Dear, sweet Dushka

26 June 2012      5.00 PM        64 F        Cloudy and showery

our beautiful Dushka
Dushka IV of Seppala 16 Jan 2005 – 25 June 2012

Yesterday morning, our beloved, beautiful darling Dushka left us.

Her sudden passing has us in a state of shock and denial. It seems impossible that she is gone, that her house is empty. There must be some mistake, surely. Have I  just moved her to a new spot in the yard and not realised it yet ?

  However, the reality is that on Sunday afternoon, a sudden onset of a series of seizures, which continued to escalate in violence and frequency, despite us giving her Valium, meant rushing her to the emergency vets in Palmer. A further Valium shot did nothing to ease her seizures and it took a major dose of Propofol to sedate her. Throughout the night, any time she came close to regaining consciousness, her fits would start again, despite intravenous doses of Phenobarbitol. The conclusion was that whatever it was that was causing her seizures, wasn’t capable of being controlled and that she undoubtedly was suffering a great deal of torment.

At 4.00 AM, we had to make that most dreadful of decisions and allow her to move on with peace.

Sweet, serene, sage Dushka

Dushka came to us in February 2010, and as with every Seppala Siberian Sleddog we have been privileged to meet, she very quickly won us over with her gentle nature, boundless energy and that hint of mystery and magic in her eyes. She seemed like a wise old soul, emanating a calmness that belied her playful side.

Dushka takes a break from digging a huge hole
Dushka liked to dig holes bigger and deeper than everyone else.

She took to the role of “aunt” to Cuchi’s puppies with her typical sensible nature to the fore. She very quickly taught them that playing with her was on her terms, and when she had had enough, they should move on and annoy someone else. One of her more endearing and intriguing traits was an intense dislike of getting her feet wet. She would go to almost any lengths to avoid puddles and if she was unlucky enough to get damp, she’d immediately retreat to her box and spend ages licking her feet clean and dry.

Dushka in the snowRun free dear Dushka, enjoy the endless paths ahead, and for you, may they always be dry.

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”  Helen Keller


7 thoughts on “Dear, sweet Dushka

  1. So sorry that Dushka left this life to travel on without you…she sounds as if she was a wonderful girl, and it is obvious that you loved and admired her deeply. I hope your grief at losing her will fade as you recall the moments and days you had with her, and the great memories of her life with you.


  2. She surely looks to be a beautiful Siberian girl. I wish we knew what caused them to have seizures and could put an end to it. What a sad thing to happen. But we do always remember the best of times with them, and that’s a good thing.


  3. So sorry to read your sad news. I believe our beloved dogs are never to far away from us always in our heart always in our thoughts. That’s where we keep and treasure them until the great day when we meet again. Run free with your friends Dushka. Our thoughts are with you both Peter and Joyce
    Paul & Jacqui


  4. This is so hard to bear; I know you and Joyce must be hit hard, Peter. Dush was such a sweety, with all the best of both the Markovo and the Russian bloodlines. (She was a granddaughter of Siberia import Shakal iz Solovyev.) Dushka was always in my mind the “little Seppala wolf,” unquestionably the most wolf-like of SK’s kids. She got a lot of her personality from her dam Lara of Seppala (Sepallop x Kolyma of Seppala), a Hank granddaughter who transmitted the strong personality traits of that lineage. We still have Dushka’s sisters Darka and Dina as housepets here at Seppala Kennels. I know we shall all continue to miss Dushka for a long time. I wish I knew what took her — what you’ve described is far from typical of canine epilepsy and makes me think of toxicity of some kind. That’s a rough part of the dog game — half the time one has very little real idea of what may have been wrong when you lose a dog. One can do necropsy and tests but it gets extremely expensive fast and one doesn’t always get a good answer for that expenditure.

    Hail and farewell, Dushka of Seppala 3rd. Run free, run happy on dry trails always. Greet our Queen Tonya, your daddy Zaki 2nd, your granddam sweet majestic old Norde, your grandsires Shakal and Llop and the king of them all, your great-great-great-grandsire Ditko of Seppala– what a grand bunch are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for you to join them.


  5. As a lifelong subscriber and supporter of canine-epilipsy support groups and ‘mum’ to by now 4 Shelties buried in our Oregon backyard after suffering epileptic cluster seizures I have no doubt how and what caused Duska’s death. I remember also the peace that seem to come over my dogs when it was finally over and they were released. So sorry for your loss – Kris.


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