We had a very sad weekend here at Moonracer Farm. On Friday evening, Recona died.
We’re not sure what happened. She went for a ride with Es and me, and she was breathing hard when we got to the top of the hill near the vista. I walked out to the road, thinking we’d just walk home, but by the time we got to the road she was having a very hard time breathing and just wanted to lay down. I hailed a passing car and they very kindly stopped at the farm and asked Tom to drive up the road to pick her up. Tom was there about 10 minutes after the car left me, and he brought ‘Cona home and gave her a Benedryl. Her breathing got a little easier, but about an hour later she started having seizures, and she died shortly after that.
The locals say it sounds like a snake bite, but we’re not sure. We didn’t find any signs of a bite on her, and we know other dogs who have suffered from snake bites, and the site of the bite was always swollen and sometimes bloody. Plus, she was with me for the entire ride up the hill, and I never heard her yelp or saw her jump away from anything. We’re leaning more towards a heart problem, especially because she had an episode in the spring where she was out for a ride with us, became short of breath, and had to be carried home by Tom – exactly how this started, except in the spring she got better after the Benedryl and was back to her normal self within a couple of hours.
Her death has made us even sadder than we would have expected. It’s partly because she was so young – only about two according to the vet who spayed her – but also because she was such a sweet, smart, happy dog. Once she decided to stay here, we were her people and she was involved in everything we did outside. She always went riding with me, and when we walked the horses down the road to graze, she went with us morning and evening to drop them off and pick them up and always romped and played in the field while we were getting the horses together.
She went on most of our guests’ rides to Big Rock and Sapodilla Falls, and had learned to swim and jump off the rocks. She preferred Sapodilla to Big Rock because Sapodilla has a large shallow pool that she could run and jump in, and rocks just the right height for jumping off into the pool.
She even went caving with us one time, sticking with me for our entire route through the cave even though we thought she’d stay near the entrance where she could see daylight.
We’re in day three of no ‘Cona, and it’s really hard to feed the dogs without looking forward to seeing what whoop-de-doos she would do for us. I also didn’t realize how much she talked until I’m not hearing her whistles and yodels and whines and barks, and now it’s just too quiet. Every second of life was a celebration for her, whether she was out on an adventure with us or doing something routine like eating or getting rubbed and doing butt bumps with Louie before bed.
We’re contemplating getting another potlicker. Our friend Julio showed up here on Saturday with one of his dogs to give to us. We’ve known the dog since he was a puppy (he’s about 8 months now), and have always liked him; I once told Julio that if Hollis disappeared, the first place he should check would be our house, because I might have stolen him. Julio said that he wanted us to take Hollis so I have somebody to ride with me, but we’re hesitating both because we don’t want to take one of Julio’s family pets (and unlike some Belizeans, Julio and his family do get attached to their dogs), and because ‘Cona can’t be replaced. However, another young dog would be a good distraction, and Julio is starting to worry about having Hollis around since he also has his littermate Chulita, and neither of them are neutered; if we took Hollis, Julio knows he would have a good home and Julio wouldn’t have to worry about inbred puppies. We sent Hollis home with Julio on Saturday, but we’ll probably decide in the next couple of days – and right now I have no idea which way we’ll go.
In the meantime, we know we all had fun during her too short time with us – but we’re really missing ‘Cona.