I made a new blogging friend just recently, and she has suffered the awful loss, of her beautiful fur-baby , a handsome cat called Wiggum whom she'd had for 13 years.
Reading her heartfelt blog brought back so many memories of when we lost our big boy and our overwhelming grief was new and raw.
It has been 1 and a half years now but he's still very much loved, missed, and talked about.
So, my inspiration for writing this blog about my boy, is a very loved, and missed and gorgeous ginger guy from over the other side of the world, and whose family miss him very much.
Floyd Sebastian Montenegro... our big goober of a boy.
He was Warren and my first real "joint" possession.
We were living in New Plymouth had only been living together for 7 months and were doing up our house. Of course with a new house we needed a dog.
Okay...I wanted a dog, Warren wasn't totally sold, but went along with me.
His friend worked was a dog ranger, and was keeping an eye out for a Mastiff for me. Then one day she called to say there was a cute Rottweiler puppy aged 6mths who was going to be Put to sleep if he didnt find a home pretty soon. So.....we didn't commit to anything, said we'd take a look. When this lanky pup came bounding out, I knew he was coming home with us. Warren....was not so sure. He wanted a small puppy puppy... the kind with baby breath...
But we got him. We called him Floyd.......Sebastian Montenegro. (just to try and make him sound regal!).
Well...he took over our lives, became the real focus. There are far far farrrr too many antics to write about here in one blog, but he was a character. He was very intelligent and learnt very easily. We taught him lots of tricks, and cool things like..."take Dad's wallet down to him at the gate" etc. Or.."put this in the bin" And "high five" and how to spin around in circles to the left and right. As well as all the basics like sit, up, shake hands, roll over, "speak"...speak loud...speak quiet ... growl.
There wasn't an aggresive bone in this dogs body. He loved people, he didn't care if they didnt love him...he was gonna show them though that he loved them! People used to say he'd be quite intimidating if you couldnt see his stumpy little tail wagging furiously as he stood with his front feet up on the gate to see who was coming up the driveway.
He loved kids...I am so sure he thought he WAS one!
He loved cats...even more so if they tolerated his constant grooming of them.
He was frightened to death of chooks...if any of our chickens got out of their paddock, he would freeze...like "if I stand really still they won't see me and maybe I can escape" haha..
He LOVED when I was making pancakes... you almost had to scrape him off the back door...he'd be standing there looking in...like "What about me...do I get one..do I get one?? Hello???" Of course he'd always get one.
He used to love eating apples with his front teeth.
He loved it when we'd buy him presents....usually balls / toys which were usually shredded within a 2minute time frame (sometimes we'd sit amazed...timing him).
He soooo knew how to read you. If you were a bit grumpy...he was always "in the background" laying low...would move slowly over and give you a little nudge...how could you resist that ?
If you were happy/energetic he'd milk it for all it was worth...dropping toys down for you to "tug a war" with. Or challenging you to a wrestle... he had a cool way of wrapping his front paw around your leg and pulling...used to love to do that wanting a full on wrestle on the ground. He was great to wrestle with...miss his silly wrestles.
He was a good dog...really trustworthy. He never growled...even when his food was served up. Some dogs are unpredictable and growl when you go near their food...but he always waited until you had left the food before he ate away. The kennels etc he used to go to when we were away for the weekend ALWAYS commented on his great manners. I never ever got a picture but often we'd feed him, then our kitten would go and start eating out of the bowl with him...and one day there was a the cat...a chicken...and Floyd. Of course Floyd let the chicken have first go at the food cos there was no way he was going to interrupt her!! lol
At night when he got tired, he would come to the door or the windows...to let Warren know he was ready for his biscuit before bed...Warren would give him usually 3 tux biscuits and off he'd go...he'd take them into his kennel and settle down for the night.
This dog that Warren hadn't really wanted in the beginning was now like a son to Warren!
When we were due to have Asher, I worried about how Floyd was going to handle it, and worried that he might try and lord it over the new baby.... but we brought Asher home... let Floyd look at him, sniff him, and it was like he was instantly protective of him. If we got home from being in town and Asher was asleep in the car... I would leave him in the car while I unloaded the groceries etc into the house, and Floyd would come and sit perched right outside the door where Ash was. And he would stay there until I had taken all the things inside, and come to get him. Once Asher woke and screamed, and Floyd was so funny... he came running up to the window then disappeared...(had gone back to the car)...then came bounding to the window again like "Cant you hear him...hes crying...do something" He was amazing with Asher.
As Asher toddled round, Floyd would follow him watching him..just following nearby.
Often if people came around, or we were down the driveway and anyone else came and stopped to talk, Floyd would just move quietly between Asher and the other people...Warren and I noticed that regularly. He never did it in a threatening way...but always placed himself between them, it was really endearing.
As soon as Asher could talk he was bossing Floyd around (and Floyd actually listened). They really loved each other and had a definite bond. What was amazing was to see this big 58kg dog being so very gentle with kids...especially Asher. He was a lot rougher with us...like he knew we could handle it.
Anyway I could go on and on about our Floyd...
but one day we woke up and noticed that Floyd was a bit "off colour". He was a bit shaky...not overly enthused about anything...not even his breakfast. He was ill and there was no mistaking that.
We took him to the vet, and they checked him over..did bloods ... gave him some pain relief as they thought perhaps his hips were a bit sore.
Well..that seemed to do the trick...he bounced back and seemed lively again.....................
.....................but only for a few days. So it was back to the vet, as they decided to do some x-rays and perhaps a scan to see what was going on.
