I'm missing 'my' dog and just wanted to tell someone about him

(49 Posts)
AllTheNewsINeed Tue 12-Mar-13 22:38:39

First post here in the Doghouse and have name changed as this would be recognised in real life.

Late last year I found a little terrier roaming around and in a bit of a state. He had managed to wander inside a hospital where I'd gone for an appointment and he was very dirty, thirsty and stressed but also very friendly. He'd just run across a car park and was almost hit by a car, then trotted in through the doors I was leaving by and down a corridor, so I went after him.

I picked him up and tried to find his owner but there was nothing on his collar and after half an hour of waiting with him nobody seemed to be looking for him, so I left my name and contact details with reception, they agreed to put up a notice to tell the owner to go to reception for my details, and I took him to the police station, which is where I had taken a lost dog a few years previously.

It turned out they don't take lost dogs now but they gave me the number for a dog warden and I took the dog home and called them. They didn't answer and never called me back. I kept calling for three days and left a lot of messages.

In the meantime, the lost dog was getting on well with my dog and with DS, and I gave him a bath to clean him up and booked him into the vet on the same day I found him for an appointment the next day. They scanned him for a microchip but he didn't have one, and there was nothing on his collar. They said he seemed a little on the thin side and had bad teeth.

I took him home, put up posters in the area around the hospital to say I had found a dog, and kept him. Nobody ever rang, not from the note in reception, the posters on the street or in reply to all the messages I left for the dog warden.

We had him for seven weeks and I loved him. He was a happy, active, lively dog, very affectionate and gentle. He liked company and I got used to having a little shadow following me around the house.

Then there were a few days where he seemed very tired, took to his basket to sleep a lot etc. Nothing seemed wrong, I thought it was the snowy weather and him being and older dog wanting to stay warm and comfy. And then we woke up one day and he was not walking properly, he was hunched over and walking as though he was in pain. I took him to the vets the same day and she examined him and found a large lump above his eye, hidden mostly by his long fluffy eye brows.

It turned out he had bone cancer and the vet said that he had probably been living with it for some time. I asked about treatment and but she said the cancer was so established, and in such a bad place above his eye, that all they could do for him was pain relief until it was time to let him go. She said that would probably be just a matter of a week or two.

It was actually just three days. The injection she gave him seemed to help for the first 24 hours and he was like the dog we had first found. The next day he was 'alright' but obviously back-sliding and starting to feel ill again, and by the third day he was pacing up and down the length of the house with his head down, not eating or drinking and seemed to be looking for something. He wasn't responding to his name and he didn't seem to know where to put himself.

I rang the vets in tears and got the first appointment they could give me, for an hour and a half's time. But they did say that if he got worse within that time we could go straight in to sit in a private room and one of the vets would try to see us between appointments.

Twenty minutes after that phone call he collapsed and we went in. We waited in the private room for about half an hour and he was curled into the crook of my arm the whole time. He actually seemed happier and more peaceful there than he had been in days. When the vet came in she thought he had already died but when she checked him he was still breathing.

She said that they could give him a painkiller and I could take him home to die, as she thought it would be soon, no more than another 24 hours and it would mean he wasn't in pain after the injection, but that he would very likely deteriorate further before he died and that it might be distressing for him and for us.

We both agreed it would be kinder to let him go there and then, and I got to stay with him while she gave him two injections and he fell asleep and then died very quickly. He had his blanket that he liked in his basket with him, I'd wrapped him up in it to take him to the vet, and I spoke to him the whole time. I hope he knew at the end that I loved him and that I'd have done anything to make him better if I could. I promised him that he would fall asleep here and wake up somewhere better, with woods and a field and a boy to throw a ball and a girl to feed him cheese and a sofa to sleep on whenever he wanted (he had seemed very surprised when I first brought him home and patted the sofa to invite him up with me and our other dog, but after that he made the most of being allowed on it).

But I've never had to do that for a pet before and even though we had only had him with us for seven weeks, I've taken it very badly and still can't seem to come to terms with it.

The vet seems to believe that his previous owners turned him loose because they knew he was ill. She says it happens a lot when people can't or won't pay for care and treatment.

She also tells me that even if we knew about the cancer at the time we found him, it would have been too advanced to treat and that we couldn't have saved him.

I just feel we somehow could have done more for him and I'm very paranoid now about our other dog getting cancer as well, I keep checking and checking her for lumps and bumps now. She's twelve so getting on a bit, and is also a terrier very similar to the one we found, and I'm not dealing well with the thought that she's off an age where she might start to get ill or be an 'elderly' dog.

I'm not sure what the point of posting all this is, as it's been a few weeks now since he died, except I was looking through the camera card earlier and found some photo's of him that I'd forgotten we took, and it's upset me and I'm having a cry.

So sorry for your loss.

But I am so pleased for your little dog that he found someone who cared to spend what time he had left with.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 12-Mar-13 22:44:06

I'm sorry for your loss. It's very hard to have a pet pts, but you made the right decision. Comfort yourself that his last seven weeks with you were lived in comfort and warmth, with a full belly and loving companions, not living rough and starving.

And have a hug.

AllTheNewsINeed Tue 12-Mar-13 22:49:56

Thank you, I'm glad I found him too, he was a lovely little thing.

And thank you for the hug.

DesperatelyChasingBloodyDog Tue 12-Mar-13 22:50:18

So good he had you for company and comfort.
Poor little dog.

