I have been a vet tech for over 30 years, the last 17 as a specialty tech for Internal Medicine. I work in a very busy 24 hr ER and specialty hospital. Today an 8 year old golden came in and collapsed in the waiting room. Ultrasound showed Abdominal, pleural (chest) and pericardial (sac around the heart) fluid as well as a large right side heart mass. A tap showed the fluid to be blood. Hemangiosarcoma. All too common in our breed and unfortunately seen even in 5-6 year old dogs. The owners were devastated. Their dog was completely normal just yesterday. How could he be dying? What did they miss? Isn't there anything they can do to save him? Unfortunately no. A heart rending and all to sudden decision to be made. I stayed with them throughout and told them about my own dogs, 2 goldens and a pit bull, loss to hemangio. So sudden. The owner generally did not go home for lunch, but for some reason decided she would today. When she got home she heard the abnormal breathing and noted that the dog didn't greet her, something that never happened. Just luck she did go home. She got to spend the last few hours with her dog and he died with his owners there, no alone at home.
Fenway wasn't a hunting dog or a breed champion. I don't think he was trained to do anything but he was a lovely dog and was well loved in return. His owner asked how she would deal with going home and not having him there. Waking up and not having him greet her. I had no real answers. I told her to plant a memorial garden, find it in her heart some day to love and cherish another dog.
I see injury, illness and death almost daily, but Fenway hurt a bit more. Next time I get upset because my dog messed up the triple or blew me off on a blind, I will think about Fenway, and how much not having them would mean. Reality check.
Dawn Terrill CVT VTS (SAIM)