Here are some thoughts because it is so difficult to preserve one’s memory.
From all indications, it was a stroke.* He was fine all day, all week.
Around 8:30 – 9:30 we were watching TV and he was sleeping in the entrance way around the corner. He made some really weird noises, cries, whines and got up and down a few times. We went out to him and couldn’t find anything wrong. He wasn’t looking in pain and had his goofy big smile.
Around 10:00, we heard him go upstairs and I went up a little after. Beth claims his breathing might have been laborious but any one that has listened to Henri snore might doubt it.
I didn’t think anything was serious until he tried to stand up and was all over the place wobbly. And he pooped. Never does that inside. And then he wanted to go down stairs.
I called the emergency vet place at the Wilmington airport and told them we’d be on our way.
Beth and I slid him down the stairs with a makeshift gurney/towel where he settled on the landing with his big smile and then he’d put his head down. His muzzle was freezing cold.
Beth went up to get dressed and I hung with him. He then wanted to go out and I helped him along with a sling under his belly. He got to the dog room and collapsed again on the carpet.
Beth came down after changing and after hesitating over taking him outside or to the vet, we made the gurney with the towel and carried him towards the garage on the other side of the house.
As we were going through the kitchen, his paw slipped out and Chloé stuck her head in to smell it. When Beth when to push the paw back in, she said, “it’s really limp!?”
We put him down and to wrap it up, he was gone. Tried a little CPR, but he was gone.
Chloé and Wally smelled him and tended to back away. They knew something was not right.
He was in the kitchen on the floor all night and Chloé laid down there near him for a while before coming up.
Wally and Chloé both smelled his feet when we carried him out with the Delaware Crematorium guy.
*We learned later that it may have been a hemorrhage from a tumor. The symptoms were similar to the bleed out that happens from cancer of the spleen.
Some fun memories.
- The 60th birthday party where he helped himself to a roast beef sub off the table.
- The day we built the dog deck and he decided to go for a run. Still remember seeing him running through the woods, just the white flash running up the hill. He ran one other time through John Marshall’s yard and down to Joe’s yard where we had a stand off until I sat down and he came to me.
- The way he would easy himself into the leather chairs in the TV room.
- The way he could make himself comfortable on grand mom’s long bench in the bedroom.
- The wag of that tail.
- The panic and hysteria when he was asleep on the deck and the bird hopped on him.
- The way he would spin up to 6 – 8 times before laying down. Only to have his face pointed somewhere awkward.
- The night he jumped on our bed at 3 am to bark at deer out on John’s driveway. We would on occasion afterwards, lift his ear while he slept, in the middle of the day and scream “DEER!”
- The ride home on the day we got him and how he was so majestic and cool sitting in the back seat watching the world go by.
- How he could catch ice.
- How he couldn’t catch a tennis ball.
- The first Alz walk we took where at the end of the walk when I peeled an orange. And how he stared at me so expectantly and took the slice hungrily. He would eat oranges, tangerines, apples and bananas.
- Never saw him lose his temper. The other 2 dogs could be on top of him and he’d be fine playing with them.
- His howl when I left the house.
- How he would run in place on his side.
- How always soft that coat was.