Monday, August 31, 2015

Dillon's Last Day, Our Nightmare with the ER Vet

This post is a memorial post for our beloved Dillon, who died unexpectedly last week.
We loved this dog tremendously.
This is a long post, about his last day, as a service announcement in some ways.
We had the joy of living with Dillon for 8.5 years, he was the best dog of all.
Handsome Dillon recovering from Mast Cell Tumor surgery sitting with his Pa.

This post is to advise all pet owners to have an emergency plan in place. Now. 
While your pet is ok.  Not later. Do this research now.  We wished we had.
If something suddenly occurs, you will have researched emergency animal hospitals, and picked the best one. The one with good Yelp reviews, the one that is highly recommended by friends,  the one that your everyday vet says is the best.  Find the hospital that has the experience, the expertise and emergency facilities to manage your critically ill pet when time is of the essence.
You don't want to go through what happened to us with Dillon.
A typical day with Dillon, he was so happy to just be wherever we were. 

 Dillon's last day began just like all of his other 3,100 plus days with us did.  We woke up with him that morning, and he followed us downstairs.  Dillon was a quiet dog with a patient and loving personality. He was our shadow....If we went upstairs, he would follow. If we went in the TV room, he would too.  So this morning was like any other, he waited for us to have our coffee then began wagging his tail to remind us it was his turn to eat and to go outside to do his business.  As our routine is, I fed him and then hubs took him out for a short walk until mission was accomplished.  
A regular start to another day for us all, it appeared.  
But that was not going to be the way things would go. 
Dillon could be found most often on our sofa snoozing or looking out the window

As he usually did, after a bit of hanging out downstairs, he went back up to our bed.  He loved laying in bed and looking out the window soaking up the rays of sun that hit the bed in just the perfect spot.  Pitbulls love laying in the sun.  I was always pulling blankets over him, to warm him from the air conditioning in summer, and the chilly air in the winter.  He loved to be warm. Hubs came back home for lunch, and as I prepared it, I did note and mention to Dave that it was odd that Dillon wasn't coming down to see what we were having for lunch. His sense of smell was as sharp as hearing.  If I was cooking an egg, or cutting up some chicken, I could hear his plodding footsteps coming down from the third floor. He would always appear when I was cooking.  Our kitchen floor always had dried drool spots, as this was part of what he did.  But I just thought, well its tuna fish, maybe he doesn't care for fish....and Dave and I had lunch.  He went back to work, and I went to do some errands. It wasn't until 4:30 after Dave came back home and my stepson, Scott, noticed Dillon was laying up on our bed but breathing very oddly with heavy panting while Dave was showering.  Dave checked him and noticed his stomach was really distended and it felt hard.  I was summoned upstairs by Scott and we all realized Dillon was in trouble.  Dave said a condition called bloating could be very serious.  I googled it and yes, it could be "rapidly fatal".  It advised taking your dog to the nearest ER vet. So we took him to the closest Emergency Veterinary Hospital, without hesitation.  Did we check the Yelp reviews? Yes I briefly did, but thought that the bad ones were just isolated incidents.  I didn't realize that there are "hidden reviews" which are largely unflattering, but you can access them on Yelp by searching for them.  Make sure you do. Read them all. Then ask for references from area daytime veterinarian's about the best hospitals to go in an emergency.  I WISH we had done this, when we weren't thrown into crisis mode.  So that decision is something that I have to live with, and its made losing Dillon so much harder.  
Dillon's adoption photo on the Pitbull Rescue site. This was truly love at first sight.

As briefly as I can describe the events from that point on:
Before we put him in the car, he did have another normal movement and a pee. That was reassuring to see.  We worried about his bloating or GVD (medical term) condition and quickly debated taking him to the closest ER vet or to the one in Boston that was well known for the best animal care.  If he had GVD it was rapidly fatal, and he had been laying in bed since around 11 am with the condition.
So the closest place won out, and off we went.  Upon arrival at 5:30 pm, they whisked Dillon into a back area to examine him, and then put Dave, Scott and myself in a private exam room.  
The doctor came in about 20 minutes later and said she didn't notice him having an extended belly
and said she did a quick ultrasound, and everything looked normal. He only had a raised temperature which she said she wasn't sure why.  Perhaps he had Lyme Disease she suggested.  She advised an xray to make sure the tummy was ok. Yes, we agreed.  She asked for his history. We explained he had Mast Cell Tumors that were  successfully removed last fall , with  clean margins and no lymph nodes involved.  Dillon was considered cancer free.  
No other issues, other than a knee replacement several years prior.
Our 2014 Christmas card with Dillon, front and center! 

