We brought Cola home 13 years ago. He was a very lively little Lab/Collie cross male pup. Dominant nature and VERY intelligent with it. As a Family we were a bit clueless about having a pet dog. He was really meant to be our youngest son, Andrew's pet. It took a lot of of mistakes and near parting of the ways before we finally knuckled down to accepting that We needed to change and become pack leaders.
As the years went by it was becoming obvious that Cola was my Wife and I's dog. Our Boy.
The Boys,Stephen,Christopher and Andrew were growing up anf fleeing the nest. We became so routined and dependant. Cola was our warm welcome. We were his pack leaders but he was shown much love and respect. We had a happy co-existance.
Sometime late last year he developed a hacking cough. Other than that he seemed absolutely fine. A few weeks passed and we decided to get his infrequent cough checked out. He had a few tests and our Vets were relatively satisfied that his heart and other vital organs appeared normal for a dog of his age. Cola was prescribed steroids which made a lot of difference. He seemed to pick up and became very hungry and thirsty.
He was never a foody type dog. He was always sure of food when he needed it.
We got into a routine of watching how much water he was drinking so that we could make sure he got out enough to relieve himself. We just accepted that as he was getting older this might just be how his life would be. He was still a happy and contented dog.
On Feb 21st things changed dramatically for the worse. I had taken Cola for quite a long walk. It was a lovely day and I felt he needed a good day out. I'm so glad i did that. That night he seemed a bit stiff and tired. We decided not to give him an evening walk but to just let him out in the back garden.
We went to bed not thinking that he was in any way ill. At 3am my Wife,Anne, was wakened when she heard Cola hacking. She got up and saw that he was being sick. Not altogether unusual. She thought it might be because we had been cutting down his steroids a bit. Anyway, she took him down stairs and let him out to the garden. He just wouldn't come back into the house. Eventually about half an hour later he came back in but he seemed very stiff and unhappy.
Anne came back to bed and I knew nothing of this episode.
At 9am I got up and was shocked to see and smell sickness and diarrhorea all over the house!
I went down stairs and couldn't see Cola anywhere (in his usual places) I looked across the kitchen and saw the pitiful sight of him curled up near the cooker covered in vomit!
I went straight upstairs and told Anne we needed to get the emergency vet out (It was Sunday morning) We called them and they asked us to bring him to the surgery. The poor little soul couldn't walk. He was so weak and ill. The vet gave him anti biotics and a couple of other things to combat a possible virus and dehydration. She said we should take him home and make sure to give him small doses of solution to keep him hydrated and to get back to her if we were concerned.
The thing is, it's hard to know just how poorly your dog is when they can't speak to you. We could see he was very unwell but expected he'd come round with the medication and close care.
He never did. He died on the kitchen floor on Anne's lap.
We miss him so much. :¬(
Cola is now buried in his garden. There are flowers in his treat jar over his grave. Anne and i are heartbroken. I never expected to feel such grief. Walk times are especially difficult to cope with. Waking up to his enthusiastic welcom. Coming home to his manic welcome. All gone. He was our boy. I regret not spending more time that he craved for. If only I could just walk him again. Play in the garden with his tug toys. Enjoy his happy ex
Goodbye Cola, faithful pet.