different things but never for no reason.  Bronwyn knew no strangers but Braedy would be very friendly but at the same time, very protective.  Braedy was a disciplinarian where Bronwyn was a playmate to everyone.  At the same time, Braedy never challenged another Irish Terrier.  He was a gracious host at all times when anyone came to our home, 2 legged or 4.  He was always friendly but also very much the watch dog.  

Braedy was the Nanny to all of my redhead babies.  He was the disciplinarian too.  He had a great temperament and loved to play.  He got along with all dogs, regardless of breed and sex.  The mum would nurse their babies and basically turn them over to Braedy to take care of.  He did a great job!  

Braedy loved hunting rabbits.  When we moved to Roy, WA in February of 2005, Braedy found himself being kicked by a mama deer who was protecting her baby.  We did not know that the fence company fenced in these two.  Braedy, however, was such an avid hunter that he got too close to the mama deer causing her to react by kicking him in the head.  

Braedy would catch rabbits and usually the big ones but he would never hurt them, kill them or tear them apart.  He would parade his catch for all his nieces, nephews and sister to see what a big smart boy he was.   It was so interesting to watch him.  He started out his first catch when we moved to Roy, with a newborn bunny.  It really looked like a newborn Irish Terrier.  Braedy was much younger and was not as inclined to give up his catch.  One time I saw that he found a newborn bunny nest inside a tree stump, so I said "Braedy no," but he quickly gulped it down.  So now Braedy was known as bunny breath.  

Bronwyn was never as good at hunting the big bunnies but was equally proud when she would catch one.  Bronwyn would run home and into the house as we would leave the doors open in the summer.  She would bring this small bunny in for us to see her catch.  Of course they were always much smaller than Braedy's and they were clearly very young but not newborns.  I would just say to her "Bronwyn, drop it," and she would of course do as I said.  Though she and Braedy shared the same mother, and though they had similarities, Bronwyn was/is a very sweet, very good girl and was not quite as spirited as Braedy.  Bronwyn's trainer once said that she was a terrier who did not know she was/is a terrier.  I would tend to agree.  She showed and finished her championship but she has been an intricate part of my breeding programme and I would certainly never change that for the world.  Her temperament is unlike any others.  

Braedy was the leader of the pack from the time he was about 9 months old until he died.  He never relinquished his status.  When it came time to be fed, he was very serious that no one else would get his food.  When treats were being handed out, Braedy was always looking at who was next to him.  He would not want anyone getting the last treat.  So, we made sure that Braedy always had the last treat and we would always let him know that it was "all gone."  He knew those words very well.  

Braedy was my enforcer.  If I scolded someone, he would jump in and let them know that Mummy meant business and they should mind.  At times I would have to let him know that I did not need any reinforcement.  ;)  

Braedy loved Moo Moo Cows.  Whenever we passed cows on any of our trips, he would stand up in the motor home and just be so alert and sometimes he would talk to them.  ;)  

Braedy loved to be chased by his sister and other relatives.  He did some chasing but he was in his glee when they would chase him.  I think he just liked being the centre of attention.  

Braedy loved Christmas and loved opening wrapped presents.  Every year we would get them all presents and they would have such a great time opening each present and getting the paper shredded.  

When he was just days away from being one year old, Braedy was curious about the Christmas tree and started opening presents.  Immediately we bough an Xpen and had to put it around the tree and presents.  

Braedy loved hugging and if you would rub his chest and his white spot, he would always wrap his arms around yours.  He loved to kiss and he loved to kiss away tears.  Braedy knew me as well as I knew him.  He would know what was going on with me, before anyone else would.  

You couldn't do anything in his presence that he did not want to duplicate.  One time I locked myself out of our home.  I went all around looking for access and right there next to me was Braedy every step of the way.  I finally figured out that the window in my master's bath was not secure so I went up on the deck and started pushing to see if I could force it open.  It was a very small window, so thankfully I'm not big.  I was able to squeeze myself through but as quickly as I put both feet inside my bathroom, Braedy was also in.  :)  

When we first moved to WA, I got a great job as the director of a school.  It was what I studied for.  I had previous experience.  My first day leaving Braedy, Sebastian & Hillary for a full day since it was all the way in Seattle, was certainly difficult for all of us.  I left the house open for him/them to go downstairs and go through the garage into the back yard if they wanted.  When I got home, I was shocked that Braedy was so busy.  Yes, Braedy.  No one else would be this detailed! Braedy took everything he could grab and drag from the garage into the back yard. Everything from the laundry room and from any room that he could get to.  I thought to myself that this looked like the Projects!  No kidding.  Braedy was a busy boy.  And he was not feeling guilty about it.  He made no bones about letting me know just how upsetting it was for him.  I tried this for 3 weeks but clearly Mr. B was not going to have it so I resigned.  I know....!  Anyway, we were all happy to be together all day again.  

