My buddy is a Naval Aviator and he has a blog. This evening his dog died and he has a great blog about it. Also copied below.


Lucky passed away this evening. It was incredibly quick – total time from noticing the problem to the end wasn’t more than an hour and a half.

I arrived home from Norfolk around 4:30 and he was outside with Lesa, sniffing around, and with his hearing as bad as it was, he didn’t hear me drive up. I had to call out 2 or 3 times fro him to turn his head, and the usual tail wagging and grin ensued as he came to say hi Dad. He was running around the yard like crazy, over to the neighbors, back to me, to the door when I headed in because he knew he’d get a treat.

About an hour later, he was standing in our bedroom, stock still, panting like crazy. He walked out to the family room and I followed to see if there was a problem. I figured he was just winded and thirsty from the warmth and humidity of the day, and headed back to the bedroom.

Lesa came in about 30 minutes later and said “We’ve got a problem”. Lucky had headed outside and was laying down, still alive but his tongue was out and his mouth closed. He had thrown up, and could not move. 3 of us were home (Sarah was on a date), so we got a blanket under him and Lesa and Kate lifted him up enough for me to get my arms around him and out to the car.

I sat in the back of the car with his head on my lap as Lesa popped on her 4-way flashers and drove like she has *never driven before* to the emergency vet. His eyes were still moving around and I did what I could to comfort him – you all would know the words I used.

Ever since his surgery and the diagnosis of the hemangiosarcoma, we knew that something would happen – it was just a matter of when. Back then, the doc said that when he “crashes”, it could be quick. Little did we know how quick.

We got to the vet and a couple other patrons there helped me get him out and inside. He was still unable to move.

Bottom line, after x-rays, what apparently happened was he had some severe bleeding around his heart (a blood filled tumor in or near his heart had burst) and that was constricting its ability to function and pump blood to the lungs. It was a classic “crash”, in this instance, and within 20 minutes after getting to the vet he had cardiac arrest and died.

Kate had texted Sarah that Lucky was very sick and she arrived a few minutes after we arrived. So, all the family was there. Sarah was 4 when Lucky came to our house, and at 17 now, he is really most of her earliest memories. Kate is much the same – we had other dogs when she was a kid, but never for more than a year or two before we had to pass them off to another home as we moved to a new duty station. Lucky was their brother – a hairy four-legged one, but their brother nonetheless.

As far as me, we found him crossing that road among those corn fields, an abandoned puppy of 4 or 6 weeks perhaps, mangy and wormy, scared to death after he had been dumped. I remember that first night we had him at home. I took him outside to see if he would poop, and he headed straight for the bushes because that is where he had lived and where he knew he’d be safe. It didn’t take long for him to realize that this was his new home, though, with lots of love around. I took him to work with me every day for the next couple of months (I worked in a home-office and placed a box under my desk where he would sleep the day away) and he would sit on my lap during the drive to and from work. Years later, when we would head up to Mom and Dad’s or somewhere else, he would still, all 50 or 60 lbs of him, climb into the front seat and sit on my lap. I know…all you driver-safe people are cringing, but again, it was where he was comfortable and happy. Who was I to say no?

He would sleep, back when he was small and still not housebroken, in the tiled bathroom, and we still laugh at the time I left, quite accidentally, a mirror in there, propped up against the wall. Lord knows the racket Lucky put up when he saw ANOTHER dog in his space – looking exactly like him.

He was my bud and my best friend for many years. I said it before, but he was the absolute perfect dog – at least for me and for our family.

Thanks to all for the good thoughts over these past months. We were blessed with another few months of good fun and life and love with him, letting him know how special he was each and every day.

The timing of these things are always interesting. I am headed back to Norfolk tomorrow for 3 weeks of duty. Lesa heads back to work, as does Kate and Sarah has school. If this event had occurred 14 or so hours later, he would have passed away alone in the back yard. There are things, however small, to be thankful for in everything.

We are all heartbroken. You all understand and know what this is like, whether or not you have experienced it. Thanks again.

Ron from VA