Saturday, August 02, 2014

Dozer, Beloved

With heavy hearts, we did the necessary on Monday, July 28, 2014. Our precious Dozer has gone to the Rainbow Bridge.

He stopped eating over the weekend, was struggling to breathe and walk, and no longer had that big "Dozer smile," so we had no doubts by Sunday that it was time.

In his last 24 hours, Dozer got cooked chicken thighs--the only thing we could get him to eat--and we spent lots of time sitting with him, cuddling, kissing him, and telling him what a good boy he was.

An ultrasound on Monday morning confirmed that Dozer's heart was enlarged and failing, and we made the decision to help him go peacefully.

Dozer was a member of our family and a big part of our lives for over 13 years. He saw me off to work or school every day, through all of my degrees and careers.

He always had a big goofy smile on his face.

He was a friend to (or, in his senior years, he tolerated) countless foster animals and new pets.



Until he lost his hearing (from old age), he knew the name of each of his toys and would bring you any toy you requested. He could also put his toys away in his toy box, and open and close doors and drawers.

When spoken to, he cocked his head and listened carefully, made eye contact, and gave very appropriate reactions based on our tone of voice. I always felt like I was having a conversation with another human.

Dozer knew how to get hugs by being irresistibly adorable. He loved to ham for the camera.

Dozer was our beloved, and our hearts ache from his loss. We miss him more than words can convey.

Good boy, Dozer. Good bye.

2000 - 2014
"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dozer's Post

Seems I post about once per year nowadays. My job contributes to that, but I've also kept busy during my time off. I notice that many of my old blogging friends have slowed down somewhat, too, so I don't feel too bad about neglecting the blog. Life is busy and exciting, and I try to step away from the computer whenever I can.

Today I share news about Dozer. After almost 14 years, his finish line is in sight.

You can rather see the problem in the photo. He's skin and bones, but has a potbelly. He's not eating much, and not walking around much. Everything he does exhausts him. Even standing.

This was a rapid decline, starting about three months ago, an obvious problem in the last three weeks. He's been to the vet several times since, but kept getting diagnosed as "just an old guy." Today I scheduled him with our long-time vet, who has known Dozer since a puppy, and he quickly agreed: something is amiss.

Dozer has always been a hyperactive patient. He gets really anxious being away from home, even though he likes the people at the vet's office. I often have to force him to sit down so he doesn't squirm around while being examined. But today, when Dozer crawled into the exam room and laid himself out flat on the floor, and didn't get up for the rest of the exam, the vet knew right away that this was not normal. Halfway through the visit, Dozer closed his eyes and appeared to fall asleep. It was one of those moments that kicks you hard in the gut, without warning, because it feels so horribly... wrong. The vet made a strange face. I started to cry.

We suspect his heart. We'll know more in a few days, after a sonogram and an x-ray. I don't think there's much we can do for him, though, except to help him be comfortable and content until he's ready to leave us.

Love you, buddy.