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I wasn't planning on starting out my blog by telling the story of my first dog Dudley. I was hoping to tell our journey together though various posts. However, his health took a turn for the worst Monday morning and I had to make one of the toughest decisions of my life, putting him down.

Dudley was a part of my family for almost 12 years. The responsibility of caring for him throughout my childhood has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I wouldn't know the tips and tricks of raising a dog if it wasn't for him. He is the reason I am so passionate about dogs.

I remember the day my dad and I brought him home like it was yesterday. It was a sunny July afternoon and my eight year old self was bursting with excitement. I wanted a puppy so bad. The minute I saw his wrinkly puggle face, my heart melted. I paid the breeder with my allowance money I had saved up and off we went.

I spent the rest of the summer potty training him and teaching him basic manners. We were inseparable from here on out.

Dudley slept beside me every night.


He loved playing Guitar Hero with me too.

Throughout middle school and high school, he was always there for me. He could always put a smile on my face no matter how bad of a day I was having.

In return for his love, I spoiled the crap out of him. Whatever Dudley wanted Dudley got. Most of the time that meant table scrapes at dinner time and endless amounts of treats. He would gobble any treat in seconds. Cheeseburgers and vanilla ice cream were his favorite human foods.

Yes, I had birthday parties for him too. No shame.

At Christmas time, I would save up my weekly allowance and birthday money to buy him tons of presents. Under the tree, would be stockings full of squeaky toys and treats galore. He loved any toy with stuffing and a squeaker.

Our first Christmas together.

Dudley and I on Christmas Eve 2013. He wasn't digging the antlers to much.

As a result of me spoiling him, Dudley became very obese. He weighed a total of 44 pounds.

One day in the spring of 2011, he suddenly stopped eating so I rushed him to the vet. He was diagnosed with canine diabetes and spent three days at the vet hospital. His blood sugar levels were over 600. That is six times over the normal level of 80 to 100.

I made the commitment to treat him. I learned how to give him insulin shots and fed him a strict diet. In order to keep his diabetes regulated, insulin shots had to be given to him every time he ate his prescription dog food. I fed and gave him insulin in the morning at 8:30 and in the evening at 8:30. My family and I made sure he never missed one shot.

However, over time he began to experience other diabetes related conditions. Due to his high blood sugar levels, he developed cataracts. I took him to an eye specialist and they confirmed he was completely blind. With a little guidance, he adjusted well and continued to live a normal life.

Dudley after being diagnosed with diabetes.
It wasn't until this winter that he started having major health problems. He began developing a severe cough. After numerous trips to the vet and a months worth of antibiotics, the cough still didn't go away. Multiple x-rays confirmed he had a mass around his heart which was putting pressure on his lungs. There was nothing his vet, Dr. Hecht, could do except to give me a prescription for hydrocodone to suppress his cough. He didn't have much longer to live.

The medicine seemed to give him some relief for about a month. Then last Saturday he started having seizures. The first one lasted about a minute. After he came out of it, he wouldn't stop twitching and drooling. These are warning signs of another seizure. Twenty minutes later he had a second one. This one was much worse. His legs thrashed violently and he was choking on his own vomit.

The next day I called the vet and they recommended he be euthanized. I knew it was the right thing to do. After the seizures, he refused to eat and couldn't hold himself anymore.

On the ride to the vet, my mom and I stopped at McDonalds to buy him a cheeseburger one last time. He hadn't ate one in over three years. Even though he refused to eat his dog food, he couldn't resist a cheeseburger.

When we arrived, my mom and I carried him in and were directed into a exam room designated for euthanasia. In between sobs, I said my final I love yous to my best friend and reassured him that he would be in a better place soon.

He didn't fight Dr. Hecht when he inserted the needle into the vein in his leg. He was more than used to getting shots. It broke my heart to watch him take his last breath. I never wanted to make that decision but I couldn't stand to see him suffer anymore.

As I look back on all the memories we made together, I know he had a great life. I couldn't describe my childhood without mentioning him because he truly changed my life. Dudley will always have a special place in my heart.

Rest in peace Duddy boy and have fun in heaven.

2 comments:

  1. I remember losing my first dog. We let her pass on her own, and it was one of the most painful decisions we could have made. She suffered for months instead of dying with dignity. Poor Cookie was barely more than a skeleton when she passed in the middle of the night.
    After that, we decided to seek the help of an animal psychic to help them tell us when they were ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge. It has been much easier for everyone involved since we did that.

    No matter how you go about it, it is never an easy process. It does help, in a way, knowing they will be romping around the clouds and waiting for you to return home to them, someday, along with all of your other furry, four-legged pals. I bet they have a grand ol' time.

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  2. I'm sorry to hear about Cookie. Losing a dog really does take a toll on a family. It seems like seeing an animal psychic helped your family mourn her loss.There is comfort in knowing that Cookie is in a better place and not suffering anymore.

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