This beautiful dog has left us.
Khalessi’s mom Stephanie Paquin said in a Facebook post on Thursday morning that Khalessi “told me she was ready and I could see she was tired.” She died at 8:43 a.m.
It seems almost inconceivable that Khalessi’s public life began less than a year ago.
In August 2015, Stephanie and her husband Mike — who run a rescue group called Passion 4 Pits — found this young dog in a Florida shelter, missing half her face, her body filled with broken bones, from what appeared to be terrible abuse.
Stephanie and Mike gave this dog the name of a warrior queen. And then they gave her a wonderful life — both at home, and out in the world, where nearly overnight she became a beloved celebrity dog.
Khalessi was even named underdog of the year, at the 2016 World Dog Awards — and accepted her award with a grin, and wearing a pretty pink outfit.
She gave hope to folks who have suffered themselves – hope that things can get better. She proved that a terrible, vicious early start does not have to define someone’s entire life.
But, Khalessi’s spirit couldn’t erase the physical signs of her abusive past.
Surgery helped repair Khalessi’s nose and mouth, and bones. In January, though, Khalessi’s kidneys began to fail. Doctors diagnosed her with babesia, an incurable condition that often afflicts dogs who have been forced to fight.
Stephanie and Mike spent weeks in the hospital with their beloved girl. Khalessi went through treatment upon treatment. They even considered a kidney transplant to improve her odds at staying with them, with us, for a bit longer.
In early June, after some poor test results, Khalessi’s family decided to change course, and give her the things that would make her comfortable but not to engage in more aggressive procedures.
“She doesn’t show signs of illness yet but we know it is a matter of time,” Stephanie wrote on Facebook. “Khalessi will tell me when she is ready. I don’t know if it will be a week or a month from now but she will tell me and I will respect her wishes.”
For the last week and a half, her humans brought her to her favorite places, and made sure she was hugged by her favorite people. Even though she’d pretty much lost her appetite, she still got to eat her favorite foods when she could.
Stephanie is now asking the many people who loved Khalessi to honor her by keeping up the fight to end animal abuse, and by helping to support the rescue of other wonderful dogs who also need a miracle.
Run free, sweet girl. You leave behind countless brokenhearted fans, but a better world, Khalessi.