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My dog Ivy passed away due to an unknown illness on 07/27/2021. She was 7 years, 9 months old.

Ivy smiling

Writing this post over the past few days has been difficult for me. I start on one section, fall into scrolling through pictures and memories, and end up too upset to continue. Ivy was a constant in my life in Washington. Her presence was built into my rituals, into my mind. I still find myself checking for the “3rd dog” when I open the doors in the morning or close them at night. She was a comfort in times of deep sadness, and a light in times of great joy.

For those who have reached out or messaged me before this, thank you for your kindness, I have appreciated every word. I am through the worst of the grief and mourning now. I am focusing on celebrating the time that she was here. No more “sorry”s are needed.

Ivy Posts

My Two Dogs - About Ivy and Rex

My Three Dogs - About Ivy’s first litter and Lia

Puppies By Ivy - About Ivy’s litters

Guide this one, Kalahira, and she will be a companion to you as she was to me.

Ivy in 2013

Ivy Our first pic of Ivy, the day we picked her from the litter


Ivy on her way home with us. My work was closed for two weeks right when we picked up Ivy, so I got to spend a bunch of time with her when she was a pup

Ivy Ivy loved rolling over for belly rubs from a young age

Ivy Ivy’s first crate

Ivy in 2014

Ivy Ivy loved to bring home way-too-big sticks

I’d play fetch with Ivy in the hall

Ivy We also played tug-of-war, where she’d turn into a blur

Ivy She helped me play video games

Ivy Ivy visited California with us, and got to check out the beach

Ivy Ivy’s first raincoat, for PacNW walks

Ivy Ivy’s first swim at Marymoor, biting the water

Ivy loved rolling her back in the grass

Ivy We moved out of an apartment and into a house with a yard

Ivy Ivy and I chilling out

Ivy Ivy also loved rolling in mud

Ivy And playing fetch


Our first joint Halloween costume

Ivy My favorite Ivy memory is her head on my shoulder on a drive

Ivy She hated Christmas trees

Ivy But enjoyed naps

Ivy in 2015

Ivy We got Rex to give Ivy a buddy

Ivy They got along really well

Ivy They were best friends

Ivy Ivy showed Rex the ropes

Ivy Ivy was almost fully grown

Ivy Ivy taught Rex how to swim

Ivy And we took them to Montana

Ivy Rex also loved the mud

Ivy Another car ride

Ivy Ivy owning the foot of my recliner

Ivy in 2016 and 2017

Ivy Ivy making a face

Ivy We started our ritual of steak & eggs for dog birthdays

Ivy and Rex were in sync

Ivy Ivy on the chair

Ivy and Rex on the grass at our new house. You can also see Ivy using her patented “fall over on top of you” move here

Ivy Ivy on a haybail

Ivy Ivy finding the mud again

Ivy Ivy trying to beat the heat with the A/C

Ivy in 2018

Ivy Ivy had her first litter in 2018

Ivy And we kept her daughter, Lia

Ivy Ivy and Lia were close

Ivy Almost carbon copies


Although Lia could get on her nerves

Ivy Ivy’s birthday showed she had some white fur

Ivy in 2019

Ivy Mory took all the good photos of Ivy

Ivy Ivy also loved the snow, when we had it

Ivy Even after her litter, she was still a fighter

Ivy And a good mom

Ivy And a troublemaker

Ivy And still loved belly rubs

Ivy in 2020

Ivy Ivy had her second litter in 2020

Ivy With the singleton puppy, Buster

Ivy She took good care of Buster

Ivy And he was huge

Ivy After her second litter, her face lost color


But she was loved to smile anyway

Ivy Ivy relaxing

Ivy From her last birthday

Ivy in 2021

Ivy Ivy loved car rides the most


She was the queen of patience

Ivy She was a frequent guest on my office couch while working from home

Ivy Her and Lia still did the same pose

Ivy And loved rolling in the grass

Ivy Outside of the family, Ivy’s best friend was Jeff

Ivy She supervised the BBQ

Ivy And asked for some extra

Ivy Ivy would lay in the sun to recharge her gold

Ivy Ivy on the way to the vet, the last picture I took of her

Ivy Our last pic of Ivy, from our visit on July 26


  • Ivy
  • I.V.
  • Iverson
  • Allison
  • A.I.
  • Ivysaur
  • Ivysaurus
  • Ivybyevy
  • Bones
  • Tubba Bubba
  • Mama
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Fatty
  • Fat Butt
  • Lumpy
  • Rolly Polly
  • Potato Bug
  • Old Lady
  • Ives
  • Ives St Laurent
  • Boney Ives
  • The Queen
  • Loaf
  • Eevee
  • Baby Mama
  • Lazy Bones


If you have any pictures or memories of Ivy that you’d like to share, feel free to send them my way.

Illness Details

Ivy started medication for a thyroid imbalance in April 2021. She had been gaining weight and acting more lethargic in the prior months. After starting treatment, she rapidly began losing weight and gaining energy. After a check-up to test and adjust the dosage in June, there was an abnormal reading on the blood test for a protein. We scheduled a follow-up visit for July 12 to have an ultrasound and to check her blood again. The ultrasound showed no abnormalities, and Ivy seemed to be doing well (down 30 lbs from April/May), so we tried switching Ivy to a hydrolyzed protein (HP) diet.

In the week after the ultrasound, we noticed that Ivy was not wanting to eat much. Neither her old food or the new HP food was very attractive to her. We tried a few different types of canned food and direct food like chicken, but she wasn’t eating much. This was a big departure from the dog who would come running at the sound of anybody eating lunch. On July 20, we noticed that her stomach was also a bit distended, despite not eating much. The vet recommended that we start Ivy on steroids, which we did on July 22, to try to improve her appetite. Most dogs are very hungry when taking steroids. But, Ivy now refused to eat anything. I managed to get her to eat two bites of chicken, after quite a bit of convincing.

On July 24, Ivy’s belly was quite distended and she had not eaten anything in over 24 hours. She was also looking a little bit yellow, which suggested jaundice / icterus. I took her to our vet (open Saturday mornings) and then was referred to an emergency / specialist vet. Ivy was checked in on Saturday afternoon. They started Ivy on an IV and started monitoring her stats. Her vitals were all stable. On July 26, she had a repeat ultrasound and a bunch of other tests, all of which were inconclusive. Her liver and internals looked fine, but her bilirubin was still abnormal, her abdomen had transudative fluid, and she wouldn’t eat much at all. We visited Ivy that evening for about an hour, and she was about the same as when we had brought her in.

On July 27, Ivy’s vitals were stable. In the afternoon, Ivy had a needle aspiration of her liver. The hope was to narrow down the cause to either a GI issue or a liver issue, to guide the next steps of either a scope or biopsy. After the aspiration, at about 17:00, Ivy’s blood pressure and red blood cell count both started going down, and she was very lethargic. She had a transfusion of both red blood and plasma, which improved things for a short time, before her pressure and cells continued downward. She had a second round of transfusions, which did not help, and her breathing started getting labored. We drove straight to her. By the time we arrived at 21:55, she was nearing critical vital signs for heart and breathing rates. We had a minute to say good bye, as she was laying on the emergency table.

Our vet, the specialist vets, and the emergency vets did all that they could. We have some guesses, but will never know the final cause of her illness.

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