Kylo was a recue dog that our family got when he was less than a year old. I remember meeting him and his owner then at a community park so we could get to know him and right off, we fell in love with him with his big floppy ears and huge paws. He was to us a very unique dog with a chocolate brown coat and short stubby tail that wagged like there was no tomorrow. Without hesitation, he became part of the family.
Over the years, we walked; we hiked the hills surrounding our city of Livermore. We took Kylo to the beach in San Francisco one time after an earlier trip where we noticed others out playing with their dogs, tossing balls into the ocean and Frisbees where their dogs would go and retrieve them back so we thought nothing of bringing Kylo on our next trip. He was so excited to go and once we got there, we took him to see what the ocean was like. I took him off his leash and he loved to go after the ball so I tossed it into the ocean waves and off he went to retrieve it and as he came back to me he saw another dog on the beach and being the social dog that he was, he ran past me, leaping over sun tanning bodies as he went from dog to dog. This continued for about 20 minutes as others helped to corral my excited Kylo. That was the last time we took him there.
About a year ago, I came home from work and as I always did to go and play with Kylo but this was a day i would not forget. Kylo did not come to me but was trying desperately to vomit and he had a glazed look in his eyes reaching for help. We rushed him to the only veterinarian hospital that was open late. The friendly staff rushed him into the back and within minutes, the doctor came out and told us the only way to save him would be to operate on him as he was suffering from GDV and that depending on the damage and when this occurred that there may be damage to the tissue so complications could set in and so there was a 50/50 chance of survival but there was something else that showed up on the x-ray, a dark spot on the lung and to consider that it could be a tumor. We gave our consent for the GDV surgery and waited. The doctor later came out and said that surgery went well and that the spleen had to be removed during the procedure and that infection would have to be watched for over the next week. 3 days later Kylo had an elevated temperature and so we took him back in where it was discovered that he did have an infection and the doctor told us that he would have to go back in for more surgery but due to his age and recent surgery, he might not survive. We again consented to the surgery but asked that while Kylo was under the anesthesia to give us a report on his condition so if euthanasia was to be an option. 45 minutes later we received news that the infection was not associated with the previous operation and it was isolated so there was a good chance for recovery if we proceeded and of course we consented.
Over the last year, he has changed, we have seen Kylo age where he no longer wants to run or walk far. He has gotten thinner. Today, we are going to say goodbye to him as he has stopped eating and can no longer get out of his bed and I can see in his eyes, he tells me it is time. This will be the hardest thing that I will be doing and I hope it is the right thing when I place that dreaded call to my veterinarian.

— Randy from Livermore, CA