We were breathing a sigh of relief as it was not a bloated gut, just a strange fever.  
She returned and told us that the xrays on tummy showed everything to be fine. However she noticed his lungs in the corner of the xray showed some spots, or nodules.  She thought they could be cancer, and asked if we wanted her to xray those.  YES, please check him for cancer, of course!
She returned to say that the xrays of the lungs showed what the radiologist on staff considered to be signs of older damage from perhaps chronic bronchitis.  So he didn't have cancer, just this "fever of unknown origins".  That is technical term, when they don't know what is causing a fever.
Wow, we were so relieved.  He was just sick, and it may have been from a tick bite.  The doctor gave us a prescription and told us to cook up some white rice and feed him a bland diet for the next few days.  We prepared to take him home.  We had been in the exam room for 4 hours as Dillon was in the ER kennel cage.   During the course of the 4 hours as we waited for the doctor to come in and update us, we chatted together to while away the time. Our mood was good as we were no longer worried about Dillon being in a crisis.  Every now and then, we heard a thumping of a tail against the wall.  It was a loud and hard thumping, like one his tail could deliver.  We started to wonder if it could be Dillon's tail?  His hearing is out of this world amazing, and indeed, when we asked the Doctor where he was kept, she pointed to the wall of our room, and said, "right behind that wall".  When he heard us, he would thump his tail!  I am so grateful he realized we had not left him, and that he knew we were there waiting for him those 4 long hours. But it made me question why they sequestered Dillon in the back.  Our other vets would examine him right in front of you in the private exam room, and we would discuss symptoms with transparency. This felt all wrong having Dillon in another room.   We realized in hindsight that the ER was slammed with other pets, and this doctor was running from room to room, with little time to properly notice his symptoms. Ordering xrays and the like, it was clear she never gave his breathing troubles a second thought as there was no note in his discharge papers about it, which was troublesome and the smoking gun of her missing his ailment.
A portrait event at Pioneer Goods.  Of course our family portrait included Dillon. 

When we got home it was 10 pm.  Dave carried Dillon inside and put him in our family room.  Dillon walked over to a corner and laid down with his head to the walls.  I went in the kitchen and started the white rice.  I took chicken out of the freezer so I could boil some up for him for tomorrow.
When I went back to check on him, his stomach was still sticking out and he was still panting heavily. The doctor didn't mention his labored breathing at all.   I took photos and videos of him.  He was panting and wheezing with a rattling noise.  Then he started having mucus slobber, which he never ever had in his life.  Tears or fluid dripped from his eye, so I wiped it all back and had a thought~maybe he had the rare canine flu! I called the ER Vet place and was told someone would call me back.  I asked for the doctor who had examined him to give me her opinion, is this something that maybe no one thought of?  He clearly was feeling very sick.  Dave took Scott upstairs to get ready for bed, and I stayed with Dillon. We brought in his large kennel, as he loved to go in it for peace and comfort, like he did after his surgeries.  Dillon immediately crawled inside.  He would sit up then lay down, trying to get comfortable, panting harder all the time.  I laid down on the floor next to him and stroked his head to give him comfort.  I wished it was tomorrow and we could give him his antibiotic and he would start to improve.  The rice was all cooked and in the fridge for his first bland meal, per Doctors orders. 
Our end of summer pose, 2011, New Hampshire

