I woke up at 2:00 am, and could not get back to sleep. There was an e-mail message from Ione Evans in New Zealand giving details of a branch of the Green family we didn't know about, so I began entering them in our genealogy program. At about 3:00 I heard strange noises in the yard outside my study window, and called the dogs. Ariel, the older one came to the window, but Alexa (the one in the picture) didn't. I looked out and saw she was panting.
I called them to the back door, and Alexa came, but was walking unsteadily, and shaking, so I woke Val and we tried to find a vet that was open after hours in the phone book, and eventually got one through our vet's pager number. I went to check Alexa so I could describe her symptoms before phoning the vet, and she was dead. She had died just before 4:00 am.
It is rather strange, since she seemed to have no problems before 3:00 am, and yet within an hour she was dead. She was only 5 years old, and a bonsai Alsatian.
The photo was taken when she was 3 months old, on my 60th birthday. We had got her because our two older dogs had died. One, Lucy, had bone cancer, and was euthanised. A couple of weeks later the other one, Gilgamesh, had died with similar symptoms -- panting, convulsions, shivering. But we thought it might be old age -- they were both over 12 years old. The younger one, Ariel, went into mourning. She was so miserable that we looked in the newspaper, picked the first advertisement for puppies that we saw, and got Alexa.
Now she'll be lonely again.