Honestly, I don’t want to talk about this last moment of his life, because it hurts a lot. It’s been 14 months since Arthur passed away, but the pain I feel whenever I talk about it is still the same. Remembering how many wrong I’ve done him, that his death was all my fault is breaking my heart. I’d do anything if only I could fix my mistake, if only it could bring him back home to me.
But I feel like I have to share this, so you don’t make the same mistake I did. It is too late for me to make it up to my Arthur. But by sharing this, I really hope it’s not too late for you to make it up to your dog, if you really love them.
Arthur always seems like a happy and healthy dog. But unfortunately, that’s only what it seem on the outside. Having a large breed dog, I know that I have a responsibility to take him out for a walk regularly, but I admit that I was too lazy to do that. He has strong legs, he seems cheerful all the time, he has good appetite and I thought everything is fine. I take this exercise routine too lightly.
On his early years, I did take him out on daily basis, to help him build a strong leg, back and front. But as time goes by, I was getting lazier and lazier. Up until the point where I never do it anymore. But, back then, he seems just fine. I never thought how wrong I was to think that.
Good appetite plus no exercise turn him into a fat dog. I always find it cute that he’s so chubby. Another big mistake that I can only regret now. I should never let him got overweight. I paid this 2 lesson with a very expensive price. The life of my innocent boy.
Overweight and no exercise are the best recipe for a weak heart.
Don’t take this lightly, because if you do, you’re killing your dog, slowly but sure. Do I know this? Yes I do. I claim to love him so much, and believe me I did, I do, and I’ll always love him. I’m ashamed to say that the truth is, it was my hand that took his precious life away from him. He’s the one that finally has to pay for my carelessness.
It begun with my decision to move out to a new house. That was the 1st time I’m moving to a place of my own, bringing 2 dogs with me. I have so many things I have to prepare. The house itself is ready. And I thought I covered all the arrangement. To move Cleo and Arthur, I rent a car from a pet supplies store where I used to buy my dogfood. The store owner said they can help with the transportation. So I thought everything is fine.
Then comes the day. All the furniture is settled, pet car arrived, my stuff are all packed and carried to the car and seems like everything is ready. And this is my 3rd mistake. I didn’t check the pet transport car. I simply thought if they transport dog on regular basis (that’s what the shop owner told me) then I assume they know what they’re doing. I move at noon, the weather was hot, and that car has no air conditioner. It was an SUV type of car and they took off the back seat to give the car more space, and they only use a carpet to cover the back area.
Cleo might used to warm weather because like I told you on his stories, he spend quite a long time of his life living on the balcony. But Arthur never used to heat. He’s always in an air conditioned room. And my 4th mistake is that I should be on the pet car with my boys. Arthur never been separated from me since he was a baby. There were times when I didn’t allow him to sleep on my bedroom, and he can cry for hours until I melt and let him in again. I should’ve known better than to leave him with 2 stranger he never met before.
Before we start leaving to the new house, I told the driver to drive carefully because Arthur has a weak stomach when it comes to a car ride. Usually he will throw up on the car, so I ask them to anticipate that. And then we all go to the new house. I was on my brother’s car. And after we got to the new house, the pet car driver told me something happen to Arthur. He collapsed. I feel like my heart was stop ticking for a while there, especially when I open the door and see his condition. I call a vet and ask what was I suppose to do, the vet told me to bring him to a cool place and give him cool water if he’s still able to drink. And massage his chest. Apparently she knows what hit him. Yes, it was heat stroke. A combination of over-heat body temperature and weak heart.
Later the driver told me, during the trip Arthur throw up like 3 times and he also pooped on the car. Out of my mind with worry and frustration I yelled at them, why didn’t you told me his condition was that bad? And he said he thought it was normal for him because before we went, I told him to anticipate that Arthur might throw up. It was his way to dump some of his body heat, but I suppose the driver and me are both inexperienced with this.
Around 30 minutes later a vet came by. My brother and my cousin call and ask her to come. She told us to get some ice to be placed around his body so his temperature can drop a little bit. Later I found out, that’s not how you suppose to do it. You can wet his body with water yes, but not with ice, because the temperature changes will be too drastic. Mistake by mistake keep happening that day, and Arthur, my sweet and innocent Arthur was the one who has to go through it all. It kills me to watch him suffer like that for hours. Later on, he can no longer control his bladder, and I saw there were red stain on his bladder. Yes, blood. His internal organ was damaged. I was still hoping for a miracle to happen. I was hoping at any second, he will open his eyes, he will get better because the vet said all we can do now is wait until he pass his critical times. And if he did, then everything will be fine.
In the middle of the night, his tongue was out of his mouth and the color was kinda blackish. I call the vet and send her the picture. She said there’s nothing we can do but wait, pray, and hope for the best. I think at that moment, the vet knows he wouldn’t make it but she just didn’t have the heart to tell me. Not too long after that, Arthur shakes like 2 times, open his eyes, and draw his last breath. I scream for him not to leave me, that I promised, I swear I will take better care of him. I shake his body, calling his name, willing him to open his eyes and come back to me. I beg him to forgive me and give me another chance. But of course, it never happen.
February 21, 2015, I lost my precious sunshine. He died in my arms, because of my hand. When he died, there’s a part of me that dies with him. The hardest blow is that because I realize everything that happen to him was all my fault. If only… If only… If only… Regrets.. That’s all I can feel.
The next morning, the vet drop by to take care of his cremation. I cremate him along with his pillow, blanket and stuffed toys. And then after everything is done, I bought a big dog stuffed toy, open the back stitch, put his ashes on a bottle and put it inside the toy. I know for some people it might sound crazy and pointless. But for me, this is how I always keep him close to me. So I can still hug him when I sleep.
If today, by the time you read my story, you realize that you don’t walk your dog often enough, or if they are overweight, do something about it. Don’t let my regret be your regret someday. It break my heart to relived those painful moment but I share this story so that you don’t have to learn it the way I did.