(February 11, 2001 - August 17, 2012)
I had to say goodbye to my little buddy, Beeler, today. He fought a valiant fight back from what we think was a stroke he suffered in January. And, he made it.
It looked very bleak for him following the "neurological event" that he sustained. The vets at GVS wanted to do an MRI to determine if it was a stroke or if he had a tumor. My vet had the temerity to ask the specialist the question I didn’t have the heart to ask: “if it is a tumor, is it located in an operable area?” The answer was no. After conferring with the specialist, my regular vet, and my ace-in-the-hole Super Vet, Emily (my niece), we decided to let some time go by and observe him. He spent 5 days at the hospital, during which time he gained his footing (albeit very tentatively), began to eat, and was able to go out to go potty (all with assistance). This gave us the confidence it was not a tumor.
I posted Beeler's story on the Yahoo Group site for SEGA, because knowledge is power; and I wanted other members to hear the story and follow the logic of the decisions that were made. One kind member, Kate Crawford, saw my plight with handling a large, unstable dog, and she offered the loan of a Ruff Wear harness that saved my life. Even though he could walk, he had no control of his back end, which made it nightmarish to manage. This harness had a handle that was situated roughly halfway along the back of my boy, and it gave me leverage to guide him. With a weight belt for me (try hauling 65 pounds of unwieldy dog and see how your back feels!), I was able to navigate him in and out, first through the garage, and later up and down the front stairs.
He recovered his old life to a certain extent. But, in June, he appeared to have a couple of back-to-back seizures, which, once again, weakened him. He was now very unsteady on his feet, and stiffly standing and lying down. The final event that pushed me to let him go was a bad UTI. I was taking him in and out to go potty once an hour until we arrived at the right antibiotic, and he was recovering. But, the stiffness escalated, and he was obviously in pain. I could not let my dear friend suffer anymore.
He went over the bridge this morning, and he undoubtedly was reunited with Belle (f/k/a Oreo Snow) and his littermate, Rebel. Our hounds are precious to us, but life comes fast at them. They are remarkable creatures, and I will miss my Beeler every single day. He was, indeed, a very sweet soul.