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Last night around 5pm Kilo was at the lake swimming and having fun when he suddenly collapsed. Pale gums and all, I rushed him back home- we luckily only live minutes away from the beach. He couldn't get out of the car. I got an emergency red bill (yunnan baiyao) into him and the colour started returning to his gums but he was so weak. He spent up to two hours in the back of the car. We parked in the shade and waited with him until he regained enough strength to come inside. He had no appetite but was able to rest all evening. I knew what to expect. We just saw our vet and spoke to a holistic vet last week about his hemangiosarcoma. My vet said he might suddenly lie down and pass away. He was still conscious just lethargic and weak. Had he been in distress I would have gone straight to the vet.

I settled down to sleep on the floor with him last night but he seemed restless, despite barely able to keep his head up. I realized he kept looking to my bed, where he has been sleeping every night but it's so high. He kept getting up and seemed lost until I managed to pick him up and put him on my bed, where he went to sleep immediately. He weighs 85lbs and I'm only about 115lbs so I've never been able to pick him up like that before. Guess when times are dire enough that can change.

This morning he was very weak and had to be carried upstairs. Despite this, he still mentally seemed normal like he was trying to return to his regular routine. I had to zip over across the road to feed a friend's animals and he heard the keys jingle and tried to get up (he always came with me; I'd either walk over or drive with him chilling in the backseat). Then when I got back and was digging bones out of the freezer to make bone broth, he managed to get up and was waiting for me at the top of the stairs. He just had no appetite.

The hour before he passed he seemed a bit restless. Getting up and drinking lots of water, which he vomited back up. He finally laid down in my room where I laid in bed watching him breathing. I heard my family get home and started getting up when I heard him take a big breath and his head was sitting awkwardly so I sat with him. His gums and tongue had suddenly gone pale. I had been monitoring the colour of his gums constantly and it happened very fast. He started taking awkward, delayed breaths and then he was gone. I was lucky to be able to call the rest of my family to come sit with us. But it seemed to happen so suddenly, especially when he'd been up and walking around and seemed to be getting stronger.

We took him in to be cremated. I made sure to save some of his hair. It's just so shocking even though I've known since May 1 he had this cancer. For him to suddenly just be gone. The past week he was back to himself, alert playful and happy. He only had maybe 3 days where he seemed lethargic. I wish I had restricted his swimming last night; I'm pretty sure it triggered the bleed. But he was having so much fun, and I know I'd rather he had a good quality of life rather than just living every day on his bed not able to do the things he loved.

It still doesn't seem real. I was trying to prepare for this, but he'd been doing so well I thought we'd have more time. He has always been at my side. Everywhere I'd go, he'd go. I don't know if I'll ever connect with another dog like I did with him. He always seemed to understand more than he should have, and was so in tune with me I often didn't need to say things to him he'd just do them. I've taken so many photos of him over the years. Without him I would have lost interest in photography. We could go for a hike and I would suddenly tell him to stop, and he would stand there patiently, or 'modeling' as I took photos at different angles, etc. He was so patient that way.

I don't really know what to do now. Lola was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma last year, but with how she hasn't changed I wonder if it wasn't malignant. We didn't do further testing with the symptoms she was showing but she seems ok. I've just always prepared to lose her at any time as well. She was only supposed to be a temporary foster as her owner passed away last year but I didn't think she had long to live either so I've been treating her palliative. I never thought Lola would've outlived him.

It's so frustrating. I fed Kilo the best whole foods, his bloodwork was always excellent, no signs of masses. This cancer came up so fast. He would've only just been turning 8 this month but he seemed to be coming into his prime. He didn't show his age. I did so much work with him and he'd finally settled into the dog I always wanted. We fixed his leash aggression/reactive issues. I could take him anywhere and he would be so good. I learned so much with him I just wish we could have had more time. For years I rarely took him anywhere and it was always muzzled and on a short leash. This past year after working with a trainer he was like a different dog. So much more relaxed, confident. He was in such fantastic shape. Just in March, I was taking him out on the trails when I'd run my horses up the hill. We'd go out every day, often on 2-3 different rides while I got my horses in shape. He never seemed to tire, even running through snow the whole time. This time last year we were hiking 10km+ a day when I worked at an off leash hiking kennel.

I just don't know what to do now. Kilo was my life. Everything I did was for him or to include him. With Lola she could also go at any time. She is a sweet dog but I don't have the same connection there. The thought of having no dogs, and missing that companionship disturbs me. But the thought of starting over with a puppy is overwhelming and exhausting to me. Especially when it took years for Kilo to mature into the dog he was. I don't even think I will bond with another dog like him again :(
 

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I'm so sorry, your story sounds so familiar... exactly how my boy at 6 yrs young with hemangiosarcoma left us. Cancer is a bitch. You will keep questioning what you could have done better... what you didn't do... try to not be hard on yourself. Your boy was clearly so loved, you gave him a beautiful life! Give it time and remember your boy, don't be afraid to open up your heart again one day. Sending prayers your way...
 

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I'm so very sorry.I'm glad you were able to be with him in his final hours to comfort him.R.I.P. sweet Kilo.
 

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Give it time and remember your boy, don't be afraid to open up your heart again one day. Sending prayers your way...

very well said.

I feel for you and your loss, he was a beautiful dog and it sounds like you loved him more than words can say.

Time will help you heal. You will always have the memories of the time you spent together, focus on that not what you should have done differently.

You are lucky to have been able to be there so he wasn't afraid and alone when his time came.
 

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very well said.

I feel for you and your loss, he was a beautiful dog and it sounds like you loved him more than words can say.