 Another half hour passed and now Dillon's breathing started getting more labored.
All of sudden he coughed up a bright red spot of blood the size of a nickel.  
From that moment on, I knew he was in danger of dying.  How do I describe the 
horror?  It wasn't a tick bite, or a fever of "unknown origins" at all. 
All the white rice and antibiotics in the world were not going to help our boy. 
I called the ER place again and told the phone answerer, that our dog had now
coughed up blood. I needed to have that doctor call us back! I hung up and ran upstairs to get Dave and we both came back downstairs and gathered around Dillon.  We knew he was in grave danger.
The doctor had missed the mark by a mile.  Dillon was in respiratory distress, and given his
mast cell tumor disease and his lung xrays and his heavy breathing, well wouldn't any competent veterinarian be able to tell something was horribly wrong?  And wouldn't there have even been a mention of his labored breathing on his two pages of discharge notes?  Instead it was all guessing that maybe he had an infection from a tick bite and that the antibiotic should be given.
We were in  a frantic mode now.  Dave and I decided to throw on our jeans and get him back in the car and take him to the Boston ER, Angel Memorial.  I was kicking myself we didn't take him there in the first place,  but second guessing our decisions weren't of any help now.  Still no call back from the ER Vet place.  We were clearly on our own.  Dillon stayed quietly panting in his large plastic kennel.  I had his soft white blanket cradled around his head, the same one he slept on at the foot of our bed.  Anything I could do to give him comfort and take away his suffering would be done to the best of our ability.  I ran upstairs to throw back on my jeans as did Dave.  When I ran back down
to Dillon I found him bleeding heavily from his mouth.  His big brown eyes looked at me, and my heart was breaking with despair.  Dave and I lifted him up in his big kennel and carried it out as quickly as we could to my SUV.  We pushed it all the way in so his face could be near us.  I jumped in the back seat and Dave took off for Boston.  It was about a 20 minute drive, maybe 15 if we could hurry.  We called Angel Memorial to tell them we were bringing in our critically ill 10 year old Pitbull.  We told them he had chest xrays 3 hours earlier at a ER Vet place and could they call and take a look at them as it was clear his lungs were failing.  They said they would wait for our arrival.
My face next to Dillons, I rubbed his soft white head and told him what a good boy he was, too many times to count.  He locked his eyes onto mine, and he never looked away.  We were frantic and desperate for help, our poor dog was suffering and was dying before our eyes.  Dave blew threw a light as he sped for help.  Blue lights came up behind us, and we had to pull over, loosing precious time.  Dave explained the situation and we were motioned onward.  Tears were flowing softly as I continued to offer as much comfort as I could.  He really was such a great dog, even in this horrible situation, he was nothing if not graceful and noble.  At this point my cell phone rang.  I was finally getting a call back from the ER Vet place doctor.  Her call back to us was only because Angel Memorial had called for his records.  She was trying to cover her ass.  She told me she thought I should bring him back in to which I replied that we were taking him to Angel Memorial. I told her she misdiagnosed him, that he was in respiratory failure and that we would be lucky if he wasn't dead on arrival.  I told her I couldn't talk as I had to be with Dillon.  I knew in my heart of hearts he was dying, but I couldn't face it.  It was too much of a shock.  We were told he had a fever. That was all.  And then we were left to watch him suffer and spiral towards death while the clock ticked towards midnight with no additional call backs, despite our frantic pleas.  
Our handsome Dillon and adorable Tobey, who both died a few months apart this year.

We were only two minutes away from Angel Memorial when Dillon's chest heaved about 5 or 6 times.  His eyes never stopped looking at me.  He was gone.  Our boy, who we adored more than anything was suddenly gone.  Once in the driveway of Angel, Dave and I cried our hearts out over him, in a state of utter shock and heartbreak.  Did this really just happen? 
In the driveway at Angel Memorial, a gal with a gurney came out for Dillon.  I waved her away and managed to say through my tears, he's gone.  
  I couldn't believe he was gone.  Then I  thought I felt a pulse, but Dave said he didn't feel anything. I had him try again, but no, he couldn't feel it. Maybe Dillon was in a coma?? I ran back inside...
  I had run inside to ask could someone please check him with a stethoscope? 
A doctor came out in her green uniform and climbed into our tailgate to listen to Dillon's heart.
Then she told us he was gone.  And so he was.
 We drove home slowly with Dillon and brought him inside the house.  We would plan for his burial the next day, where we buried all our dogs, up at our friend's farm in New Hampshire.  He came to us in this very kennel when we rescued him from an Oklahoma facility 8 years ago.  Oh how Dillon hated this kennel back then. He had tried to chew his way out of it and the marred plastic still bears the marks.  But after his first surgery for a new knee, he found refuge and peace inside it, as he did in his final hours.  
 In the early morning, after only 3 hours of sleep, hubs said he wanted to make Dillon a casket and he said I should paint Dillon's name on it.  It was a wonderful idea, and gave us something to do.  They say that funerals are for the living, and its the same for a very special pet.  Scott and his dad built Dillon a final bed, and picked out hardware for the pall bearers to hold.  I found some stencils and used them to put his name and dates on the top of this simple pine box. Dave bathed Dillon and placed him in his last bed. We said goodbye to him that day too many times to remember, a hundred last pattings of his soft fur and gentle kisses on his check and head before we could let him go. 
A final gesture of love and affection, a forever bed for Dillon.
 We drove to New Hampshire and met other family members who all came to say their goodbyes.
 He is buried along a stone wall under a stand of tall pines, next to our other dogs.  We gave him the most dignified burial we could.  Our sadness over his sudden passing and all his suffering on his last day was just beginning.  We were all still in shock, and the burial process helped us tremendously. We read poems for our boy after he was lowered into the earth.
 We will hold him forever close.  And hope that the good memories come back and trump the awful ones we have in our minds from his last day.  He could have been spared the pain and suffering.  We could have given him a gentler way out if the vet had recognized that he was in critical condition and not guessed it was from a tic bite. We could have eased him out of our world, and although it would still be shocking,  it wouldn't have been terrifying and filled with pain for Dillon. 
Dillon brought us so much joy.  I loved this dog immensely.
Please have a plan in place if you have a dear pet, so if you find yourself
in need of good emergency care you know what to do immediately.
We were refunded the $1000 we spent that night by the ER Vet place.
That is another story that will never be told, than what you can read between the lines here.
But please.  Get a plan in place.  Now. You never know what is going to be your pet's last day.
And then drive the few extra minutes to a place with a great reputation, 
you won't regret that decision, I promise.

