Thursday, 14 February 2013

Big Boy crosses Rainbow Bridge

For various reasons it has been some time since my last post.  Sadly, one of the reasons is that Big Boy became even more poorly and after a lifetime of ill health he passed away at the end of last year.

It started sometime in November, when he began vomiting.  Not the usual "coffee grounds" and bile that usually signified a re-occurence of his gastritis but copious amounts of clear mucous that trailed all across the floor.  

When the usual 24 hr starvation followed by a light chicken and rice diet didn't help it was off to the vet and an anti-emetic injection.  This would work for a few days and then the vomiting would start again.  Although reluctant to cause him more stress through medical interventions I agreed he could go in for an exploratory endoscopy as we had reached the point where palliative care was the only other option.  

A scan and x-rays suggested shadows in his stomach and lungs but as he was being intubated in preparation for the endoscopy some sort of vascular mass in his lungs ruptured, there was blood everywhere and he nearly died.  They did however get him back and after a couple of days we got him home, although without a definitive diagnosis as further investigations couldn't proceed.  He was very weak, had lost a lot of weight in just a few days but once home started eating and was keeping food down. 

My son - his special friend - came home for the weekend to visit him, but by the following Wednesday Big Boy started refusing food and on the Thursday morning he told me he had had enough.  I have heard people say this, but this was the first time I have experienced it, and I'm not sure I can explain it, but it did happen.

My son arranged a flight home and an appointment was made with the vet but by that evening Big Boy was getting weaker so my son brought forward his flight to arrive first thing in the morning. I slept downstairs that night with Big Boy who seemed reasonably settled and in the morning I told him I was going to the airport to collect my son.  But as he got into the car, and we pulled away from the pick up point his phone rang.  It was my daughter to say that Big Boy seemed to be having a fit -and then almost immediately he stopped breathing.  And that was it, after 8 years he was gone.

When we got home, just a 20min drive, Little Girl and Little Boy were watching morosely, Little Girl quite obviously knew what had happened, and I let them both say their good- byes.  

The night before he passed away Big Boy had asked for the back door to be opened, and despite the bitter cold of December he lay there looking out at the garden as he always did when it was a warm, sunny spot, as if he were reliving old memories of happier days.  We had him cremated and scattered his ashes around the garden boundary where he so loved to patrol so he can always be with us and watching the other dogs.

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