Hank Dog

This is a post I never wanted to write. It's tough and I really don't want to. But hey, this is my journal and I use it to share both the ups AND downs.

Hank Dog went to Heaven last week. He was around 11.5 years old.

Looking back, I'd say his downturn began in December. We began to notice Hanky Poo was gaining weight and losing muscle. Ignorantly, we figured it was just because he wasn't getting as much exercise, as we were so wrapped up with our new bundle of joy and the cold weather.

In early January, however, hubby said that something just wasn't right. All of Hank's weight seemed to be going to his belly, and he practically looked pregnant. So, we took him to the vet and she checked for heartworms and some other things. None of the tests were positive, but his heartbeat was irregular, so we put him on some meds for that.

Fast forward a month and it was the same situation. So back to the vet we went. This time, she diagnosed it as congestive heart failure and changed up the perscription. Although the meds would be necessary daily, she was fairly confident he would be back to normal.

For a long time, he did seem to be getting better. His cough got bad again, so we did increase one of his dosages, but things seemed fine.

Until last Wednesday. Hank received his meds twice a day and we put them in a small piece of bread to make it easier for him to take. That morning, hubby said Hank didn't seem to be doing well and didn't take the "treat."

He did the same thing that night. Y'all, our dog who is SO energetic wouldn't go more than about 20 steps without stopping and absolutely would not take his medicine. So, we left him outside to roam. A couple hours later, I looked outside expecting him to be on the porch, but noticed him walking in the field across our house, where he likes to roam. By dark, he still hadn't come home, so hubby went to find him. We know that dogs often go away to die and were afraid of that.

After about 10 minutes, hubby found Hank and they walked home. J told me the only way he got Hank to come was to say "let's go for a ride" (our Poosky LOVES rides in Daddy's truck) so I insisted hubby take him for one - Mister Cooper was napping or we would have joined. They went for a short ride, and once they got home, we situated Hank with his bed, water and some food in the back of the truck, as that is one of his favorite places.

That night, we checked on Hank about every 30 minutes. Before bed, we kissed & hugged him and told him how much we love him.

The next morning, we were terrified, but so grateful Hank was alive. But it was pretty much the same story that day. We situated him on the side of the house. Hubby covered him with a blanket and we checked on him frequently until going to bed.

Friday was my early morning at work, and I had to leave the house around 5:30. When Hank wasn't by the house, I freaked out. But as I drove to the Highway, I saw him at the end of the drive. I got out of the car, hugged and kissed him and told him I loved him. When hubby left for work an hour later, Hank was on the other side of the highway, and he did the same.

That afternoon, hubby came home and saw Hank had gone to Heaven. He had returned to our property and was lying on the side of the house. He looked so peaceful.

Hubby's brother came over later in the afternoon and helped us bury our sweet, beloved dog. We put him by a tree where he loved to lie, and sent his bed, blanket, and favorite "bird" that he loved to chew on with him.

Hank dog was the best pet we could ever have. I didn't even like dogs and was originally scared of him, but he is such a sweet, loving animal. There are so many times that I was upset with hubby (back in the day) & Hank would just sit there and listen to me, or lick me while I cried. He loved all kinds of kids, especially Cooper - he would even let them ride on him like a horse. I said that Cooper must have been part of the reason his heart failed - he just loved so much, his little heart couldn't handle it.

Hanky Poo loved playing in the water and just being around people. He really taught me a lot about the simple things in life - all it took to make him happy was a little attention. Saying "load up" or "let's go for a ride" would literally make his tail start spinning like a windmill. If we got angry with him, he was quick to forgive & forget.

We miss our big oaf so much. However, we are so grateful for the six years that we got to love him and put up with his antics, like escaping from his pen (including getting out of an eight-foot privacy fence!) We also consider ourselves blessed that we got a bit of warning - last Wednesday, we both knew the end was near, which is why we didn't bother to call the vet. Although it pained us to see him that way, the two days we got to cry and prepare our hearts, plus let him know just how loved he was, were invaluable.

Please, love on your pets tonight. You never know when you might lose them. And Hank Dog, we love you. You were the best & the worst.

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  1. Oh my goodness. I am so sorry for your loss. You wrote such a beautiful post, though, and it made me tear up. I am an animal lover and have my own "babies" that will make me cry buckets when they pass on. I will be thinking of you...I know that is so hard!!

  2. I'm so sorry!! :( Losing a pet is one of the hardest things to go through! :( At least Hank Dog is in heaven now where he's not hurting! I'm thinking about you and your family!

  3. Okay - I'm crying!! Girl, I am so sorry that y'all are going through this. Our animals are our babies, so I know it's like losing a family member. We have a lab and I never thought I would love an outside dog and now I couldn't imagine life without her. Just know he isn't suffering anymore and y'all did everything y'all could!! Send hugs your way!! :)

  4. OMG girl, I'm literally crying my eyes out right now. I'm so sorry. I know that love so well and am so glad you were able to feel it too. There is something about those chocolate lab faces that are truly amazing. Reese sends slobbery kisses and says thank you for loving one of her 'kind'.

  5. So sorry. I know how much you guys loved Hank. You gave him a great home and a great family to be a part of.


  6. Oh Michelle- I am so, so sorry for your loss. Dogs really are a member of the family and it is so hard losing them. Hugs to you girl!

  7. I saw the first bit of this post in blogger and really didn't want to read it. But I knew I had to - for you.

    I went through this 4 years ago with my German Shepherd, Dante. He was my best friend. It was one of the hardest things in life because I had to decide to put him to sleep. I felt guilty, I felt like it wasn't my place to decide the time of death for somebody. But he was suffering and he was too good of a dog. I never wanted another pet and Milo chose me. Milo is more like a child and best friend to me instead of just a companion and best friend. I know that if his time comes before mine it will break me apart so with both of those in mind I know you and your hubby are hurting. I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this.

    But knowing that you gave him the best life and loved him and knowing that you made his time on Earth enjoyable might ease the heartache even if only in the smallest amount. He was loved and he knew it. He had it good.

    I hope each day gets easier for you both. Those pictures (especially the one of your hubby and Hank sitting) are perfect memories. *Hugs*

  8. Oh Michelle, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is really one of the hardest things to go through.. they're a family member! And saying goodbye to them is so hard because you feel like you should've been able to do more. Praying for y'all as you go through this difficult time! Just remember all of your wonderful memories!

  9. Oh dear, that is such a sad life event... losing a pet is so painful, yet inevitable. So glad you guys were able to prepare yourselves and he was able to pass away at his own home where he knew people love him. You'll see him again someday :)


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