Thank you for your reply. I am just as thankful for finding this forum, and meeting all of you. If I didn't have this - everyone who's been through the same pain I'm going through right now - I don't think I'd make it.
As for what happened to Lola...it's still not easy to talk about. For one, because we AREN'T actually 100% sure what DID happen. Our vet said she had a stroke, and her little body systematically shut down. She'd had internal bleeding too. By the time we'd gotten her to the vet, her little paws were ice cold. She was in shock by then. Her body temperature was 34°. The vet struggled to find a vein for her IV line, because of her very low blood pressure. The problem is, we live in a rural area. Our vet is 49 km's - approximately 30 miles - away. He is a wonderful vet, don't get me wrong. But...I don't think they are very well equipped. He was, at first, completely baffled as to what was wrong with my girl. So I can't help but wonder...if we'd maybe had better veterinary care... Lola had been PERFECTLY FINE, the previous day and night. I knew my baby SO well, I would have KNOWN if she was even a little off. But she HADN'T been. Then, the next morning, around 5 AM, she vomited in the livingroom - also not really very out of the ordinary for her, as it happened with her sometimes. Lola did have a slightly sensitive tummy. So I let her go outside, where she'd usually eat a bit of grass, maybe vomit again, and then she'd come stand at our back door to be let back in. Only, that morning, she wasn't coming to the door. So I went to check on her, and she was laying on the grass. She couldn't get up. And she stayed there until we were able to take her to the vet (they only opened at 8:00 AM, and didn't answer their phone before that. They don't have after hours/emergency services).
Again, it's very hard for me to talk about it, because I STILL cannot help re-playing it all in my head, and wondering...what if things had been different? If this stupid place we live in had a proper, well equipped, 24-hour vet. It's another reason why I don't think I'd ever get another pup, again. Not while we live here, with sub-par vet care. I dread to think of something similar happening to Pippin. Pippin, who has always had more health issues than my Lola girl ever did. If it could happen to her so suddenly...
Pippin...well, like I said, Pippin isn't always an easy boy to read. BUT, the first few days he definitely was looking for Lola. He associated her with the car. He'd been right there when we'd put her in the car to take her to the vet. And a few days later, I also took Pippin to the vet, just for a check-up. The car seat still smelled like Lola, of course. When we got home, he jumped out of the car, and ran into the house, and ran back out. Looking for Lola. He must have thought that when we got home, she'd be here. And also, whenever we would leave with the car, and come back, Pippin would go nuts, wanting to come check in the car. Thinking we maybe brought Lola back. It broke my heart all over again every time. Like I'd said, we adopted the two of them as puppies, together. But Lola was definitely the "alpha". She wasn't a very social dog - that is to say, she was cautious about new people, and aggressive towards other dogs. Pippin is the opposite of that. He loves meeting people, is friendly with ANYONE, and also seems like he'd get along with other dogs. They only ever had each other, though. Pippin was always more playful than Lola, but she would indulge him, chasing him around, and he'd love it. Now, it's very difficult for us to get Pippin to be active. I try to chase him around, sometimes - kind of the way Lola would do. We can't go for walks with him here, either. It's not safe. There are stray dogs everywhere, and I don't want to risk my boy getting caught in a dogfight. It's all really hard to deal with. I still constantly think that we are NOT good enough for Pippin - that we cannot give him the care and love he deserves. And yet...I CANNOT bare the thought of losing him, too.
We - me and my parents - often said we wouldn't make it through day to day life if we didn't have our "Kiddies" - that's what we call Lola and Pippin. Our Kiddies. Refering to them as dogs has just never felt right to me, because they are SO much more. And Lola, especially, brought us SO much joy. So merely imagining a life without our Kiddies - without having either of them? For us to suddenly be alone, with no pup in the house, if something were to happen to Pippin? It TERRIFIES me.
Anyway, pardon my long rant! But writing all of this really is the only thing that helps me, in any way. Once again, thank you for your reply, and interest in Lola's story, and Pippin.