In closing, this poem was edited to reflect the life that our 13 year old
  (my stepson) had with his dog.
Dillon came into Scott's life when he was 4, and now Scott at 13 1/2,
 read this to Dillon at his grave.  




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57 comments:

  1. How sad Amy. Unfortunately there are good and not so good vets. You wrote this in such a loving and sad way. You make me fall in love with your Dillon.

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  2. I am crying and now how hard this had to have been.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story Amy. I am so glad we have an emergency vet we can trust. I am so sorry this happened to you. I know how much you loved him, and best of all he knew too.

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  4. So very sad for you Amy and family. Thank you for warning others w cherished pets. What an incredibly difficult time for all of you to experience. Perhaps the first "vet" is not licensed at all, and a tech who isn't qualified to play doctor! So very sad for you, what a heart ache. Thank you for this post. You may have saved countless animals in your area.

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  5. I know only too well how sad it is to lose a beloved dog. I hope that you will find comfort knowing that Dillon knew he was one cherished family member. RIP Dillon. ❤️

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  6. Oh my gosh... I know that condition well. It happened to a dog i once lived with. So awfully sorry... You were so brave and loving staying up close to him while he was dying. He knew he had complete love from you guys, and I am absolutely sure it eased his last hours. Wow Amy... so hard. My heart hurts for you... I bet his spirit will come visit you in your dreams

    Cindy

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  7. Oh Amy....I can only imagine the incredible sadness, anger, frustration, and pain that you all are feeling at Dillon's passing. I am so very very sorry. That vet certainly dropped the ball in this case and will now have to live with herself because of it. Thank you for the reminder to have an emergency plan set up for our furbabies. I had never thought of this and now will take action. Bless you all and I will be praying for continued healing of your broken hearts. ♥

    xoxo laurie

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  8. I am so very, very, very sorry, Amy. I have not been following blogs but saw this on Facebook. Any of us that have ever had, loved and lost a pet know how you feel. After a while, when the pain has subsided a bit, you will remember fully the deep joy that he brought to your lives...and the shadow of his death will become just that---a shadow that you have walked through. xo Diana

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  9. I read this (and re-read) with tears streaming down my face for all of you and your beloved pet. I'm looking for emergency vets for my 12 year old yellow lab (adopted just under 2 years ago). Bless you for helping so many others by writing this difficult story. xx, Kimberly

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  10. My heart goes out to you and your family. May Dillon live on in your hearts....he was such a beautiful and loving dog. He loved you unconditionally until the end. ....and remember "all dogs go to Heaven".

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  11. Dear Amy,
    I am so sad to hear about the loss of your Dillon. My heart aches for you and your family. May he rest in peace. I pray that your hearts will mend and remember Amy....this wasn't your fault. Dillon knew he was loved and that's all that matters.

    hugs
    Sissie

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  12. I am so sorry you have lost your pets, especially this one in this way. There is really no excuse. I don't have a pet at the moment, but you certainly did us all a great service in suggesting an emergency plan. You can bet that when I do get another dog, I will take your advice.