Braedy was never at home as a back seat driver or as a second class citizen.  When Jess would be driving our boat, Braedy would not just be up front.  He would be in his lap!  If not in his lap, he would ride shot gun.  In the motor home, he would have to be on the dash board.  He and Bronwyn laid there and would fall asleep there.  

Over the years, it never dawned on me that I would lose him.  Naive?  Probably.  But he lived life so much that I never thought the day would come that I would be without him.  He was 11 and 12 and still running with the best; hunting with the better...he was the best and never letting his status as Top Dog be challenged or relinquished.  It wasn't until the last 3 months or so, that I saw Braedy actually starting to age.  It wasn't something I would see every day mind you.  There would be glimpses here and there but then he'd be back to himself hence my naivety.  He started to get finicky about eating which was THE sign for me, that something was wrong but not a sign that he was dying.  Remember, this was a boy that would eat foil if he thought it was tasty!  He started refusing things like his food and potatoes.  Both were things he would eat till his belly burst if you let him.  Then, he would bounce back and eat everything again.  One day he'd look like he really aged, then next several days he would be pestering Bronwyn and running across my bed with her.  

A week or so before Braedy died, he was having trouble breathing easily.  It was at night and very late, so I heated a heating pad and calmed him down and put the pad under his chest.  His breathing got better and he became relaxed and fell asleep.   I made an appointment for him at my vet and took him in.  On the 21th of December 2012, I took Braedy in for Dr. O to check him out even though he was better than he was a couple days before.  I got the phone call that early afternoon to let me know that after palpating Braedy's belly, it appeared there might have been something in there like a tumour maybe.  Xrays should some large but we couldn't tell exactly.  My vet recommended we do exploratory surgery to determine the cause.  Thinking it might have been the spleen, surgery was done.  I got another call later that afternoon from my vet.  He has a tone that I know when he's about to give me bad news.  And there it came, the bad news.  Braedy's liver was horribly swollen.  We did not know for sure what was causing it and Dr. O did not want to take a chance for fear he might not make it off the table.  "It's not good news Jessica" were some of the words I will never forget.  Still, I thought it was going to be something we could fix.  The prognosis was not good.  He was expecting Braedy to live not more than a month or two.  I don't care if he told me Braedy would not live more than 2 years, my reaction would have been the same.  My insides because so nervous and I felt so scared, yet I still did not want to believe this.  Nothing would prepare me for my Braedy Boy dying 4 days later.  Nothing!  Braedy of course went home with Dr. O that night.  That night I could not sleep.  I was scared that I would not be there for Braedy.  The next morning I called my vet and was told that I had a couple of choices: 1) let him stay with my vet over the weekend or 2) take him home with me.  I had to bring him home.  I could not bear the thought of losing Braedy and not being able to be with him at his side.  I needed him to be in his home if anything was going to happen to him.  

Two days before Braedy left me, he was clearly not feeling well.  I had just brought him home from the vet.  He seemed really hungry in the car on our way home.  Luckily I had some crackers and though I did not feed him this sort of thing, I tried since the vet said he didn't eat more than a table spoon or two.  He ate the crackers with such a vengeance I was really happy.  I thought this was a really good sign.  He laid there, covered up, riding shot gun (smile) and sleeping off and on on what took us more than an hour to get home.  Once at home, I tried to get him out of the car but he must have been in pain as he did not want to get out of the car.  I tried to pick him up but he started growling at me.  I know at that point he was really not doing well.  I carefully lifted him out the car and gently put him down.  He was very swollen in the belly area and was very stiff, to be expected from the surgery, but he pee'd and we went inside.  I knew he could not jump up on the bed or his chair so I made a bed for him next to my bed.  He paced slowly up and down and would not lie down so I gently lifted him and put him to lie down.  He looked thankful for that but as I laid him down, I saw the massive purple bruising all around the incision and the swelling that made him look very bloated.  I made him some soup with chicken, potatoes and rice and fed him a little at a time.  He ate some but was so tired so I let him rest but kept checking on him.  I could never come into a room where Braedy was that he wouldn't awaken to greet me.  He loved me and I knew that and I adored him and I hope he knew that.  I knew I had to not keep coming in every few minutes, or he would not rest well, so I would check in every hour or two.  He was resting well and when he would be up, I knew he would have to go out.  I would take him out on leash but it was not easy for him to go down the 2 stairs but he did not want me to pick him up, so I didn't.  He would go and pee and very slowly we would go inside again and I would put him down to rest.  Again he would eat the soup and on Sunday, he looked better.  I thought to myself that Braedy would kick this.  He was looking better, his eyes were brighter and he was asking to go outside.  His appetite was better than the day he came home which was Saturday.  The bruising was not getting any better, however and his belly was still very distended.  I would gently touch it and it didn't bother him though I did not press against it.  I would lay next to him, facing him and we would look at each other.  I would rub his chest and he would wrap his arms around mine.  I would cry and tell him I loved him and he would lick my tears and kiss me and I loved to kiss the side of his face and the bridge of his nose.  

