Memorial For Lexi
Lexi, my 10
month old, 103 pound gorgeous puppy, died Tuesday morning, May, 18,
2004. She is mourned not only by me and my family who had fallen in love
with her the moment she arrived by plane from
but by dozens and dozens of others who had grown to know and love her
through her illness.
Lexi was an adorable puppy. However, some time before she was
scheduled to leave for her new life with me, my breeder contacted us to
say the puppy was having difficulty walking. She strongly advised me to
take a different puppy. I decided to delay that decision until we got
there, and after she had been seen by the vet. I flew up to Canada to
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. Gen, her breeder,
said all of her brothers and sisters were happy and healthy puppies. It
wasnít until she had her first series of Grand Mal seizures 24 hours
after we arrived at home that I was advised to take her to see a
neurological specialist. I called the breeder and she again 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 neurological disability characterized by
seizures and difficulty walking due to a congenital malformation in the
cerebellum of the brain. Despite the diagnosis, my family resolved to
keep Lexi, to care for her and to love her. With the dedicated efforts
of her regular vets, Dr. Popolow and Dr. Henes in Croton, and Dr. Berg,
her neurologist, her seizures were finally under control with
medication. Lexi became lively and spirited and was getting more
beautiful every day.
The vets were optimistic. 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 parentís 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 Dr. Bergís hospital. I visited
her every day, and read her letters from dozens of wonderful people from
the Leonberger community, whom she didnít even know, but who I came to
know and love. Even though the doctor tried everything, up until the
very last minute, this time he was not able to save her, as he had 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
motherís shoulder, and look up at her while giving gentle kisses. She
would try to climb into my fatherís 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 hers.
I and my family and friends are moved by the warm support of
so many from the Leonberger community. I feel as though every one of
them have become a part of my family. We all mourn our loss of this
lovely, beautiful baby. She will always be remembered as a happy,
playful, ever growing bundle of joy.