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  13. Oh Amy, this breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes, feeling your anguish. It is terribly heartbreaking
    to lose a beloved pet, but even more devastating compounded by the circumstances. Your darling boy knew you loved him and you will always have those wonderful memories of him, in your heart.
    Thank you for posting something so painful. I have never given it any thought as what to do if something happens and
    my vet wasn't available . I will now have a plan!
    Much love to you and your family.
    Mar xxoo

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  14. Oh Amy, Here I just happened upon your blog for the first time in quite awhile and reading that you lost Dillon and how, breaks my heart. And I know how hard this was for you to share. We lost our old pal Lucan over a year ago. He had larpar which is a progressive nerve disease with unknown cause that causes paralysis of the larynx and more (it affects the nerve that goes from back of head to tail). Although Lucan's death wasn't sudden, in the last few days of his life we felt quiet left alone by the vets (1 traditional and one holistic) we'd entrusted his care to. We did have to seek emergency care, and while the vet was 'nice' and tried to help she was overburdened with patients and we were left waiting with a dog in breathing distress for much, much too long- close to two hours. There was one girl at the emergency vet who was kind and compassionate and a human bright spot in an otherwise gutwrenching time. We had made the decision to let him go the next morning, but he was taken sooner -- us as we rushed him back to the emergency vet in the middle of the night. It was very traumatic, as were your last moments with Dillon. I wish I could help take your pain away. I wish Dillon didn't have to go through what he went through. And I still wish Lucan didn't have to go through what he went through. We didn't bury him in a handmade box, but we did wrap him in his favorite blanket and laid him on his favorite pillow surrounded by all of his stuffed friends and toys, beside our other pal Guinness in our back yard. Nothing makes it easier. I can thoroughly relate to where you are at. Your advice is caring and generous at a time when you are feeling broken in two. Try not to second guess yourself. You all did the best you could in the situation. And most importantly you LOVED Dillon with all your heart. Losing Lucan who was 14+ y.o. and my best boy ever not only broke my heart but truly broke ME. I basically stopped blogging because I couldn't write about it and just didn't have it in me anymore. So, I think you're very brave and stronger that I was. This is the first time I've shared about losing Lukie. Please take the time you need to heal from your loss of Dillon. Time is the only thing that helps. If someone doesn't understand how losing a pet can be so devastating, it is their loss for not truly knowing the love of a pal. My heart goes out to you and your family and I truly am so sorry for your loss. I just loved seeing your lugnut gracing your blog. What a face. I'll think of him resting peacefully under those lovely trees, here in my state. I'm so glad YOU were the ones to have him those 8.5 years. Dillon surely knew MUCH love thanks to all of you. Sending you and yours a HUGE hug.

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  15. Dear Amy, I am so very sorry about Dillon's passing- Your sad story brought me to tears recognizing your family's love for this special boy and making me relive the loss of my own special guy. Certain dogs touch our hearts in special ways and will be sorely missed but remembered forever. Sending prayers and love to you all. Barbara P from Ma (pligko@hotmail.com)

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  16. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our beloved Kaiser this past January so how you are feeling is fresh in my heart!

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  17. Oh Amy, I am so sorry for Dillion and your sadness and your pain. I am sending you lots of positive thoughts and love.

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  18. I am so very sorry to see the passing of your special boy. He certainly was a handsome one and ovciously loved beyond measure. May those memories help when the hard times come, may his passing be a reminder of the love and trust our fellow pets are and have for us. take care.

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  19. Amy,
    I am so so sorry. I know how much this hurts. In fact, my last post ever was about losing my dog... and I never even came back to my blog after that. It's a horrible gut wrenching loss. I'm sorry! Hugs. Marcy

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  20. So sorry to read this story, Amy! I know the pain of losing a beloved furry companion, but your situation just made it so much worse. My only thought is that you should write a review of this ER vet in hopes that it will save someone else from making the same mistake.

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  21. no words . I'm sorry. I'm so very sorry.
    Prayers for you and Dillon and your family.
    Cat

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  22. I find myself crying for you as I read your post. Such a wonderful tribute to a great dog. I think the best quote I have ever heard is that whenever I loose a dog, I loose a piece of my heart, and when I adopt a dog, I get a piece of dog back. Soon, I will be all dog! Hugs, and prayers for all you are going thru.

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  23. I am so desperately sorry for you This shouldn't have happened to your beloved Dillon. I am so afraid of bloat!.I have three standard poodles so I have memorized the bloat signs and protocol, and lucky for us, we have a great emergency vet 5 minutes from us. But speaking of misdiagnosis- one of the Vets at our $$$ practice once misdiagnosed a case of toe cancer( most often found on black furred dogs) on our black standard poodle for an infection.My husband gave her a piece of his mind after he found out, and luckily, our dog survived. If you ever get another dog prone to bloat, you might look into having the stomach tacked, it won't prevent bloat, but gives you time..

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  24. Such a bittersweet post! I'm so very sorry for your loss of Dillon and the way it unnecessarily happened. Dillon was well-loved and his too-short life is having a huge impact on your readers to learn this lesson now, before it is too late. We all have a purpose, and it seems this is one of Dillon's purposes, other than to love Scott and your family -- to warn us all to prepare for that unfortunate event that we never expect. You can be sure I will be checking out emergency vets today. Thank you, Amy, and may you find comfort in your sweet memories of your precious dog.

