So: a belated return to posting on here, but it’s for a very sad reason. After getting over the New Year slash January funk, around January 24th, my beloved dog Fred started to get sick. At first it was extreme exercise intolerance, soon followed by alarming breathing difficulties and severe weakness/lethargy.
An initial vet appointment early in February gave us a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis (apparently common in Westies) and suitable meds were given. I was not convinced or happy about this diagnosis; I had my own suspicions/fears, which later turned out to be correct. Anyhow, after a week or so, there was no improvement… and in fact, Fred had started to experience very obvious fluid build-up in his belly, which was having a big impact on his mobility and comfort.
We ended up going to a different vet by mid-February, and this time received the diagnosis I’d feared: Fred had terminal stage congestive heart failure. They drained his belly and started him on new meds (Vetmedin and Flurosemide), but in less than three days the fluid build-up (which was making it very difficult from him to lie down or rest) was becoming obvious once again. The drugs seemed to be doing nothing at all. We took him into the vet again last Saturday (Feb 24th), fully expecting him to not be coming home… but the vet we saw recommended an additional drug (Cardalis), as a last resort.
Again, this drug had no impact on his condition, and Fred was suffering mightily from the fluid in his stomach, hardly able to get any sleep at all—and finally his declining appetite completely vanished too. We had no choice but to take him in and have him put to sleep, last night (Feb 28th).
He was born on March 14th 2004, so he had a run of 14 years, more or less, which is a good lifespan. He wasn’t far from 100 years old in dog terms; and he’d seldom been ill enough to warrant visits to the vet. He remained quite active and full of life until the last five weeks. So this is not a tragedy… I keep telling myself, because I am so fucking upset it can’t be put into words. It’s just the way in which he was a permanent fixture in my life for so long… a constant companion, and for some spells my only companion. He was there and a comfort when my mom died 12 years ago. He was a rock. We were quite fond of each other!
Nothing else to say right now… I’ll be posting some new work shortly… for now, here’s a gallery of Fred through the years… for my own enjoyment/therapy, but I hope you like them.
The last one is the final photo ever taken of him. He was gone less than 30 minutes later.
But never forgotten, my old friend…