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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.

fanoftheinvisibleman Fri 19-Apr-13 10:32:54

I 'm so pleased to hear that. I am a huge terrier fan and think they are fabulous 'up and at them' go getting personalities.

I know this pup will never replace your other dog in your heart but it sounds like he is starting to steal his own piece away already smile

Best of luck to you all on your new addition to the family.

AllTheNewsINeed Thu 18-Apr-13 23:22:29

Just thought I would do a little update.

DH came home with a six month old JRT who needed a new home. It was a bit of a shock because I'd said I didn't want another dog yet. And the first thing I did when I saw him was cry for my lost dog. But it just seemed to be that this dog needed us now as well and so we have kept him.

Neither the dog we lost nor our other dog was/is a JRT, so this is new ground for us. Both are/were terriers, but not JRTs.

And although I was upset at first, the new puppy is lovely and has settled in very well.

Our older dog mothers him and bosses him about in equal measure, and they play together very nicely. They sleep in the same basket even though they have one each and she seems happier again. He adores her, he's good with DS and DS is good with him and once again I have a little shadow at my feet wherever I go.

Or, at the moment, a little furry ball snoring on my knee. He's very playful and affectionate and it's nice to have two dogs in the house again.

DH was in the dog house for a day or two for not speaking to me first, but I am glad now that he brought him home.

He's not a replacement, he's very different in many ways and similar in others, and I've still shed a tear or two over my other boy because I still miss him.

But even though it's sooner than I expected, it is lovely to have another little chap in the house, and he's very tufty looking and tatty.

Strangers keep picking him up when we go for a walk, and saying "it's the smallest dog in the world" and kissing him. He doesn't seem to mind.

AllTheNewsINeed Sat 16-Mar-13 22:06:23

Thank you all again.

mistlethrush I'm sorry for your loss too. I'm glad you have a new dog now, but as you say, they never replace the one you lost, they make a different place of their own.

Everyone has been so kind. I'm glad to think that so many people care about him.

QuietTiger Sat 16-Mar-13 16:51:17

I am so very sorry for your loss. flowers

You were meant to find that little chap and surround his final days with love and care and have someone to grieve for him when he went. Thank you for caring for him.

Owllady Sat 16-Mar-13 15:12:32

it is horrible losing a dog sad but I am a great believer in fate and you were meant to have that dog werent you? and I know it's upsetting but you did a really lovely thing taking him on and looking after him, it doesn't matter that it was a short time at all, what matters is you were his loving home until he died

LivingInAPinkBauble Sat 16-Mar-13 14:43:13

Proper sobs here, you are an amazing person thanks
So sorry you lost the little one.

AmbrosiaCreamedMice Sat 16-Mar-13 12:44:04

Sorry, I found her another home, but then she was put into rescue, and the rescue (in another country) wouldn't let me take her back. It was 12 years ago and still makes me feel utterly sick.

cate16 Fri 15-Mar-13 17:57:56

It's awful when a pet dies, but you probably gave him the best 7 weeks of his life.

We had two terriers, one like your 'findee' had cancer just over her eye and she died within 3 weeks of diagnosis. The other lived to be almost 20 smile

MrsWolowitz Fri 15-Mar-13 17:42:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Abra1d Fri 15-Mar-13 13:35:18

You mean you abandoned a very sick dog in winter in a public area? You didn't take him to a rescue or try and find another home? Surely that's not what you're saying?

AmbrosiaCreamedMice Fri 15-Mar-13 04:35:10

I'm one of the "callous pitiful excuses for humans who abandoned" a dog. I'm glad your little guy had a 'nice' end to his life. I hope my dog did.

ScottyDoc Fri 15-Mar-13 04:23:27

I'm not keen on dogs but this little sweetie sounds so dear and lovely, and you are a kind and much valued human being OP. If only everyone had your outlook and cared so deeply for their animals. You were meant to find eachother and that little dog died in peace and comfort with you by his side. Thank god for that. You are wonderful smile <serious lump in throat from reading>

scratchandsniff Fri 15-Mar-13 04:19:50

I have tears rolling down my cheeks. Thank god he found you and was loved for those seven weeks. Also sending a hug as losing a dog is so very sad and I know it doesn't take long to love them to bits.

KiwiJude Fri 15-Mar-13 04:12:00

What a lucky boy he was to spend those seven weeks as a part of your family - loved and cared for, then cradled by you against your heart as he slipped away. So sorry for your loss.

spiderlight Thu 14-Mar-13 10:45:38

So very sorry - tears in my eyes from reading your post. What a lucky old boy he was though, to find an angel when he needed one most. He probably had more love in those last few weeks than many dogs get in a lifetime thanks

DeepRedBetty Thu 14-Mar-13 10:42:35


<need to post fast, can't see screen through the tears and have to get tissues>

mistlethrush Thu 14-Mar-13 10:37:35

We lost our old dog to bone cancer last October. It was only three weeks between the first appointment with a limp to having to get the vet to come round and put her to sleep as she was in too much pain.

We have another rescued dog now - whilst she is lovely she will never take the place of mistledog - she will have a different place in our hearts. I still am really sad that we lost her - and so is DS.

What a lovely thing that you made his last 7 weeks full of care and love and fun. thanks

Bless your heart. You did a wonderful thing, so sorry for your loss flowers

GeorgianMumto5 Thu 14-Mar-13 10:15:16

I'm so sorry for your loss. You sound lovely. I think you two were meant to find each other. That little dog could not have had a happier last few weeks and days of his life. He was happy because you found him, loved him and cared for him.

SconeInSixtySeconds Thu 14-Mar-13 09:40:44

That is one of the loveliest things I have ever read on here. You are a star AllTheNews, a bloody great big one twinkling away.

AllTheNewsINeed Thu 14-Mar-13 09:21:13

Thank you everyone. You've all been really kind.

And he was happy with us, I know he was. I'm not sure how long he had been on the loose, but I know when I brought him home he was glad to be here. I'm sure he was glad to be off the streets and I'm glad the dog warden wasn't available on the day I found him and then never rang me back, because his last days then would have been in a kennel in a shelter rather than in a proper home.

I'm glad I decided to post about him here to, everyone has been so kind and it's nice to think that people care about him and what he went through. Thank you again smile

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 14-Mar-13 00:08:24

Oh he sounds gorgeous op. And how fantastic that he found you, and you made his last months so much better. I know you feel sad, but take joy in the fact that you made his life better by showing that someone cared about him, and he gave you happiness too.

Pollykitten Thu 14-Mar-13 00:06:32

you sound lovely & I'm sure his little heart was bursting with all the care & love you gave him - you did everything possible

PariahHairy Thu 14-Mar-13 00:02:08

He is a lucky boy to have found you, just can't believe the callousness of letting an ill dog go stray on purpose, that is just wrong sad.

So sorry for your loss, he sounds adorable, poor wee thing.

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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