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  25. I have followed your blog, your business journeys (and your sons). Although I don't 'know you', I truly am saddened by this. I couldn't read the last few paragraphs for the tears. So sorry for you and your family, it is so hard to lose family members, actual and pets.
    Megan

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  26. I'm crying with you. So very sorry for the loss of a dear friend.

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  27. Oh, Amy, I am wiping away tears as I read your post about your sweet boy Dillon. It's so difficult to lose a fur baby anyway, let alone in such a horrible manner. My heart aches for you and your family. Keeping all of you in my prayers.
    Cindy
    Edith & Evelyn Vintage

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  28. Amy, I was so sad when you emailed me about Dillon.
    He was an absolute sweety pie.
    Who knew a pit bull would be the one you let company meet, while you had to close off your "little terror" of a dog.
    The sofa he lay on while waiting for Dave to come home after work will be missing it's most important decoration: a big smelly beautiful dog.

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  29. I started reading your account of your precious Dillon and had to stop. Too many tears for your loss; too many tears remembering losing several of our own dogs. So many of us truly feel your sorrow. They are not pets: they are family members and as my brother says "After all, they're only human ;-) "

    The last dog we lost, Abby a Border collie/American Eskimo cross, was 14 1/2 years old. No signs of health issues and then one day a massive stroke. The vet said she might come out of it but at her age it was 'the beginning of the end'. We had to decide what to do and having grown up on a ranch, my parents taught me to give suffering animals the peace and dignity of a peacful death rather than allowing them to linger on in pain. We chose to have her euthanized....(Believe me, this was NOT an easy decision but it was made with the veterinarian a wonderful and caring man himself, father to friends of our sons back in high school. We trusted his judgement....and ours.)

    He asked if we wanted to be with her. She was always so afraid of strangers and although I didn't know where I'd get the strength, somehow my husband and I did. I held her beautiful head in my hands; her soft head that had a heart on her face with speckles, as she peacefully and gently went to Heaven. My husband and I cried harder, gut-wrenching tears, than we'd ever thought we had tears for....we cried nearly every day for a month or more. And I cry tears as I write this.

    Abby was one of many dogs whom we loved and became a huge part of our lives. No one replaces them. We just find room in our hearts for other dogs to love....and they love us back unconditionally.

    About 10 years ago, as a grown adult, my dad and I were walking across the yard at the ranch. I asked him, as a child might ask, "Dad, do dogs go to Heaven?" Without pause, he seriously answered "Of course." God says Heaven will have wonderful things beyond our imagination. If He's planning that great of a place for us, He'll surely allow us to have things we know gave us love here on earth....to many of us, it's our beloved furry family members :-)

    Peace to you Amy and to your family. Remember Dillon's life and the joy he brought to you.

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  30. What a beautiful tribute. Have faith that you being with him eased his pain.
    Blessings and peace

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  31. Oh I am so sorry Amy! I cried when Tobey passed....and now his sweet pal Dillon....These losses hit us hard....your Tobey had passed close to when one of our IG's (Italian Greyhound) passed. And you know it seriously effects the pal pup left behind, as well as the fur kids Mom & Dad. Prayers to you and your family for this loss! :( Take solace in knowing this dear pup knew he was greatly loved and that you gave him a wonderful home! Sincere Regards, Roxanne

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  32. Dearest Amy.....I know the pain of losing a beloved pet. My heart goes out to you and your family.
    I am so so sorry for the loss of your Dillon.
    Anne (aka..Fanci)

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  33. I am profoundly sorry to hear of your dog, Dillon's death. The manner in which he died was so scary. I can only imagine the devastation that you felt the moment it happened. At least you know that you did everything you could and he died with you and family with him (not alone). I love the sweet casket that your husband built for him. I can tell he was very loved!

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  34. I hardly ever post a blog comment, but when I read this I felt compelled to offer my deepest sympathies for the loss of your sweet boy. Our fur children offer us unconditional love daily. I have five pitties (and 3 other dogs, plus one foster pit mix) and pitties are so loyal and loving. Your boy knew you were with him in his final hours and he passed knowing you were beside him. I am sure that helped him cross the Rainbow Bridge, where he will wait patiently for you.

    not sure who wrote this, but thought you would like to read:
    When God had made the earth and sky,
    The flowers and the trees,
    He made all the animals,
    The fish, the birds and bees.
    When at last He finished,
    Not one was quite the same.
    He said, "I'll walk this world of mine
    And give each one a name".
    He traveled far and wide,
    and everywhere He went,
    A little creature followed Him,
    Until it's strength was spent.
    When all were named upon the earth,
    In the sky and in the sea,
    A little creature said, "Dear Lord,
    There's not one left for me".
    Kindly, the Father said to him,
    "I've left you to the end".
    "I've turned my own name around
    And have called you Dog, my friend!"

