On September 10, 2007, my pup was chosen as Dog of the Day, and I didn't even know until I searched his name shortly after he passed away!
My dog Volcom (almost 6 old yr black with white chest Chow, Border Collie and/or Shepherd mix) passed away yesterday just after 5pm. He had traditional repair in August 2011 and after it failed, he had it done again in October. He had been slow to recover throughout the whole ordeal. He was just a baby when it comes down to it! Deramaxx had been in short supply and he had been on it since the first operation. Rimadyl when there was no Deramaxx available, and then Meloxicam the last week of his life. Somehow I had been giving him a slightly higher dose than prescribed. That, along with about 3 months of feasting on delicious canned cat food poop left everywhere by 6 new kittens on the street i think did a number on him. No matter how hard i tried to pull him away, he always found a morsel here and there. I called him a root hog because he would shovel his snout in the ground to sniff. Two days after starting Meloxicam, he started to vomit, and twice he vomited black tarry looking stuff. I didn't know it was dried blood at the time. I just assumed that it was actual cat poop. But I also figured he would have been doing that since he first started snacking on it. I withheld food and water after contacting the vet and gave him a cap of gatorade. The next evening/early morning he vomited again, but it was a bit of food i had to give him with his pills (also on phenobarbitol for seizures when he was young). I made appointment to see vet but couldn't get in til next morning, which was Wednesday. Blood work and xrays showed nothing. So two hours later I picked him up and gave him 2 spoons of new can of special food for gastro-intestinal problems. I then went to work, which I feel very guilty about. I had to stay late due to customers that would not leave, and when I got home, Volcom wasn't at the door to greet me. He popped his head out the bedroom and almost looked like he felt he was going to be in trouble. I coaxed him outside thinking he had waited hours to vomit outside because he had never done it in the house. he immediately plopped on the grass and I could tell he was in real distress. i took him to the after hours emergency vet because I remember reading a post about bloat and for some reason started to think maybe it was a possibility. Volcom was in shock, his heart was beating over 200 per minute, and i got him there just in time. He was given 2 GI protectors, 3 antibiotics, and 3 types of fluid. Also 2 lidocaine injections, xrays and sonograms. i was told i should go home and they would call if I needed to get back to say goodbye. Well, he survived the night, but when I discussed with the vet in the morning i was told he wasn't really improving, but he was alert and his tail was wagging. i was told to pick him up because exploratory surgery was the next and normal procedure. i didn't want to to do anything that would prolong his life for my sake and made sure i would be told if i appeared to be going in that direction. When I got him almost 2 hours later they said he had improved a little. His tummy was bandaged and somehow the pressure helped to decrease his heart rate. He had been able to walk to to go to the bathroom. i slowly walked him to the car and we left for the regular vet and surgery. Surgery was at approximately 10:30 and lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes. At first I had decided to not open the business where I work, but after it was decided surgery was the option, i went to work. I needed to keep busy. And I figured he would be getting what he needed and that was that. He had a hole at the back of his stomach, had 3 liters of horrible fluid drained and a gallon of solution to flush him clean. The tissue was badly damaged but he pulled through surgery. At 4:15 I arrived to take him to overnight clinic again for observation and medicine changes. i was called into a back operating room to discuss finances. The manager (vet's wife) leaned down and said "good boy Volcom". I didn't know he was in there because it was so quiet. i peeked but didn't say anything or do anything other than tiptoe out. i was scared of exciting him because the night before the emergency vet told me to leave Volcom's side because he became so excited his heart was going haywire again. I went back to the waiting room but 15 minutes later i was again called to the back room, where the doctor and all the techs were waiting and crying. Volcom had passed in that short time period during checks on him and after when I had been in the room the first time. i was devastated. I draped myself over him and just clung to him on the floor. i had made a promise to him to give him a wonderful life and that was cut short. After such a huge expense, to not have your pet come home with you is awful. I will gladly pay this off, I just cannot fathom why this had to happen. i don't want him to be sent to help someone else out; he is my dog and selfishly I want to keep him! I had become a little depressed about his second knee operation and we would be on the bed and he would sigh, turn his head to me as if to say "is staying on the bed all we're doing today?". I had become frustrated with his slow recovery and would call him a stupid jerk or some other name when he was pulling on the leash to eat cat poop and then he would hobble around inside the house from the strain he just put on his knee. Guilt is a rotten thing. But he never complained however a dog would be able to about being stuck with my mopey self. He had this knack (before the knee operations) of dragging me so I had to walk, like he was just wanting me to enjoy being outside and relaxing and smelling what the world was like. I have had many animals before but this dog was like no other. I feel he was specifically picked to be mine to help me. I needed him and when I would stroke his face he would look in my eyes as if he knew he was there for me. Yet I wanted to be there to give him a long and wonderful life. He didn't even have a full 24 hours and I only had about 20-30 minutes with him during that. I didn't even sit in the back seat on the way to the vet to be with him. I just never knew it was so serious. I was scared to get him riled up and therefore was very calm and cool with him. I am extremely upset that I wasn't with him during his final and last moments. i so needed it and in my imagination I think to myself that he needed it. i am left without my best friend and it is more horrible than any other time.
How do I say goodbye to a sweet, loving, gentle soul who was also guarded and protective and the most beautiful creature I have known or seen? You moved with me (sometimes annoyingly) every time I moved just an inch. I couldn't get enough of looking at you, whispering in your ear that I loved you or just smelling your sweet fur, and it will be a long lifetime until I see you again. I know I will have another dog again; I have always needed animals in my life. There was something so special about you. I know another dog will never in any way replace you, but how could I not provide a home to another animal that has no one, and deep down I know you'd not be jealous (even though you were a very jealous dog!). I have actually gotten on your dog bed just to cry. Sissy had to tell me we HAD to leave because I was just not able to pry myself off of you after about 40 minutes. Willingly walking away and saying goodbye is a horrible thing to go through. I have gone into the garage to scream and yell and all my neighbors are crying over your passing. Never before have people other than myself been so upset over the death of one of my pets. You never displayed any signs that you were in pain, even though I knew your knee hurt because you'd still hop on 3 legs occasionally. You were all about just being a dog that was meant to be romping and having fun. And you just hadn't been able to lately. I know I was too over-protective and that might have hindered your recovery a little. I'm sorry. And even with the terrible ulcer, you only showed discomfort and pain that early evening before you passed away. Through your suffering you were still able to show me your sweet face through the door. The house and my heart are so empty. Rocky's mom on the other side of the lake heard the news and misses you. Xsaio and Ugly know something is different, and even lil' Klondike can sense something. Jean misses her beautiful boy. For all of eternity will you be loved my sweet Puppyead!
Love, Mom and Sissy