Fred H, RIP (2004-2018)

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.

Fred 13th Birthday
Fred on his 13th Birthday… March 2017

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.

Baby Fred 1
Fred as a puppy… May 2nd 2004

CH & Fred November 2004
Me and Fred… November 2004

Fred In New Garden October 2006
Fred in London… October 2006

Fred Cone July 2008
Fred With Cone (injured paw)… July 2008

Fred In Chair September 2008
Fred in HIS Chair… September 2008

Fred & Dolly May 2010
Fred and his BESTEST Toy… May 2010

Fred Smile May 2010
Fred Smiles for the Camera… May 2010

Fred Bearwood July 2013
Fred in Bearwood… July 2013

Fred June 2015
Fred in the Back Yard… June 2015

Fred July 2015
Fred in the Sun… July 2015

Fred Glasses May 2016
Fred Wearing Glasses… May 2016

Fred Cigar September 2016
Fred and His “Cigar”… September 2016

Fred Smile January 2017
Fred’s Beautiful Smile… January 2017

Fred February 2017
Fred Looking Adorable… February 2017

Ch & Fred February 2018
Me and Fred… February 24th 2018

Fred Final Walk
Fred Bravely Takes His Final Walk… February 28th 2018…

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…

7 thoughts on “Fred H, RIP (2004-2018)”

  1. Fred really loved the drive at the rear of my house. Many’s the time I’ve let him out for a piss in the back yard, only to have the little blighter head down to the garage door and refuse to budge until I went down and took him through to the drive. It was like his own personal park, with occasional incursions from my neighbours.

    That final photo is quite symbolic: for such a small dog, Fred cast a giant shadow.

  2. I shed a little tear myself when I heard from you last night, Chrissie. As you know I asked about Fred from time to time, as I had met him a few years ago, when I visited you guys.
    The love you guys shared will remain with you forever.
    He was a very lucky dog and I am sure you feel lucky too, to have had such great times with him.
    You have some great memories within these lovely photographs.
    I look forward to seeing some new work soon.
    We are all thinking of you here.
    Best Wishes,

  3. Looks like a charmed life. A dog’s love is complete and unconditional and I know that it was reciprocated. Glad you’ve all these memories.

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