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  35. I hardly ever post a comment to a blog, but felt compelled to do so here. Your boy passed knowing you were with him and loved him, and take solace in that. He is waiting for you patiently at the Rainbow Bridge. Pitties are so special, five of my eight are pitties. Thank you for rescuing him. I am not sure who wrote this, but thought you might like it.

    When God had made the earth and sky,
    The flowers and the trees,
    He made all the animals,
    The fish, the birds and bees.
    When at last He finished,
    Not one was quite the same.
    He said, "I'll walk this world of mine
    And give each one a name".
    He traveled far and wide,
    and everywhere He went,
    A little creature followed Him,
    Until it's strength was spent.
    When all were named upon the earth,
    In the sky and in the sea,
    A little creature said, "Dear Lord,
    There's not one left for me".
    Kindly, the Father said to him,
    "I've left you to the end".
    "I've turned my own name around
    And have called you Dog, my friend!"

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  36. Oh this beaks my heart. This is similar to what my mom went through with Marcus. You did the best you could. You were trying to get him help fast. Just like I made a wring decision with Newman. I know exactly your pain, exactly. One of my sister's dogs died on the way to the vet last week. He was about 12 we think. I am starting to understand why some peoe say no more dogs. This was a beautifully written tribute to a very great dog. At least he knew you were there with him the whole time. That is something to be thankful for. I love you and your's. Wish I was there with you or you were here with me and Franklin.

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  37. My sincerest condolences. Sniff. May your hearts heal and your great memories sustain you.

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  38. Amy I am so very very sorry for your loss and so sorry for the trauma you all had to endure. Take extra special care of yourself and your husband over the coming weeks. Don't underestimate the power of trauma. Dillon was incredibly gorgeous and so very lucky to be a part of your family.
    Fondly,
    -Lisa

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  39. what great parents you are that was a tough read as I try and type thru tear soaked eyes brought back so many memories for me

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  40. Amy,
    My heart breaks for you and your family. I have traveled the same road as you. We have loved and lost the most wonderful little creatures in the world. Just know that you made Dillon's time here "Heaven on Earth". He most surely waits for you someday over the Rainbow Bridge. Be well.

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  41. As I sit here crying my eyes out, feeling like I did when I lost so many pets, I wish there were words to make you feel whole again but alas, there are none. I am so sorry that you all had to loose your "buddy" and "best, most loyal friend". I know there will never be another like him. Thank you for rescuing this Pitty and taking such good care of him through the years. May God bless you all and RIP Dillon.

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  42. Oh dear Amy... my heart is breaking for you, and sobbing as I read your tender and loving story of your dearest "friend". I feel so close because it' just been a short time for me to have lost a beloved pet. She'd been ill for 4 months, getting better... me nursing and caretaking 24/7... until there was to be no more. She passed away in my arms at 2:18 a.m. one early morning... April 22. My heart still aches for her too. God bless you Amy and your family. My heart reaches out to you.

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  43. Oh Amy...I am so sorry to hear about the death of Dillon....and I am sorry that he did not get the proper care in the beginning...Unfortunately there are good doctors and not so good....You did the very best you thought you could do at the moment of a terrible crisis. I am so happy that you had the strength to write this post so those who may experience such a crisis can learn from your experience. Please know that you should not second guess yourself. Heaven needed a sweet companion for an angel. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family in this most difficult time. Dillon was a very fortunate dog to have you as his family and vice versa.

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  44. What a heartbreaking loss you all have suffered--I'm so sorry.
    Bambi

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  45. So sorry that you lost your beloved Dillon. Our sweet Myles passed away on Monday. He was almost fifteen and his hip joints were causing him so much pain the vet said it was best to put him down. Gog bless you and your family with peace and sweet memories. Connie

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  46. So sorry you lost your beloved Dillon. Our sweet dog Myles passed away on Monday. He was almost fifteen years old. His hip joints kept him in so much pain the vet said it was best to put him down. God bless you and your family with peace and sweet memories. Connie

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  47. What a beautiful tribute to Dillon; he was obviously very loved. I am so very sorry for your family's loss. God bless you and your family in this difficult time.

