It's been just over two years since I lost my heart dog Ike to Hemangiosarcoma. And to be honest, it hasn't gotten any easier. Just saying his name, brings tears to my eyes.
It is impossible for me to explain the bond I had with that dog. He was my best friend, my partner, my everything. He went everywhere with me, winery tours, lake house weekends, training, searches, everywhere.
Ike was the dog that everyone wanted to be liked by. He attracted attention and affection everywhere we went. Everyone wanted to be his friend.
He was strong nerved, high drive, goofy, playful and amazing. But that's not to say he was without his issues. He was a bad dog, very bad. Not fully housebroken until 8 yo, got into the trash, destroyed so much in my house it's hilarious, but I loved every second of it. He always brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart.
One day I came home from work, after stopping to buy fish. I was at my tank, starting acclimation and I heard him stumble up the steps. When he got to me, he collapsed. I checked his gums, they were white. A quick call to work and we were on our way. We tapped blood in his abdomen and went into surgery. His spleen had a mass that ruptured and they found mets on his liver. We removed the spleen and I was given 6-8 weeks.
2 days post surgery and he was bouncing around like a fool. You would never know he had major abdominal surgery. So we hiked, he got extra treats and canned food and lots of fun. I made his last weeks with me perfect, at least I hope I did.
6 weeks to the day, he greeted me weak and again collapsed at my feet. I looked at him, gave him a kiss and said "ok, so I guess it's tonight." We drove to my work and my vet met me outside. We walked around the orchard and had some alone time. I videod those last moments, and in the very dark times I watch them.
He went peacefully. But my heart is still destroyed. I miss him every day. After 2 years, I still think of him daily.
I have a new boy now, and I love him to pieces, but he gets the short end if the stick sometimes. I don't compare them, but I call him Ike a lot. They are similar in so many ways. And when I tell funny stories about Nix, I often say Ike.
Ike taught me so much. Patience, humour, determination, joy. He never let me down, even though I know I let him down sometimes. He made me a better owner, partner, trainer. He solidified what I want in a GSD. I miss him terribly.
So everyone, love your pups like it's the last day, play like it's the last session, and take pictures!!!