Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gone Too Soon

I am sad to announce that on Monday we lost Tonka. He was just over a year old.

Saturday night he was vomiting every couple of hours so Sunday morning we brought him in. An x-ray showed that he had a foreign mass in his stomach. It was small and the doctor wasn't too worried about it. He gave us some medicine to help it pass and told us to call back Monday if he wasn't better. The vomiting stopped but by Monday morning he was extremely lethargic and didn't look well. Mark brought him in for an ultrasound. It revealed that his intestine had folded in on it's self and the acid from his stomach was eating it. He was rushed to an emergency clinic where they attempted to operate. Once they started, they discovered that 12 inches of his intestine would need to be removed. The damage was extensive. It was a 50/50 shot. He would need at least two or more surgeries after this one. One of the side effects could be consistent diarrhea. We made the decision to stop the surgery.

Tonka was only with us for three months but he had become part of the family. When we got him, he had some serious physiological issues. He didn't trust people or other dogs. During the last couple weeks, he had come along way and was a content, happy dog. He still had issues at home with other dogs being near his backyard. He still had to be on leash most of the time or he would mark the house. But it was getting better. We were able to take him to the dog park without any incidents. He would not play with the other dogs, but there was no growling or cowering. He walked in the pack and was interested in what was going on.

He knew his commands like nobody's business. You could throw his tuggy and he would sit and wait until you gave him the OK that he could get it. The Friday before, I had the day off and took him up to the mountains to go hiking. Everyone, and I mean everyone on that trail commented about what a good/beautiful dog he was. And he was.

He also helped Morgan immensely. Before Tonka, Morgan had a couple of incidents with dogs that made her skittish. Since Tonka required such intense training, Morgan quickly picked up on it and engaged in it. You could see her confidence grow as she lead Tonka around, giving commands and having him listen. He quickly became her buddy.

Telling Morgan was heartbreaking. She cried and cried. We had just lost another American Eskimo in the Fall and now, we were losing another. She asked if we thought that Tonka was able to find Cheyenne up in Heaven and if they were able to be together. We assured her that Cheyenne and Tonka are playing together right now. We went for a walk and she saw the back of a sign taped to a street light. Her face light up and she asked if the sign was for Tonka. She rounded the street light, her face dropped and she said that it wasn't. She thought it was a missing dog sign for Tonka. I had to explain that he wasn't missing and therefore, he would not have a sign up for him.

Even Champ, our Lab and Abbey, the cat seem to be moping around the house and clinging to us more. He wasn't with us long, but he left a last impression that will be missed by us.


jamielblev said...

(((HUGS))) I'm sooooooo sorry!

Lilith Silvermane said...

Michelle.. I am so sorry to hear that. I know your family has a big heart and it must be so hard to lose a beloved pet so early.

I hope the healing has begun. *hugs*

Shey said...

I'm so sorry. How devastating!