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  48. Oh, Amy, my heart aches for you, Dave, the boys and Dillon. I can't imagine how hard this is. Thinking of you all. I have tears streaming down my face as I read this xx

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  49. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family - knowing what it is like to loose a furbaby. This was very hard to get through, but what an important message you sent out to those of us with pets.
    With prayers,
    Lisa

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  50. Amy,

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful fur baby. I am sure that you did everything that you could and to the best of your ability and Dillion knows that.

    I lost my little pup Munchen on August 21 and to tell you the truth it is the hardest thing I have ever gone through.

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  51. Oh this is so upsetting, you poor thing! We love our pets and Dillon was such a great member of your family. I am sorry for you guys.

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  52. I am so sorry for your loss Amy. I did not know you had lost Dillon until I saw you looking at new puppies, so went to you blog to see if something had happened to Dillon. I am a pet lover too and know all to well about the good and bad vets. Although we can never replace our beloved pets, bringing a new one home helps to fill a bit of the emptiness left behind. Those puppies sure are cute.

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  53. I'm so sorry for your loss - I'm sitting here crying my eyes out over Dillon and all that you've gone through with him...and remembering a similar night in my life (12-7-13) with my dog, Benny. The needless suffering is what truly makes it so frightening and awful for all. I know your good memories will more than snuff out the bad ones with Dillon. Just because you hadn't already made arrangements in the event of an emergency...you shouldn't blame yourself. I know that's not easy to do...it was hard for me too...but I know that there was nothing anyone could have done for my Benny - or your Dillon either.

    Hugs...
    Jan ♥

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  54. I'm crying for Dillon, and for you and your family at this horrific loss. My heart hurts for you all. RIP Dillon, may heaven receive you gently.

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  55. Amy, my heart is broken for you and your family. I am sobbing as I read your beautiful memorial to Dillon. I am taking your advice and discussing this with my vet tomorrow, as my precious Haley has a follow-up appointment. I hope this new puppy brings peace and joy into your life, and maybe dulls a bit the pain of your recent loss. I look forward to reading about the happiness this new family member brings.

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  56. Dear Amy,

    I do not know if you recognize my name or not, but I have been following you on Instagram since probably pretty soon after you lost Dillon. I saw that you posted there and of course, I commented my sympathies. And I have seen many posts of your new puppy (who is adorable, by the way). And I don't remember if you remember, but when I commented on Dillon's passing I mentioned that we had lost our beloved Golden Retriever, Scout, just a month before you lost Dillon, at only 8 years old. Reading this post has me in tears, not only for what you went through, but most especially for the suddenness. And the feelings of powerlessness that you must have been feeling. My experience wasn't the same, but I did lose a beloved dog fairly suddenly to bloat, so when you mentioned "bloat" in your post, it made my heart jump. Our Scout was diagnosed with a brain tumor in early July. I won't bore you with all the details, but we did an MRI, saw a dog neurologist, then a dog oncologist, and were just making the decision to pursue radiation. Even though it would only buy 6 months to a year. Even though it was thousands of dollars. Because we considered him a part of our family, and couldn't bear the thought of just "putting him down." We couldn't do nothing at all. We were set to do radiation on the following Monday. Then, on Wednesday July 22 (5 days before), I picked him up from yet another over night at the ER vet (due to seizures brought on by the brain tumor) and brought him home. He seemed himself and was sooo excited to see me. Fed him dinner, only to find him retching with no vomit coming out about a half hour later. When I called the vet they said it sounded like bloat and to bring him back in. Unfortunately, the surgery to repair the bloat is expensive, and not a guarantee, and with his body already weakened from the brain tumor, it would have just been too much. So after weeks of agonizing over the fact that I was going to lose him in a year, I ended up losing him that very night. It was the most difficult thing I've ever gone through, so my heart goes out to you. I feel such kinship with people who not only lose their dogs suddenly, as you and I both did, but with those who truly love their dogs like they are their children, as I sense you did/do. Anyway, I'm not sure why I felt compelled to write, I just know that I did. Watching you with the new puppy has given me hope as I was so depressed and couldn't really get excited to get a new dog. However, our kids really want one, so now we are getting our new baby Golden in about a month. I hope it will erase some, though I know not all, of the pain.

    I have really enjoyed seeing your Instagram photos and now I've found your blog (didn't even realize you had one! I saw it on my friend Cindy Hattersley's home page). Thanks for listening.....


    Best,
    Sheila Irwin
    www.maisondecinq.blogspot.com

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