Bronwyn was there by his side.  If he moved, she would get up and move next to him but she never bothered him.  She didn't touch his belly area.  She didn't try to play with him.  She just stayed by his side quietly.  

I checked on him every 15 minutes or so and he was doing better.  He would get up to go out around 3 AM Christmas Eve morning.  I took him out and he came in and we hugged and I told him to rest.  He laid on a big bed next to my bed.  6 am I checked on him and he was resting but looking at me where ever I went.  After feeding the younger ones, I came to feed him and Bronwyn but he refused all food.  I thought it best that he rest so I did not bother him.  I continued to check on him.  I tried to feed him but he would not move his head so I slipped yogurt on the sides of his mouth and he would swallow.  My vet phoned and said I should give him SubQ fluids so I did.  Wow, Braedy didn't even move for such a big needle.  That pained me because I knew at that point he was not doing well.  This was about 4 pm.   I checked on him every few minutes and he didn't seem to move more than to turn over from one side to the next.  Yet, I never thought he would leave me.  I just thought he was having a bad day.  I wished it were not Christmas Eve and I wished I did not have to do all the obligatory things for Christmas Eve so that I could have spent every waking moment with him.  Around 4 pm after speaking with my vet, I gave Braedy SubQ fluids.  I started dinner and was wrapping presents but checking on him often.  His sister Bronwyn who is always with him, was fed around 4.  Braedy did not move from his bed.  I asked him if he wanted to go out, but he looked at me and did not move.  I told him it was ok.  I continued to check on him every few minutes.  I realized at this point that I could not go to Midnight Mass for Christmas Eve nor could I go over to my mother's home.  So, I decided to send my husband with her presents and the turkey, etc.  Around 7 pm while I was wrapping presents in the room next to my bedroom where Braedy laid, I heard the most horrible set of cries/screams.  I knew instantly it was Braedy.  I rain over the baby gate and into my room.  Braedy laid still in the position he was in earlier that day.  Braedy had a pee in his bed which he has NEVER done and a poop.  It was very sad to watch him in this position as he was the kind of boy who was very proud and was always good about going outside.  I cleaned him up while crying as I knew this was not a good sign and consoled him by letting him know that it was ok.  He continued to lay there is the same position and he would look at me but as his head was on a pillow (which by the way he has always done), there was fluids coming out onto the pillow.  I actually thought he was salivating but later my vet thought it was coming from fluid in his lungs.  My husband wanted to get to my mother's and come back home since it was already late.  I did not want to leave Braedy's side but again, call it being naive, I did not think Braedy was leaving me.  I kissed him and covered him and told him that I would be right back.  I went into the next room and finished the wrapping which I felt so obligated to do.  In my heart, I wished Christmas would go away!  I cried pathetically while wrapping the presents and about 15 minutes since I was with Braedy, I ran back into the room to check on him.  He was gone.  I checked for a heart beat and there was none.  He was not breathing and his eyes were open.  His chest was not rising and falling.  I screamed out "please Braedy don't leave me."  Angry that Christmas caused me not to be with him, I ran out and caught my husband as he was about to leave for my mother's.  I screamed out that I thought Braedy was dead.  My husband ran inside and confirmed what I thought.  He cried as I did.  I kept begging Braedy to forgive me for not being there.  I never wanted to let him go without me being there for him.  My heart was and still is so full of guilt for not being at his side.  After all, he was always there for me.  It has been 3 weeks and 3 days, today being January 17th 2013, and I cry every day.  I miss him more than words can say.  

Uncle Braedy with Brooklyn, Braelyn, Beckham & Bentley.   Bronwyn would nurse her babies and jump up on the furniture to rest while Braedy would be the Nanny!

Braedy a previous Christmas in Roy, WA

Braedy loved to run around and say hello to the others

Braedy loved visiting his grandma Robin in Oregon

Braedy Boy 8 weeks old with Barb Decker

Braedy one year old in AZ

Braedy (r) and Bronwyn on the motor home dash

Braedy (L) on the motor home dash which is how they rode all of their lives

Braedy in November being fed in my bath room away from Bronwyn

You'd have to know Braedy and how much he hated being groomed to really appreciate these pics

Braedy with his great nieces and nephews & Bronwyn's grand kids 

Braedy 10 years old catching a huge bunny and bringing it to the house and exchanging it for a potato!  Yes a potato.  The bunny was not dead or hurt.  

A little sun bathing in Kent, WA

Kent, WA Braedy sporting his rain jacket

Braedy and Bronwyn in Kent, WA

Braedy & Bronwyn sharing a toothbrush 

The disciplinarian 

The Nanny & Bentley