I am new to this forum. I posted a brief greeting on the welcome forums, but I needed to go ahead and post here as well. Normally I'd be posting in my blog right about now since that is how I've been coping.
My sweet boy Lance was 12 years and 3 months old this month. He was my very first rescue dog. I drove 10 hours from Memphis, TN to North Carolina to rescue him from a horrible woman running a puppy mill after finding out that a friend of mine who'd had him as a puppy had sent him there. He must have recognized me from his puppy-hood because he latched on to me emotionally and never let me go. He was terrified of loud noises to the point of destroying doors and walls and flooring because of his experience in that terrible place.
I always said my boys were my heart and soul. October is my heart, and Lancelot is my soul. Tobe is much more courageous and independent in his ways. Lance, though, always had a comfort toy in his mouth or near him, and he his eyes always followed me if I moved more than an inch. He never left my side, and when I was afraid he protected me with all his might. When he was afraid, he was in my arms (all 110 lbs of him!). In 2003 he suffered from some mysterious illness that almost took his life. After months of tests and tears and thousands of dollars later, he pulled through it. My vet told me he'd never seen a dog fight so hard to stay alive. He attributed it to Lance's love for me. I never thought I could cry that hard when I thought I was going to lose him that year. I was wrong.
One week ago to the very hour right now, my husband called me to tell me Lance was sick. He was an older baby now, so stomach troubles were not too uncommon sometimes, but something was very wrong this time. I could hear him crying in the background. I raced home and found my husband and Lance walking around the backyard. Lance was trying to vomit, but couldn't. I saw his big, round belly and knew instantly what was wrong. Bloat. I began to sob because I already knew the outcome of this night. I called my vet's number and we raced him to the ER Vet's office. The entire ride to that office was torture. I laid down in the back of our vehicle and held him and whispered to him that I loved him so very much. He was and always will be my sweet angel. He tucked his head into my chest as he always used to do when he would "hug" me. I tried very hard not to be so upset in front of him. He picked up on my emotions so well, and I didn't want to stress him out any more than he already was.
We made it to the vet's office, and she confirmed that his stomach had twisted. I had worked so hard to prevent this in my boys. I read up on Bloat regularly and tried to follow all the rules. But Lance was such a deep-chested shepherd... I don't know what I did wrong. She said surgery would be the only option now, but he was over 12 years old and so tired. And he was hurting so badly even with the pain meds. I told her to go ahead and give him peace. He came into the room, and I got down in the floor with him. He collapsed into my lap and rested his head on my leg. I leaned down and loved on him and told him over and over again how special he was and blessed I was to have had him in my life. With my husband in front of me and my best friend at my back, both supporting me and crying with me, the vet gave Lance the euthanasia drug. I held on to him and he just...went to sleep in my arms. Once she told me he was gone, I then wept like I never had before. Even with my husband and my best friend in that room, I'd never felt so alone in my entire life than when Lance left this world. I rescued Lance for the first time over 11 years ago, and he and I rescued each other over and over again during those years. My heart feels like someone turned it into glass and threw it against a brick wall. There is this huge hole inside me that Lance has left behind. October and I are pulling each other through it, but right now everything just hurts so much. I miss him so very much. I can barely remember a time in my life without both of my boys by my side.
Me and Lance
and this is the Urn I have ordered for him (of course the name will be changed)