A Memorial For Lexi
a 10 month old, 103 pound gorgeous puppy, died Tuesday
morning, May, 18, 2004. She is mourned by a family of
dog lovers who had fallen in love with her the moment
she arrived by plane from Canada.
Lexi was an adorable puppy. However, some time before
she was scheduled to leave for her adopting family,
the breeder noticed she was having difficulty walking.
She called and advised me strongly to take a different
puppy. I decided to delay that decision, until got up
there, and after she had seen the vet. I flew up to
Canada to get her.
There was something very special about this little girl.
She had been checked out numerous times, by different
vets, in Canada and in New York, and no one was able
to find anything wrong. All her brothers and sisters
were happy and healthy puppies. It wasn't until she
had her first series of Grand Mal seizures, that it
was recommended that she see a neurological specialist.
Again, the breeder begged me to take a different puppy.
But, by this time my family and I had fallen in love
with our adoptee, despite her handicap.
After numerous hospitalizations, Lexi was diagnosed
with Dandy Walker Syndrome, this is a disability characterized
by seizures and difficulty walking owing to a congenital
malformation in the cerebellum. Despite the diagnosis,
my family was resolved to keep Lexi, to care for her
and to love her. Her seizures were finally under control
with the help of medication, and Lexi became lively
and spirited and getting more beautiful every day.
The vet was optimistic. He advised that with proper
medication and physical therapy (and possibly a central
nervous system shunt later on in life), Lexi could live
a fairly normal life. I was so looking forward to taking
Lexi out to my parent's summer house for hydrotherapy
sessions in the near-by bay or their pool. Even though
I knew Lexi would never be able to participate in agility
trials, I thought she might excel in water rescue. Unfortunately,
this was not meant to be.
On May 4th, Lexi suddenly ran a very high fever, and
went into seizures. I rushed her to the Emergency Animal
Hospital, where she was stabilized, and then was moved
to her neurologist's hospital. I visited her every day,
and read her letters from dozens of wonderful people
from the Leonberger community, whom she didn't even
know. Even though the doctor tried everything, up until
the very last minute, he was not able to save her this
time, as he did so many times before.
She died without pain. The initial autopsy showed that
her brain was so damaged, that she was unable to reset
her brain to regulate her body temperature.
Lexi had a way of making everyone she met feel as though
they were very special to her, and they were. She would
lay her head on my mother's shoulder, and look up at
her while giving gentle kisses. She would try to climb
into my father's lap every time she saw him, so she
could kiss his face. Lexi was a favorite, and had a
very special relationship with my brother. My brother
is a disabled person, and I believe that there was something
about his disability that made him supersensitive to
I and my family and friends are moved by the warm support
of so many from the Leonberger community. We mourn our
loss of this lovely, beautiful baby. She will always
be remembered as a happy, playful, ever growing bundle