I’ve all but abandoned the initial reasons for beginning this blog 2 years ago due to the frivolity of maintaining a fashion & lifestyle blog in the midst of a pandemic and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Regardless, I’ve chosen this space to memorialize my furry companion of 13 years as I plan to write regularly in the future.
Hurricane Biscuit Rowdy Fox “Biscuit” Hands, Queen of the Blunn, Leader of the South River City Pack, Founding Member of the Sunday Swim Club, Runt of the Litter, one of Austin’s Cutest Pups, and Austin Pets Alive! (APA!) Alumni, died at her residence in Austin, TX, where she had resided for the past 6 years. She previously lived in Missoula, MT; Denver, CO; and Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage, AK.
Biscuit was born in Austin, TX, on January 13th, 2009, in an animal shelter. Her mother was a purebred Shetland Sheepdog (“sheltie”) that had been surrendered while pregnant. While Biscuit’s paternal history is unknown, what isn’t an unknown is Biscuit’s adoption date of March 10th, when she was exactly 8-weeks-old.
On that day, Biscuit’s eventual owner Chelsea went to an APA! event at the Lakeline Plaza PetSmart in Cedar Park “just to look”. After observing the litter of half-sheltie puppies interact with one another, Chelsea also noticed how the pups responded to the other potential adopters. Not wanting to take someone else’s potential dog, she waited to ask about the puppy whose tag read “Sasha” until the family who had picked her up first got into their car and drove away. After determining that she could justify the adoption fee and cost of care to anyone who asked, Chelsea made the APA! coordinator promise to hold on to the puppy for an hour, so she could obtain the two money-orders and the signatures needed from the property management team of her apartment to complete the adoption.
After being handed Biscuit to take home forever, the next 13 years became the kind of blur that any pet owner and dog, purebred and mutt alike, would be lucky to have shared: countless adventures while hiking, road tripping, and swimming. It’s difficult to measure one’s life, but Biscuit’s enthusiasm for life and easy-going demeanor can be somewhat measured through the following numbers:
✨19: states visited
✨14: national parks seen from the passenger seat
✨11: moves; Biscuit had 6 enclosed yards to run around in during her lifetime
✨6.2: the highest magnitude of earthquake Biscuit experienced while living in Alaska, but the 5.2 while sleeping in a chicken coop in Borrego Springs, CA, was the most eventful
✨3: countries visited
✨2: oceans swam in
✨$500+: the amount of money raised in honor of Biscuit’s name for APA!
In her twilight years, Biscuit slowed down but was still game for all sorts of adventure. When Biscuit was diagnosed with demodectic mange and developed hip dysplasia due to muscle loss, Chelsea and Biscuit followed the treatments prescribed by AM/PM Animal Hospital for several months. Chelsea decided it was time to make a quality-of-life appointment for her 4-footed best friend during one particular spill that left both owner and dog shaken. While Chelsea hoped the outcome would be favorable for Biscuit, a couple days before the appointment, Biscuit suffered a grand mal seizure. The staff at VCA Tanglewood, the veterinary clinic where Chelsea’s significant other Warren takes his dogs, Freddie and Blue Belle, for their primary care (and was chosen due to a scheduling conflict that was in no fault of AM/PM’s care for Biscuit), were comforting and listened to Chelsea as she and Biscuit sat on a blanket, and walked the staff through Biscuit’s medical history. Sadly, Dr. Travis confirmed Chelsea’s suspicion that Biscuit’s quality of life was permanently on a downhill slope.
Chelsea resolved to end the treatment plans for Biscuit that day, and vowed to let the dog do whatever she wanted. Chelsea also made an appointment for in-home euthanasia through Compassionate Pet Vet.
After four days of yummy treats, such as hanger steak and croissants; swimming, in Lake Austin and Barking Springs; and early-morning walks to listen to the birds, Hurricane Biscuit Rowdy Fox Hands, Queen of the Blunn, passed away at 4:25p.m. on Wednesday, April 6th, on the prayer quilt that the United Methodist Church of Bigfork gave Chelsea upon graduating high-school. The quilt had marked Biscuit’s “spot” on the couch, and had also lined Biscuit’s first bed years before.
During the appointment, the veterinarian narrated everything that was happening, so Chelsea and Warren knew exactly how much time they had to say final goodbyes. Chelsea fed Biscuit beef jerky, dog treats, and M&M’s as she recounted to Biscuit some highlights of their adventures: the moose family that would pass behind their yard in Alaska, the Yukon Blonde grizzly Biscuit barked at in Canada, swimming in Lake Mohave between the Nevada and Arizona state lines, the urban coyote Biscuit stared down on the Blunn, and others. Chelsea also listed some of the other pets the two had lived with or memorably encountered during their years together, both living and passed on, including: August (cat), Blue Belle (dog), Bonnie (dog), Bridgette (dog), Bruiser (dog), Cassie (dog), Cato (cat), Daisy (dog), Donut (cat), Freddie (dog), Jack (horse), Kirby (dog), Marley (rabbit), Mia (cat), Mimi (dog), Olive (dog), Opie (dog), Sapphire (cat), Sydney (cat), Tally (llama), Winston Churchill (desert tortoise), and Zocken (cat).
After Biscuit’s passing, Warren helped Chelsea carry her dog, wrapped in a blanket, down the stairs, as the veterinarian told Chelsea that she did everything right and perfect. The veterinarian continued to say Biscuit’s passing was as good as any owner could hope for because Biscuit left the ones she loved with so many good memories, and she left with dignity.
The couple said goodbye to Biscuit one more time after her body was loaded into the crematorium van: Chelsea pulled back the blanket to see Biscuit’s tufted fur and grayed face one last time, and swears Biscuit never looked more wild and free than she did in death. Biscuit’s spirit lives on in the people and animals she loved throughout her 13 years.
Long live the Queen of the Blunn.
Click here if you would like to donate to APA!, the rescue organization that allows Austin to remain the largest No Kill City in the United States.
Click here if you would like to watch Biscuit’s many escapades on Instagram via Chelsea’s stories tray.