Lost my boy Roony
My beloved friend Ronny past away the other day, he was about 12.5 years old.
Not sure of the cause, for the past year or so he has had problems with his bowel movements, vets said they could see no reason why he was having problems, no tumors or restrictions that they could find. They gave him an enema and prescribed stool softeners, he seemed to be doing fine, but never got back to "normal", he always seemed like he was straining, and always ate like a horse.
On Wednesday 13th he was suddenly hobble, he couldn't out any weight on one of his rear legs. Just the day before he was chasing a squirrel in the backyard so I was hoping that he sprained his leg or injured his paw. He couldn't climb the stairs of the basement that he has been up and down 1,000's of times, so I helped him up, brought him his food and water and prayed for a recovery.
On Thur, it seemed my prayers had been answered. He was walking fine with a slight limp, made it up and down the stairs fine, was barking in the backyard and playing with his toys as usual, and ate like a horse. I was elated, but it didn't last long.
Next day FRI he seemed very oppressed, he wouldn't come out of the basement or even get up. I was shocked and worried, but my dog has some peculiarities, one of them being a high paranoia of thunderstorms. If there is a storm, and I mean even 4 hours out, he becomes like this, he gets depressed and skittish, won't eat a thing and won't even think about going outside ,,, So I checked the weather and no hint of storms anywhere. Really worried now, I broke out the leash and called him for a walk, for the 1st time in his life he didn't respond with frantic joy.
He sat there and just looked at me and I knew something was very wrong.
I went to the middle of the basement and tried calling him over, with some effort he got up and came over to me. I comforted him, and carried him upstairs which he did not care for at all. He actually ate some chicken and lapped up some water, I offered him a hot dog but he refused. He laid down and seemed content so I went upstairs to do something, I heard the back door banging open [he is easily capable of barging out the back door, does it all the time].
So I ran out there and he was under the porch, couldn't see him well so I got a flashlight. He was breathing heavily and I noticed his tongue was turning yellow. My heart sank to the ground, and I called my mom who is also very close with him and told her she better get over, I think Roony is dying. She made it over in time, we comforted him but I thought we should leave him alone for a while. Went back in but couldn't help wanting to see how he was doing so I went back out, he shifted his position and was facing the other way, his breathing was even more labored and tongue looking very bad .. I went back in to email a good friend who just loves him, I told her things are not looking good for Roo and barring a miracle which I of course was praying for, it looked like he will not be coming out from that porch alive.
I was right, I sent the email and went right back out, and my boy was gone. I was numb and in shock, but felt a slight sense of relief that he didn't linger or suffer much, and that I didn't have to put him out of his misery.
Still numb, I dug his grave in the yard and place him in it. Had some family members come over for a little service, and placed him to rest along with his leash and favorite toy.
2 days later I am a complete mess. I cannot eat or sleep and I am psychically sick. I am a light smoker but have been smoking like a chimney non stop. I haven't cried at all in over 10 year and I have been crying like a baby these past couple of days. There is no relief, everything that I normally do around here reminds me of what I lost. I am heartsick and have never felt so lonely or empty in all my life.
I am a 47 year old man by the way, single with 2 grown kids. I also have been through this before with 2 other Sheps, Brutus & Popper ... But Roo, the feelings are more intense, I had bonded with him like no other and he was truly my brother, I just don't know how I am going to get through this but I will.
Feel very guilty but I have already started looking for another Shep pup. I know very well that no dog can or will ever replace him and am not expecting that, but I don't actually know if having a new pup would make things better or worse. I just cannot reconcile losing my boy but of course it has to be accepted. 12.5 years is probably towards the high end of a Sheps like expectancy, I feel so blessed to have spent all those years with him, 1,000's & 1,000's of quality hours, many things about him and many things about me only he and I know, he was the best dog I could possibly have ever asked for and part of me died along with him.
Here are a few pics for posterity, one in his prime and the others recent, within a couple of months. I am so glad that he had a great quality of life right up to the end, he went for regular walks, romped around the yard, chewed up boxes and balls, chased squirrels and gave every bit of devotion that he possibly could right up to the end. I am devastated, sometimes I wonder if it is worth it.
Thanks for letting me ramble, don't know if it will make things better or worse, probably no difference, not much that can be done to get over something like this, only time.
I know there are many other threads like this, this is not the time for me to be reading those, but condolences to others who have posted here.