One year ago on this day we said goodbye to our dear dog, Linus. The end of 13 years of memories of our "play dog", Linusaurus Rex. It's been really hard not having his little personality around anymore. I can't believe it's been a year. It still seems like just a few months ago.
How he came to be our dog...
It was a year or more after my childhood dog, Honey had passed away that Linus came to us. He was a stray that had "shown up" at my parents home in Gerald, Mo. Dad called and said he had a dog for us, so we drove out to take a look. He was about 5 or 6 months old, lanky, and a bit under the weather. He had a very expressive little face and we loved him immediately.
He rode on Darrin's lap all the way home, a bit lethargic but still cute.
We took him to the vet ASAP and got him all fixed up, wormed, shots, neutering, etc.
That "puppy stage" was so trying! He had a penchant for chewing plastic. CD cases, cheap shoes, one of every pair of my dress heels! Oh, and how dare the mailman bang on our mailbox every day! Yep, Linus busted out the front window glass one day prompting a stern letter from the USPS about controlling our dog. We promptly replaced the 50 year old windows.
He loved to chase a toy down the hallway, and walks were a favorite although we regret not taking him as much as we should have. Tennis balls were the only toy that survived his attentions. He loved the soft, stuffed, squeaky toys...but a little too much as it only took a few minutes of play for the stuffing to suddenly appear on the outside of the toy.
In 2008 I took him to the vet for an abscessed tooth. They put him under and did a good cleaning and ended up removing 3 teeth! Then in June of 2009 it appeared that he had another abscessed tooth. However, when they took a look it turned out to be a tumor. On June 30th it was removed and we had it sent off. The news was not good, Melanoma which in dogs is terminal, he had 2 to 6 months at best. We looked into several options and finally took him to The University of Missouri - Columbia. They did a full workup and approved him for a clinical trial of Interleukin. Wasting no time we brought him back the following week, they treated him with the trial meds and after 2 days sent him home. He promptly spiked a fever which resulted in a midnight run to our local vet for an IV, then an early morning ride back to Columbia. It was almost two weeks of the staff trying various treatments to get his platelets to normalize...they never did. I was amazed at the extent of the treatments but in the end Melanoma, or rather a complication called DIC due to Melanoma that had metatasticized was the final straw and we were forced into making the decision to let him go. It was one of the saddest times in my life.
About 2 weeks after we said goodbye, we received the package from Columbia. It had his collar, paw imprint, and a card signed by all the caregivers, veterinarians, and vet techs. I opened the box in the kitchen by myself and cried my eyes out. Darrin came in from outside and I showed him what came and we cried together.
About a month or so after, we got a call regarding his Melanoma. They confirmed that it had metasticized to his lungs. There was really no way for him to survive. We did the best thing we could do, we gave him a chance, contributed to science through our participation in the trial, donated his tissue for the tissue bank, and allowed a necropsy...that's more than a lot of dogs get to contribute and we can feel good about that even while we miss him every day.