Goodbye, Jake.

Jake - curiousOur dear, sweet, lovable, best-friend-in-the-world, puppy Jake died this morning. We were with him and held him to say goodbye.We got home last night and the first thing we noticed is that Jake wasn’t barking by the door. In fact, he was just standing upstairs and really didn’t express interest in coming down to greet us. We went upstairs to check on him and noticed that he ad lost his breakfast all over the upstairs hall, and from its appearances this must have been soon after he ate. We first reacted as though it ws just some stomach bug and that he was listless because of it. We gave him a little bit of water and went downstairs to eat. Jake actually came downstairs and started looking more normal. I took him out and all indications were that he was just a little run down from a stomach bug. During dinner, he started to vomit again. This happened several times, and the distress that Jake was under started to concern us. When we later went upstairs, Jake wasn’t interested in following us. In fact, he was lying under the coffee table and wouldn’t move. We were worried that he was getting dehydrated and decided to take him to an emergency veterinary hospital. Soon after his initial exams, we discovered that the doctors were concerned about his heart. His heart rate was very elevated and they started to run some test to determine why. Then we discovered that he had a significant fluid build-up around his heart which was causing arrhythmia. They drained the fluid from around his heart, barely avoiding cardiac arrest last night. This made him far more comfortable and allowed them to continue running more tests. The concern at this point was a tumor in his heart. Since we were exhausted and it was starting to snow and sleet, we left the hospital late last night while they continued their diagnosis. The report this morning was not good. Jake’s arrhythmia continued and could not be controlled with drugs. He was in danger of cardiac arrest and they wanted instructions from us. We rushed back to the hospital this morning to be with Jake and to talk more with the doctor. Although it wasn’t conclusive, from the initial sonogram when they drained the heart fluid and the X-rays taken last night, all indications were that he had a tumor in his heart and probably one in his spleen. (Evidently, these types of tumors are common in Goldens and German Sheppards.) The likely tumor in his heart left us little choice and we didn’t want to see Jake in pain or go into cardiac arrest alone in the house. It seemed like right thing to do was to say goodbye this morning.In the end, we realized that last night we saved him from cardiac arrest at home which gave us a bit of time to prepare. Although these things are never easy, Jake was a loving friend who was with us for 11 years. We will miss him very much, but realize that the suddenness of it all was a blessing.(I’ll post more memories of Jake when I get past the more immediate pain.)

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