Ariel—a remarkable blind and deaf kitten with epilepsy and problems coordinating her muscles—came to us 6 years ago. She warmed our home with her presence and instantly made friends with the family of special needs dogs and cats who live in our home. Here she is snuggling up to one of her best friends, Milagro, a dog born with a heart problem.
Dharma, the dog in the photo below, became Ariel's special protector. Whenever Ariel had a seizure he would race to alert us and then run back to her, lying down on her legs to stop them from paddling. More than once he saved her life by waking us in the middle of the night when she was having severe seizures and had to be rushed to the hospital. Here's Dharma with Ariel:
When Ariel moved in with us (from a rescue group in Rhode Island), she loved to move from room to room, exploring, finding her favorite places. Her neuromuscular problems caused her to move slowly, constantly adjusting to keep her balance, like a first-time skater venturing onto the ice. When she found a dog, cat, or human to snuggle up to, she began purring loudly. Here she is spending time with Emma,a blind and deaf dog with an autoimmune disease:
Ariel's neuromuscular problems—diagnosed when we took her to the Tufts University Veterinary Neurology Department for an MRI & consult—were progressive. During the last years she was fed by hand and needed a little extra help.
Fortunately, her death was gentle. All her systems seemed to fail at once, without warning, and she passed away peacefully on her favorite quilt in our bedroom.
She brought such a tender, gentle, loving spirit to our home. Memories of her echo in every room and in our hearts.
Here's one last photo of her with her friend, Milagro:
Please follow this link to see more of the family of special-needs dogs and cats.