For my first post back after almost a month I had hoped to be able to write about all of the great adventures Andrew and I had with my parents during their visit. I will be writing all about that sometime soon, but not today.
Unfortunately today’s post is a very difficult one for me to write. This morning our loving dog Caesar passed away after a week of fighting illness. For those of you who don’t know, Caesar’s background has been a troubled one. He has seen far too much pain for his five short years.
We adopted Caesar when he was barely a year old. He came from a neglectful and abusive situation. We he arrived at our home he was undernourished and afraid of everything. He didn’t even know how to play. But for some reason, he trusted us. Over time, he grew into such a loving and happy dog. Despite his past, he loved meeting people and going with us anywhere.
We had Caesar for a year when he became sick. He stopped eating and became so weak that Andrew had to carry him to the car. After many tests, our vet diagnosed Caesar with Addison’s disease. His body was no longer able to control the levels of salt and potassium without medication. While the medication would keep him alive it would also cause many problems over time. I found out later that Addison’s can be caused by trauma in early life.
For two years, Caesar was like any other happy, healthy dog, other than having to take a handful of pills twice a day. We brought him to Europe and he seemed to thrive even more. He traveled with us and met new people and other dogs and, we hope, was having a happy life.
At the beginning of the month, Caesar was at the kennel for two weeks while Andrew, my parents and I traveled. When we picked him up, he was fine. He was well for the following week and even went for a long walk with Mom, Dad and I just last Friday.
Monday night however, things changed. Caesar didn’t want to eat. By Tuesday morning he was very lethargic and weak. We took him to the vet for blood tests and help. His salt and potassium were out of balance but in addition, his liver and kidneys weren’t functioning properly. Because Caesar had existing problems, he couldn’t be treated as aggressively as a healthy dog. Last night he went back to the vet and we explored more options. This morning when Andrew went to check on him he was still alive but he passed away shortly thereafter. Fortunately Andrew was with him at the end.
We will probably never know the exact cause. The vet had some concern about Caesar having gotten into toxins. While he is confined to our yard, there is always a possibility that one of our neighbours sprayed their yard with poison that ran into our yard. Even something that is safe generally could have affected Caesar’s compromised immune system. Or it could simply be that the Addison’s and/or the medication he was on for it finally caught up to him.
I feel cheated that we only had four short years with Caesar and I feel angry that such a loving dog could have had so much pain. I am relieved that his suffering is over but I will miss him deeply. Goodbye to a very special friend.