Time will help you heal. You will always have the memories of the time you spent together, focus on that not what you should have done differently.

You are lucky to have been able to be there so he wasn't afraid and alone when his time came.
As hard as it was I am glad to have been there. He barely left my side since the diagnosis. I knew how fast it could happen and didn't want him to be alone. It almost seemed like he waited until my mom and sister walked in the door before he went.
 

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I'm so sorry, your story sounds so familiar... exactly how my boy at 6 yrs young with hemangiosarcoma left us. Cancer is a bitch. You will keep questioning what you could have done better... what you didn't do... try to not be hard on yourself. Your boy was clearly so loved, you gave him a beautiful life! Give it time and remember your boy, don't be afraid to open up your heart again one day. Sending prayers your way...
6 is so young. I'm sorry for your loss as well
 

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As hard as it was I am glad to have been there. He barely left my side since the diagnosis. I knew how fast it could happen and didn't want him to be alone. It almost seemed like he waited until my mom and sister walked in the door before he went.
That is exactly what my boy did too. He waited until 9pm at night for every single one of my family members to come home from work so we could all gather around. That is the beautiful thing about these dogs, they are angels.. they want nothing more than to be with you by your side every step of the way.. they are forever loyal. And that is the most wonderful gift you could have given him, to be there with him until the very end. I bet he was very happy to have everyone he loved there with him.
 

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What a beautiful boy. I am so sorry.

These dogs will shatter us into a million pieces.

He left a huge paw print on your heart.

Sending you healing vibes!
 

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So sorry for your loss! Give yourself time to reflect and heal, he was a beautiful beautiful dog...RIP Kilo!
 

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Sorry he's gone. I think you did the right thing in taking him swimming, he got to do what he enjoyed right up to the end. I did the same thing with a lab I lost to osteosarcoma at 5 yrs old. I took him swimming every day for as long as he enjoyed it.
 

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I am so very sorry. This cancer is so insidious. I'm glad he got to pass on his own terms, at home with you, instead of in a vet hospital. There's so much dignity it going peacefully that way. We did that for my last one who died of hemangio too.

It's too soon to be thinking of another dog, but know that there will be one. Kilo would not have wanted you to be without a canine companion -- now that he's on the other side, he will want to know you're protected and loved. Eventually, he may even visit with the other dog -- you'll perhaps see a bizarre quirk in a future dog, a trick you never taught, known only to Kilo, and you'll know he's in touch saying "hi."

With your future dogs, the bond won't be the "same" bond -- it can't be as that one belongs to Kilo. Instead, it will be wonderful in a different way. The decades of of a dog lover's life are marked by the dogs we own in our 20s, 30s, 40s, etc. Every decade is defined by the dogs that shared it. Their passing never gets easier, but over time I've realized my heart gets more full of love with each dog that shares a decade of my life. The pain at the end is the price of years and years of love and joy -- the more love, the more it hurts to lose them.
 

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I am so very sorry. This cancer is so insidious. I'm glad he got to pass on his own terms, at home with you, instead of in a vet hospital. There's so much dignity it going peacefully that way. We did that for my last one who died of hemangio too.

It's too soon to be thinking of another dog, but know that there will be one. Kilo would not have wanted you to be without a canine companion -- now that he's on the other side, he will want to know you're protected and loved. Eventually, he may even visit with the other dog -- you'll perhaps see a bizarre quirk in a future dog, a trick you never taught, known only to Kilo, and you'll know he's in touch saying "hi."

With your future dogs, the bond won't be the "same" bond -- it can't be as that one belongs to Kilo. Instead, it will be wonderful in a different way. The decades of of a dog lover's life are marked by the dogs we own in our 20s, 30s, 40s, etc. Every decade is defined by the dogs that shared it. Their passing never gets easier, but over time I've realized my heart gets more full of love with each dog that shares a decade of my life. The pain at the end is the price of years and years of love and joy -- the more love, the more it hurts to lose them.
Thank you for this. I've never bonded with a dog like this before and definitely don't have anything close like it with Lola (which is kind of unfair to her, I've only had her a year, but I just haven't felt the same connection. I'm very fond of her, but Kilo felt like my soulmate whereas she just feels like another dog. She was a foster who is also sick so I didn't let myself get too attached. I didn't think she'd even make it this long.) It's hard to think about starting over. I know I'm not ready, but I'm also scared of losing Lola now and being totally alone. Everything I did was for Kilo. I never had any interest in hiking or exploring local spots if I wasn't taking him with me. I don't even know what to do now. I can work on taking Lola places and doing more with her. But she can be dog aggressive which is why I ended up keeping her; it was too risky trying to rehome her. It's something I can definitely work with and she can get better. I just feel as soon as I start getting close with her I'll probably lose her as well.
 

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You have me in tears. I lost my dobe of 17 years, she raised my kids with me. It wasn't like losing a child, it was like losing part of me. Thought I would never love another dog like her again, and I was right. I *need* a dog in my life, so I got my mastiff. She died of cancer as well, only a few weeks after her diagnoses. She died young, and I buried my heart with her. It took me a couple years before I was ready for Genali, but I have her. The first few days were strange, she kept reminding me of my mastiff in silly ways. It didn't take me long to see the similarities and embrace the differences. Bella and Kaliopy would have liked Genali, and one day they will all romp together across the bridge.

Our dogs take a huge piece of our heart with them when they die. But, before long, you will see that you loved Kilo so and he love you so that your heart grew so big that you could give him that piece and still have another piece there for the dog Kilo would want you to have once you are healed and ready. He was certainly a beautiful dog. I am so glad that his last activity was one that he loved and was with someone that he loved.
 
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