Friday, July 10, 2009

Good-bye to a good friend.

We only got to have him in our lives for a little less than a year, but we are so glad he was a part of our family!
We adopted Damon at the end of last summer. He was about 10 years old at the time. We wanted an older, mellow dog since we were about to have our 6th child and didn't want to house-train a puppy nor deal with puppy antics. We adopted him from a very nice family who had given him lots of love and he fit into our family perfectly. The kids all adored him and gave him lots of hugs and were constantly telling him what a good dog he was.
He had a very sweet, mild disposition and was so great with the kids! He never really cared for our other dog, Sequoia, and mainly ignored her. He barked at the cats at first (and tried to chase them for some doggy entertainment) but soon learned that was not the thing to do. He swam with the turtles in our little pond a few times. I'm sure the turtles were more than a bit surprised to have a 90 pound Golden Retriever suddenly in their pond, but we all thought it was fun and got a big kick out of it! :)
About 3 weeks before he died, we noticed he was having a very hard time getting up the stairs in our house. He still acted happy, but just couldn't seem to make it up the last few steps. We also noticed that he was not eating as much as he used to and seemed to suddenly loose a lot of weight. We took him into the vet, they did some tests and determined that he had liver cancer and such severe arthritis that his spine was beginning to fuse. Poor guy! They prescribed a good pain killer and told us he probably had 3-4 months left to live.

About 5 days later, we realized he didn't have that much time left. He was not wanting to come into the house much at all. He wouldn't eat the super yummy wet food we bought for him. He slept more and more and more. Then one night, he didn't ask to come into the house at all. When we woke up in the morning, we saw Damon sleeping in the same place he had been sleeping the day before. He got up, walked a few steps to the turtle pond for a drink, then immediately lay back down. He didn't move when the sun started to shine on him and make him hot. Dave picked him up and lay him down in some shade. I checked his gums and they were white. We knew he was dying and that it would be less painful for him to be euthanized, rather than slowly die. Poor guy. We told the kids and gathered them around to tell Damon good-bye. They all gave him hugs and kisses and told him what a terrific dog he was and how much they loved him. Sebastian cried really hard and held Damon for a very long hug. Once the other kids saw their big brother crying, they all broke down too, as did Dave and I. After we said our good-byes, Dave carried him gently to the car and stayed with him until the end.

Damon was a great dog! He was greatly loved and has been greatly missed! We are so blessed to have had him in our family for a time! :)

Through this experience, we have come to LOVE the vets at Dublin Animal Hospital. They were so caring and compassionate and fair and sweet. We used to go to Banfield, but never will again. The caring staff at Dublin Animal Hospital made an impression of Damon's paw for us and sent us a sweet card a few days later. They helped to make this painful passing a bit easier.

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