I found out something last night that has been bothering me, and it’s not really something that I can talk about with anyone, so I’m going to put it here.
Let’s go back to May 2014 for a second. We had a 13 year old boxer named Boss. May 8th was a typical Thursday. I picked up the kids after work and headed home to make dinner before my oldest’s baseball game. We ate, cleaned and then headed out to the game. Everyone was fine and normal.
When we got home, hubby was talking to his dad on the phone and I went in to let Boss outside. Something was horribly wrong. He was unable to stand up, kept going in circles and falling over and was extremely anxious. It must have been a stroke, I thought. I called for hubby to come and help and we were trying to figure out what to do. In my mind, the only answer was to take him to the ER to have him euthanized. I honestly, wholeheartedly thought that he had a stroke and would not get any better. I thought it would be cruel to keep him alive. Hubby suggested I hold my horses and he take the day off the next day to watch him. This didn’t make any sense to me. Bossy was in such a state and so anxious, I didn’t think it would be fair for him. I was the one that worked at a clinic for over 10 years, and hubby looked to me to see what we should do. We dropped our boys off at my in-laws and went to the after hours clinic. I don’t remember them giving us any hope with his condition and we had him euthanized.
It’s been 5 years, and I still tell the story the same way. It was never really a sad story though. He had a pretty rough start in life, being a ‘puppy mill’ puppy shipped to Petland. The clinic I worked at took care of the puppies that came in on a giant truck. I clearly remember the obnoxious boxer puppy who had an autoimmune mange for several months. By the time he was healthy, he was too old to be sold, so the pet store let the clinic keep him. He was adopted out to a family with a 3 year old child. They brought him back a couple weeks later and said he was too hyper with their kid. Not long after, the weekend was here and we were throwing our german shepherd a birthday party for her 1st birthday. I had an idea and brought that rambunctious boxer home for the weekend to join in the birthday festivities. I never brought him back to the clinic. We named him Boss.
Puppy games at Marly’s Birthday party. Boss is not pictured because he was being naughty with the other dogs.
Living in a cage unsocialized for so long left him an anxious dog. I remember my sister and her boyfriend watching him once while we were on a trip. She called me to tell me that our dog won’t stop staring at them and she doesn’t know what to do with him. That same sister (but different boyfriend) watched him again like 10 years later. He was always good off leash, but must’ve been getting senile because he wandered off. They called me in a panic but found him happily and carefreely wandering the streets a few neighborhoods over.
At age 7 he had a seizure in the middle of the night, and it was determined that his thyroid was off and could have caused it. He took thyroid medication for the rest of his life and had no more problems with it as long as he lived, plus he lost his obesity.
He had two indolent ulcers around the age of 10 and 11. These are nasty corneal ulcers that won’t heal, and boxers are prone to getting them. Treatment both times was brutal, and even with meds he was in a lot of pain for a day or two each time. I remember sitting with him and crying because I didn’t know if we’d have to put him down if his eye continued to cause him so much pain. Luckily, both times after about 24 hours of major pain (after they scraped his eye with a needed creating a grid on his eyeball to hopefully create some friction for healing) he improved and his eye healed. It was a BIG ordeal though, and the veterinary ophthalmologist is very pricy which was also very stressful.
At age 12 they discovered a heart murmur. I took him in for an EKG and the veterinarian told me that the heart murmur would not cause any problems during the time he had left (12 is considered pretty old for a boxer).
So when we had to him put down at 13, I didn’t have any regrets. After all, there was nothing we could have done.
My longtime friend, who worked at the same clinic as me posted about her dog on Facebook last night. She was at an emergency clinic with her 13 year old dog who was having a Vestibular episode. I didn’t know what that was, so I looked it up:
You can imagine what I thought right away when I read this. 2014 was HORRIFIC. I was diagnosed with RA, lost my dog, then lost my mom, then my grandma, then my cat ran away, then we lost a cousin and then my grandpa on the very last day. What if Boss had made it through? What if I listened to hubby and waited before making a hasty decision? These are some hideous and intense thoughts and I don’t know what to do with them.
Hubby and I went to the movies last night on a rare date. We had a few extra minutes before going in, and that’s when I made this realization. My heart felt broken and betrayed and I felt so sick and sad, but didn’t say anything. I still haven’t and probably won’t. What’s there to say? Nothing.
The only good thing I can think of is that I have Jules, and wouldn’t have him if Boss didn’t pass when he did. We had decided to wait for a year before getting another dog, but after my mom died in July, I needed a puppy and found the one who would become Jules on the same day she passed. And also, I’m sure he was there to greet my mom into heaven. They had a special bond over pizza and I imagine them hanging out together.
Boss lived a long life and was very much loved <3