Saturday, April 9, 2011

Goodbye and Hello

It has been a LONG time since I've suffered a loss that has shattered my heart to pieces, but I recently had to say goodbye to my 13 year old black lab baby.  His name was Sunny and he really was the light of my life.  We got him at the pound the day AFTER the pound neutered him at 5 weeks old!!!  Needless to say, 2 days after we brought him home, the vet bill was already a whopping $900.  Turns out that the surgery was quite difficult for him for two reasons:  1) he was way too young for it in the first place and 2) he had contracted valley fever from whatever environment he had come from.  These two variables culminated to him breathing vomit during his surgery and developing asphyxiated pneumonia.  The little cough that I noted while spending time with him at the pound developed into a VIOLENT cough over the next 48 hours.  After two weeks of treatments from the vet, dropping him off at the vet each morning and then taking him home each night with his IV left in his arm and taped up, we finally got past the worst of it.  Then we just had to treat the valley fever with medications that topped at $450/month for the first six months of his life with us.  Luckily, the cost of the medications he had to take plummeted a short time later and our monthly costs were WAY more tolerable at about $80/month.  Our final vet bill was pretty high, but luckily the vet was so moved by our story and so connected to Sunny, having spent so much time with him to get him through the worst of it, she gladly took payments to finally square away our bill.  Long story short, for Sunny's whole life we lovingly called him our 6 million dollar baby.  Honestly, we did tally up how much we spent on him at some point over the years and had reached (at that time) about $8000 for the $75 pound puppy.  That tally would go up though, 8 short years later when the onset of hip dysplacia began. We never concerned ourselves with how much we spent to keep Sunny with us as long as we could.  From the moment we met him, he was part of us.  At the very beginning, I remember hearing the vet tell us how lucky we were to have such a wonderful boy and that he was pulling through...he was strong.  Then, about a year later we found out that the vet didn't think he was going to make it back then.  Each day when she'd hand him over to us to care for him through the night she'd say he had a good day and was doing well, that was 100% her hopes (and I suspect), her prayers.  We always felt Sunny was worth EVERY penny we ever spent on him and that if we only got him for a couple of days or a couple of years, we would be better for it.  We could not have asked for a kinder, sweeter, more gentle addition to our family and I am grateful that God let us borrow him for the 13 years we got him.  Losing him has been an unbelievable loss that I'm not getting over easily.  But with my "Good-bye", now comes a "Hello" since my husband brought home an A.K.A. certified, purebred 6 week old monster.  We've had him going on 3 weeks, and while he is in NO WAY replacing our Sunny, he is DEFINITELY an adorable distraction.  Everyone.... meet Kodiak, lovingly called Hey (mainly because at the moment I need to correct him, my brain blocks and I can't remember his name, so "hey" is what always comes out.  Now the poor little guy comes to "hey")!

11 comments:

Flamenco92627 said...

Aww, I'm so sorry for the loss of your doggie! Many (hugs). Your new puppy looks so sweet.

Noreen (greytscrapper) said...

I am sorry for your loss. I know how they can grab your heart and you never let go. Our greyhound passed away last year and still miss her dearly. We now have a chihuahua puppy and she is a handful. Even though she doesn't replace Cody, I am glad she is in our hearts and home.

simplydv9 said...

I expected to see a photo of "Hey" at the end of your story. Especially since you made me cry.

Emily Branch said...

I am sooooo sorry about the loss of your dear dog!!! He sounded like a precious little family member!! Google,
"Rainbow Bridge" It gives me comfort after we have lost pets.
Your new little buddy is precious!!! Here's to new memories with a new pooch!

April said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I think Hey is an excellent nick-name!

Marlene said...

So sorry about your first dog....that was sad, but it sounds like you are an incredible devoted pet lover, having stuck by him through all that.

Your new pup is adorable. My dog's name is Kodiak, also. We call him "Kodi" for short.

I don't understand why they let pups go so early, though. They really shouldn't be going to new homes until they're 8 weeks old.

Melanie said...

Oh Danielle...I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet dog. We have an 11 year old husky and three cats (almost 14, 12 1/2 and 6 years), and I know that it will be very difficult to say goodbye when that time comes. Sending you big hugs during this sad time.

(Your new little "distraction is very cute. My aunt and uncle once had a dog named Kodiak...love that name!)

Debra said...

Oh my gosh girl *huge hugs* I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers. I am so glad you opened your heart to.."Hey" :) he looks really sweet and ready to be loved and give you a bunch. He is so lucky to have been adopted by you!

Nicole said...

Oh what a lovely story D. Thank you for sharing. I know how hard it is having just gone through it all myself. Including the little monster called "Hey". We are coming up on a year and it makes me sad to think Apollo's been gone from us this long. Big hugs to you and Sunny was lucky too to have you:)

Bloomingayl said...

Goodbyes are always difficult, hello is always an adventure. Memories live on and there is nothing like a new puppy to mend a broken heart.

Audrey Frelx said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Sunny -- I know how it feels having lost a couple of my precious fur-babies! And it is so very difficult to say good-bye; however, Kodiak is just soooo adorable and I know the "monster" that he is will be such a comfort in helping to deal with the loss!

Kodiak is just too cute!!!