Saturday, December 13, 2008

Not Another Goodbye

Hello everyone. This was a really difficult entry for me, which explains why it took so long. As you will see, last weekend was quite a roller-coaster ride for my husband and me, and I needed to grieve before I started blogging again. A couple of weeks ago, we decided we wanted a dog. We were considering puppies, but ultimately decided on adopting a dog from a rescue. Now, my husband has a dog allergies, so we are limited to certain specific breeds. After a lot of research on around Thanksgiving, I found the cutest bichon frise/shih tzu mix called Mickey Finn. After submitting my application for adoption, I received the disappointing news that someone had already adopted him. (Disappointing for me, wonderful news for the dog.)

By the end of November, I found another dog that I liked named Toe-Toe - a bichon frise. Off the bat, we know we love Bichons because my husband had one called Bailey who was the best dog ever. Unfortunately, Bailey died of lung cancer two years ago. We don't knows how he got it since no one in the family smoke. In the picture, Toe-Toe looked very sad but based on the description, he sounded like the perfect dog for us.

On Saturday, December 6th, we visit Toe-Toe in his foster care. He was sad but friendly and oh so cute. despite of desparately needing a bath. We took him for a walk and he seems like a very sweet and well trained boy. We noticed that he was limping a bit, but the foster mom said no one was quite sure what his problem was because the vet couldn't find anything. Despite of the limp and his desparate need for grooming, we decided to take him with us. We had a two week trial to see if things would work out.

So we drove out to Long Island with the newly named Henri to stop at the pet store and MIL's before starting our new life with Henri. He sat in my lap the whole time and didn't give me a hard time at all. At MIL's, we noticed he had started to bond to me already. He would follow me around the backyard, and whe I left the yard, he would try to find a way out. So sweet. However, the limp was still there.

We took him to our own vet to get a thorough check-up. The vet said he looked ok, but that he seems to have some tenderness in the shoulder, accounting for the limp. She did a blood work and would get back to us tomorrow. Finally we brought Henri to what we thought would be his new forever home.

We immediately gave him a bath, brush and blow dry and brushed his teeth. This boy was starting to spiff up quite nicely. The bonding continued, with him only eating if I would sit next to him. And despite the limo, he loved going on long walks outside.

On Sunday, we settled into a normal routine with the dog. Early long walk, feeding, shorter walk afterward, etc. It was then that we noticed, when inside, his limp was more pronounced, with him sometimes refusing to use the leg at all. Also, he wasn't playful at all. It seems that all he did was sleep on his bed. He seems depressed, having been shuffled around from house to house, but it was a concern that this was just the way he is - lethargic, without really giving much acknowledgement to his owners at all.

We eagerly awaited the result of the blood work. Finally, but 5PM, the vet called. He has high liver enzyme reading - it was a strange reading because only one of three enzymes was high, so the vet wasn't sure what was going on. If it continued, the next steps would be an ultra sound and then a biopsy. On Sunday, we did our normal routine with the dog.

This was devastating news. After having lost Bailey just two years ago, we didn't want to get attached to a dog who had a potentially serious illness which could pop up in a few months. That heartache would just to be too much. This is one of the hardest decisions we've had to make and we were on and off crying all day. But we had to do it quickly so we wouldn't get too attached to him and he wouldn't get too attached to us (which had started happening on both cases.)

Once we made the decision, it felt like we had already suffered a loss. The apartment felt strangely emply eventhough Henri was still there. To take our mind off the decision, we decided to leave Henri alone for few hours and go outside ourselves. This was the first time since we'd gotten him that he would be alone.

We gated him in the long entrance hallway. For a few minutes, we stood outside to see what he would do. At first there was crying and barking...separation anxiety. Then, we heard some scratching at the door. Could it be he got out over the gate? Well, the noise had stopped so we went out.

Upon returning, it was clear he had gotten over both gates. Aftaid on the destruction and mess we would find, we coutiosly went into the apartment. What we found broke our hears more. There was Henro, lying in the middle of the dining room, sleeping quitely, on my robe. He had found it, and pulled it down. He must have noticed my scent and it must have comforted him. Seeing him lying sadly on my robe brought tears to my eyes once again, knowing that we would be returning him.

Finally, on Monday night, just two and half days after meeting him, we brought Henri back to his foster home. It was very upsetting for both of and hubby were both crying. He was such a sweet boy, and he had clearly started to bind to us. But with the risk of disease and what appeared to be othe ailments, we just couldn't invest our emotions into him and risk losing him quickly. We left Henri in the arms of his foster mom (he clearly remember her and seemed comfortable, albeit sad), and cried the whole way back home. Even writing this now brings tears.

This is the only picture I tool of him using my camera phone. I think it was
good that I couldn't find my regular camera so I didn't take too may photos.
This way it is easier for me not to think of him (which I do anyway).

Henry, I'm praying for your good health and I hope you will find your perfect forever home soon.


  1. That is so sad. I almost didn't want to read it cause it breaks my heart! Bichon frise are great dogs, and the no shedding is such a bonus. Their personlities is so friendly, but maybe a bit to "spunky" sometimes :o) lol.

    I am tagging you play along in this meme.Hope you will join, here arethe rules and my answers. Can't wait to see what you will post.


  2. I am so sorry to hear that you had this experience. we lost a 6 month old boxer puppy this past summer from what we believe was meningitis. it was incredibly sad and i know how heartbreaking it is to lose a sweet pet, even if you haven't had them for long.
    thinking of you,


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