They said it would take a little while so to leave him there...pick him up in the afternoon when the sedation had worn off.
So...I load him in to the van...Asher into his carseat. We head to Playcentre, where I drop Asher off for the morning. I take Floyd to the vets..drop him off, and am halfway back home when I get a call from the vet.
I'm not liking the tone of the Vets voice.......I know something crap is about to follow.
"Yeessss" I say trying to drag it out and prolong what awfulness is going to be revealed.
"It's not good news at all"
"We found a huge tumour on Floyds spleen"
"What?? I say like I don't understand any english or something"
"We found a tumour and we also discovered he's been bleeding internally"
~Oh no...Im trying hard not to cry too hard~
That's how we got the bad news that our boy was in a bad way.
We had lots of decisions to make and they had to be made immediately. Did we want them to intervene, or should we let him go peacefully. Did we have lots of $$$$ to spend, as if we were going to try and do something, then it was going to cost thousands of dollars, and even then, if it wasn't successful he still might not pull through due to the fact that he was nearly 9 and rotties are generally "past their best" by 7 or 8. The other thing to consider was that because it was a fast growing tumour, we may intervene...he may not leave the vets care for 6 or 7 weeks due to treatment he had to have, and then in that time, it may well have grown back again.....What do we do??? What would you do???
The other fact was...that our vets do not do "time payments". So, we had to have the money right then and there...we couldnt pay it off. (We were due to have a baby in a few months also).
I had to make this decision right now too...as if they were going to intervene they had to do it NOW.
I rang Warren, who was just stunned. He wanted me to decide. I wanted him to decide.
How do you put a price on a "family member??" We had to be realistic though...we couldn't just splash thousands of dollars away without much of a guarantee that he might come right.
I rang the vet back...she tried to give us the pros and the cons... of doing the operation..and of not doing the operation. Unfortunately there were far too many "cons" when considering intervening.
I rang warren back and forth about another 4 times.
I was sitting on the side of the road...bawling like a baby...trying to make decisions about Floyds life.
My husband I could tell was so so so upset...we both could hardly talk on the phone let alone make decisions. I knew that Warren would spend "whatever it would take" to keep our boy.....and much as I wanted to, I had to be realistic about the baby coming and what we still needed to buy etc.
Warren wanted me to decide Floyds fate.
I rang the vet one last time...I asked her very bluntly
"If this were your dog, Please tell me truthfully what you would do"
She ummed and ahhhed...and finally said..
"We're not really supposed to answer questions like that...it is totally your decision....HOWEVER...IF he were my dog...and the prognosis even after surgical intervention was not that great...then I think I would, out of LOVE for my dog...have him put to sleep, as the recovery will be a long hard tedious one which he may not even get through".
It was then that I knew....we were losing our big boy today.
"Can We come and say goodbye to him...and hold him when you put him to sleep??" I asked, not knowing really if I could do it...but wanting the option.
"Of course you can...we'll make him comfy...you can take him for a walk...give him some biscuits...make a fuss of him and when youre ready sometime this afternoon we can put him to sleep while you cuddle him".
I just burst into tears and couldnot talk.
I remember people walking by the car looking at me like "what's going on"...but I didn't give a toss.
My heart was breaking like you wouldn't believe.
Now I had to ring my husband and tell him...and go get my son and tell him...
I spluttered over the phone to Warren who couldn't even speak.
I went back to playcentre in a mess......and I watched my sons heart breaking as I told him what was going on with his "brother" (that's how he saw Floyd).
"Can I come and say goodbye and help him go to heaven Mum" he asked sobbing.
"Of course you can hun" I said wondering how he was gonna handle all of this. He'd lost a pet goat, and a couple of chickens....but they were like "pet pets" Floyd was like Family. This was a totally different thing!
When I rang to arrange to meet Warren at the Vets...he was in tears.
He couldn't do it. He could not bring himself to say goodbye...he was a mess...
This totally threw me, as I had never imagined Warren NOT being there...
My heart was so achy...and in almost PHYSICAL pain when we pulled up to the Vet clinic.
They took us out the back where the cages were....and there was our handsome big boy. All excited to see us...almost folding in half from wagging so hard out...Huge licks for Asher...big "bunts" for Mummy...
I just grabbed his big neck and cried and cried into his fur. He was looking at me like.."Cmon..lets get outta here..and "what's your problem". Asher was crying and tellign floyd how much he loved him.
They took us to a room and had some yummy doggy snacks there that we were allowed to give him..
we took him for a walk lots of cuddles....then said goodbye.
We cuddled him...we kissed him as they slid the needle into his leg.
Asher sang him "I love you, you love me"
I told him he was the best dog we could have ever dreamed of...he licked our tears...
he loved the attention, I swear he was smiling as he looked in Ashers eyes...and as his head grew heavy in my arms....thenI cried and cried Ash did too...I felt him take a few erratic breaths...then he was gone.
Our handsome big boy was gone and both the vets were also bawling their eyes out.
We sat there for a while until we were calm enough to wrap him up and take him home to bury on our hill.
When I got home Warren was there ...digging the hole.
We cuddled him, said goodbyes, remembered funny times....then my brave husband carried his big boy up the hill. Our cat came and rubbed against him, and that made us cry more...then we buried him...on the hill.
We still miss him like crazy, and I have to be honest, Ive cried more than a few times writing this.
My husband cant imagine another dog taking floyds place. Im slowly warming to the idea of another...and Asher really wants another, and regularly talks about his floydy.