SecretNutellaFix Tue 12-Mar-13 22:54:33

The last two months of his life were filled with the love you gave him.

Much more so than the callous pitiful excuses for humans who abandoned him.

Selks Tue 12-Mar-13 22:56:20

Oh bless you for the love and comfort that you gave to that lovely little dog. How wonderful for him that he was able to share his last weeks with you. What you gave him was priceless - you could not have done any more.
He sounds such a lovely little chap. Thank you for sharing your story of your time together. X

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Tue 12-Mar-13 22:57:39

How lovely that he had such a happy 7 weeks with you, was cared for and that you cradled him as he was PTS (so he was comforted, not scared and not in any pain).

I think you have every right to be upset but you gave him so much in that short time and you should be very proud of yourself.

((hug))

gymmummy64 Tue 12-Mar-13 22:58:58

oh goodness me, I'm in floods here. Sounds like you gave that little dog the best 7 weeks of his life, what a special thing to be able to do. Well done you and lots of hugs xx

CatelynStark Tue 12-Mar-13 22:59:47

I feel a bit weepy after reading your post - I'm so sorry you lost your little fella but I'm very pleased that you found him.

Have a hug from me too x

LegArmpits Tue 12-Mar-13 23:02:49

I've got some dust in my eye.

AllTheNewsINeed Tue 12-Mar-13 23:05:06

He was lovely. He looked like a dandelion clock, all white fluff with big dark eyes.

He was very fond of the sofa, or the bed when he thought nobody was looking, and in the first weeks he really enjoyed the woods by our house as well. No squirrel was left un-barked at.

And he could beg for a biscuit with the best of them.

Our other dog is an independent one, she likes to do her own thing, but she's missing him, I can tell. And he liked to be wherever he could find company and was very affectionate and it was nice to have him following my feet around the house. It's been quite hard to get used to him not being here now, he fit in so quickly and so well.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 12-Mar-13 23:13:41

Couldn't read and run. You were his guardian angel. You made his last few days happy and loved. You probably did more for him than his previous owners by the sound of it. You are an absolute star and if he's looking down from his sofa in the sky he probably agrees with me. smile

Abra1d Tue 12-Mar-13 23:21:36

God bless you and YOUR little dog. You did a wonderful thing.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 13-Mar-13 00:58:42

Please don't worry too much about your other terrier, btw, I had a mongrel who was broadly terrier and lived till he was 18, only deteriorating for the last few months. You may have years before you have to go through this pain again, and tbh when I had my terrier pts, he was well ready for it.

Wish we'd do the same for humans. sad

AllTheNewsINeed Wed 13-Mar-13 08:03:45

Thank you all again. I am glad we found him. What his last days would have been like if he was out on the streets doesn't bear thinking about.

And I suspect if he had made it to a shelter, they would have discovered the cancer sooner and put him to sleep much sooner. As it was, all but the last few days of those seven weeks were good ones and I'm glad we could do that for him. I'm just so sorry for him and it all came as such a shock.

OldLady my other dog does seem fit and well still and I had been told that they can live to about 16-19 years old when we got her, so I hope she's one of the ones who does. And yes, I agree about the humans.

Thanks everyone.

MrsWolowitz Wed 13-Mar-13 08:12:54

Oh I have such a lump in my throat.

OP your little dog was lucky to have found you. I'm so glad that his last few weeks were filled with affection, fun and love.

You sound so lovely to him. Sorry for your loss.

Oh and he was your dog and you loved him. Don't ever doubt that he knew that he was yours and that you cared for him.

thanks

fertilityFTW Wed 13-Mar-13 08:22:37

Oh, I'm properly sobbing now. Poor little fella. You are such a wonderful person for filling his last days with such love and care, what a difference you've made to his short life. Big hug to you. thanks

miggy Wed 13-Mar-13 11:16:28

Thats so very sad but very lovely too, what a lovely happy well loved and adored few weeks he had with you.
You made a real difference to his little life so congratulate yourself for that and look back on his funny little ways and smile.

saintmerryweather Wed 13-Mar-13 16:27:42

You are a lovely person to have taken him in and given him a family for his last few weeks and also for letting him go when you knew it was time even though it was hard for you. he knew you loved him and it sounds like he loved you too. what a lucky little dog to have found you

SpicyPear Wed 13-Mar-13 18:05:40

Oh my, I have just sobbed. What a wonderful thing you did for him giving him all that love in his last few weeks and allowing him to pass on with dignity. Sorry for your loss.

RedwingWinter Wed 13-Mar-13 18:16:46

I'm very sorry for your loss, but glad for this lovely dog that he found a home for the last stage of his life. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I think what you did for him is wonderful. You gave him seven happy weeks that he otherwise would not have had. I'm sorry he had such a short time with you.

pigsDOfly Wed 13-Mar-13 22:24:25

So sorry for your loss.

You gave this little dog so much love for the last 7 weeks of his life and you sound lovely.

When you cradled him at the end at the end those would have been his memories.

Try not to upset yourself with thoughts of your other dog going. I think we all worry about that happening (there was a thread on here recently about it).

Take care.

Big hug bless you and he was lucky you found him. Sorry for your loss xx

Charliefox Wed 13-Mar-13 22:40:44

You have a lovely way with words and describe him so beautifully. What a lucky boy to have stumbled across you and to have spent his last weeks being so loved and cared for. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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