I spoke on Sunday in the post about losing Buster that I'd had another dog down at the vets on Friday in a pretty bad way. I didn't know just 48 hours later I'd be telling you the story.
On Friday I rushed Donnie down to the vets as he was very lethargic and trying to be sick without bringing anything up. Having had so much experience of German Shepherds and spleen tumours I wasn't prepared to take any chances.
Scans, X Rays and then more scans confirmed that there was a serious problem as the wall of his stomach was grossly enlarged as was his spleen. The indications were that there was a tumour of some sort.
Donnie was a fierce character, although I got to see the beautiful side of an amazing dog, and although the stomach wall look too far gone for surgery his unwillingness to cooperate with strangers meant hospitalisation was impossible.
I have to say that Donnie was incredible and put up with such intrusive examinations without needing to be sedated. He trusted me.
He came back with me overnight and then to the kennels on Saturday. Once I managed to get some medication into him he perked up, and I remember him watching me closely as I dealt with Buster.
Yesterday afternoon he took another turn for the worst. I rushed him back down to the vets as it looked to me that his stomach was beginning to swell. I didn't know if it was an internal bleed or the beginning of a stomach torsion either could of been caused by the tumour. He was also trying to be sick again.
On arrival he was seen straight away, but after another thorough examination unsedated it appeared that the swelling had gone down. We headed home to my house again with medication to help the sickness.
Last night we enjoyed our walk despite the bitter cold rain, and he settled to sleep. This morning I found he had slipped away from me….
Speaking to the vet today they confirmed my fears from yesterday that maybe he had suffered a bleed and that at some point during the night he had suffered another bigger one. He looked peacful this morning.
Donnie arrived with a huge reputation that he certainly lived upto. Even muzzled the day he arrived he was jumping and lunging braying the plastic off my shoulder. It took me days before I could get near him, but thankfully he was a lot more comfortable around Melissa, and I think she deserves a lot of credit for being the one he felt he could trust first. I think I can honestly say hand on heart that he is the only German Shepherd to have me a little fearful, such was this huge bravado he displayed. He wanted to bite me is there is no two ways about it.
As time went on though we bonded and enjoyed so much play time together. He trusted me and I trusted him with me, although he was always going to be a one man dog. I started using him as a stooge dog, such was his calmness and confidence around other dogs.
I am going to miss him terribly. We had a routine, and we had each other. Now that will live on in my heart and memories.
Ironically the start of our 'Not Dead Yet' campaign has departed from us, leaving behind a legacy and having taught us so much.
'Love Replaces Fear' is a phrase I use quite alot with this charity. In Donnie's case it is certainly true, but this time it was my fear that was overcome…..
(Facebook viewers will need to view on www.shak.org.uk to see all the pictures.)