I know that this is a far departure from what I generally post on my blog, but I needed to write this.
It feels like yesterday that we brought home our Neapolitan Mastiff puppy. He was the goofiest, most lovable, uncoordinated dog. I can’t tell you how many times he knocked me over because he’d run and not be able to stop himself before barreling into the back of my knees. A couple of months ago, he was so excited to see me that he head butted me in the mouth and busted my lip.
His clumsiness was endearing and no one could stay mad at him. I once threatened to turn him into a dog skin rug after he turned my couch into a chew toy, literally. I remember the other dog sitting far away from him as if to say, “I had nothing to do with the destruction of that couch,” while Sirus proudly sat on the heap of foam he had torn to shreds.
At times, he was a 150 pound pain in the ass but mostly he was just adorable and loving, a true gentle giant. He was a good watch dog and loyal companion. He wanted nothing more than to be with his people. So, when I went outside to feed him a month ago and he didn’t get up to greet me, I knew something was terribly wrong.
I loaded this moose into the backseat of my Nissan and drove him to the vet. His fever was high and chest x-rays revealed pneumonia. We put him on antibiotics and hoped for a quick recovery. Over the next week, his condition worsened and he stopped urinating. After several more trips to the vet and a host of tests, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I was stopped in my tracks by the word, “untreatable.”
However, it was possible to treat the symptoms and buy some time. He was prescribed a medication that could possibly shrink the cancer enough to allow him to urinate. We tried this for three weeks during which he seemed to feel better but still wasn’t urinating regularly.
This past weekend he took a turn for the worse. Saturday night, his fever spiked and he became particularly needy. He wanted to be close to me. I sat with him for hours that night, petting him and talking to him, reassuring him, or more like reassuring myself.
The next morning, he wasn’t able to get up and his body wouldn’t stop shaking. I phoned the vet who advised it would be best if we put him down and that he would be on his way over. To say I was devastated would be a gross understatement. I knew we were putting off the inevitable with the medication but I wasn’t ready to let him go. As selfish as it sounds, I wanted just a little more time.
This was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make but we loved him too much to let him suffer. He was surrounded by the people he loved and who loved him when the vet administered the shot that put him to sleep. We buried him in the northwest corner of our property.
As much as this hurts, I have no regrets. We had eight wonderful years of love and devotion. When spring comes, I’m going to plant flowers over his grave. Vibrant, colorful flowers to remind us of all the brightness he brought into our lives.
Godspeed, boy! You were, and still are, loved and will be missed beyond measure.
10/21/02 – 02/06/11