It's taken me this long to be able to post this. My heart is still so broken from losing my baby, Evan. He was only 7.
We got him when he was 18 months old. Not quite a rescue, I guess, since he lived with his original breeders (and his mom and dad) all that time. He was supposed to be a show dog - pretty boy, and all, but he had the misfortune of tearing his first ACL when he was just 7 months old. Not realizing it was a full tear, the breeder just let it "heal" so he ended up with a goofy gait and couldn't be shown. Almost a year passed before we were lucky enough to find the most incredibly sweet dog in the world.
Of course, six weeks after adopting him, he tore the other ACL, and so began our very large folder of medical bills. Nothing but the best for our boy. Eventually his original torn knee that had self-stabilized gave out and he ended up with a very successful TPLO.
I spent more time than I can track learning about dog health, nutrition, orthopedics, you name it... short of going to medical school... anything to keep my boy as healthy as I could. Funny to look at the price of dog food when he'd get $3/day of supplements! And of course, a raw diet for much of his life.
So imagine how devastated I was when he got sick. Fast. In hindsight, thankfully fast. Vomiting and diarrhea - who hasn't dealt with that? Four days at the vet where they "treat the symptoms". He wasn't getting better, in fact, he was getting worse. Several misdiagnosis, some unforgiveable to me by the vet that I've trusted for so long with the lives of my dogs... then a few hours of false hope, then the unexpected, unbelievable, unchangeable diagnosis of cancer.
His symptoms kept developing - stomach blocked (and full of barium from the xrays), bile duct blocked, no nutrition, jaundiced, plummeting protein levels, and finally, just as we were about to give him a transfusion to buy some time and do exploratory surgery (since there was a glimmer of hope that it wasn't cancer that had destroyed his whole GI tract), his blood would no longer clot. The final symptom pointing to cancer. Really bad prognosis regardless of what kind of cancer it was. So we'll never know exactly what kind it was, which might be part of why I'm having such a hard time accepting it.
But we had to let him go. It was surreal. It caught me off guard so badly. I still can't believe my dog got cancer... not after all the self-educating I've done precisely to help keep that monster at bay. It took me a good while to realize that I can't really prevent cancer, no matter how much good stuff I tried to do.
I take solice in knowing he had an amazing life once we got him. He had the best care, we fixed his knees so he could run and play, we got him a brother (who turned out to be his biological uncle), he had off-leash runs in the woods virtually every day. He swam in Lake Ontario. He had eight dog beds. And the saddest eyes. He chased squirrels and chipmunks, and loved eating snow - free buffet!
He loved his regular routine where I (or anyone) would sit on the floor and he'd curl up in my/their lap. In fact, as weak as he was at the end (and he wasn't in pain, just uncomfortable), he still curled up in my lap every day when I'd go to the vet to visit him and get an update on what was going on.
Maybe he lived even longer because of the all the extra care he got. And oh, I'm so thankful that he didn't suffer. That this horrible disease snuck up on him (and us) and just stopped his ability to eat. Can you imagine anything worse for a Lab? It was blessedly fast, in the overall scheme of things.
So, you can see why I haven't been able to post... and maybe it's still too soon, but this isn't getting any easier for me and I feel that this forum, with all of you who have this amazing breed of dog, can understand what a devastating loss I'm dealing with.
There will never be another Evan.
Thanks for letting me get it out.
Oh how sorry I am for your loss...tears are streaming down my face reading your post. I lost my best friend and companion 3 years ago this past April and, even though he lived a long full life, the pain of his loss was unbearable. I can't even imagine what you had to go though(a lab that will not eat) and what you are going through now. (((((hugs)))) to you during this most difficult time. Run Free Evan! You were so loved.
I am so sorry for your loss, for any of us who have been their, we know how hurt your heart is right now. (((hugs)))) to you, run free sweet boy!!
Run free, Evan. Run Free.
Blaisberg, Find some comfort in knowing that you gave him the best life possible while he was with you. He will always be in your heart.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Rest in peace Evan. My heart goes out to Evan's family. I lost my best friend Casey in Jan 2009, she almost made it to her 14th birthday. I know the heartbreak you are feeling. I still miss her so. You gave your boy a great life, now he plays over the rainbow bridge with all our departed friends. Hugs and prayers to you. God Bless
So sorry for your loss. I too was blindsided by cancer but I at least had a few months to come to grips. It's so hard to lose them when you've tried so hard to save them. He is always with you though.
So sorry for your loss *hugs* Rest in peace wonderful Evan.
<3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3
It sounds like Evan was treated to a wonderful life in your home and was "King" of the castle. I am sorry for your loss. May your heart heal and the good memories you have give you comfort.
Run Free Evan. I am so very sorry for your loss.