RIP, Boxer

A photo from Oct 2014, when we had just brought Boxer home.

A photo from Oct 2014, when we had just brought Boxer home.

Dear Boxer,

We didn’t have you in our lives long.  We found you at the Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center in August, 2014.  You were 8 years old – a little older than we had hoped for.  There was another dog, Sasha, who was only 4 years old, but there was another family who had put in a request for her before us, and we couldn’t adopt her, so we got you.

You had previously been owned by a family that invested in their ownership of you enough to put in a microchip, but apparently didn’t provide you with any affection, and you spent the first 8 years of your life in your first owner’s backyard.  You made an escape, and a neighbor brought you to the adoption center.  The staff there called your owners, accessing the microchip in the nape of your neck, and they apparently said “OK, whatever.”  So, we took you home.

We loved you.  We walked you every day, twice a day, because that’s how we treat our dogs.  Always have. You lived inside, where you clearly were happy, and when we were home, you followed us around the house, because you were so desperate for attention and love.  Sometimes we got exasperated with you being underfoot all the time, but we knew that you just wanted love and affection, and we were happy to give it to you.  It was long overdue, and we wanted you to be happy.

Unfortunately, you never did get along with the cat, Lior, who lived here before you, and will live on after you.

Lior, pre-Boxer

Lior, pre-Boxer

Boxer never realized that Lior could be a friend, and not just potential prey.  We just saw Zootopia, and while Boxer was the sweetest dog, 99% of the time, when he caught sight or sniff of Lior, he lost the little mind that he had, and his savage instincts came to the fore.

Which meant many tumbles down the basement steps to attempt to catch his prey.

And, about 3 weeks ago, he took one too many attempts.  He actually got caught squeezing himself through the cat-door in the basement door, sometime on a Friday, and was found by the DH on returning home.  After extracting him from the cat-door, Boxer clearly had a swollen right hind leg, but he had done this before, and had recovered, so we figured he might again recover just fine with some rest.  But, sadly, no.

We brought him to our wonderful vet (the Animal Place in Aspen Hill, is the best!).  X-rays were done – no fracture.  But, bloodwork revealed anemia and thrombocytopenia, and a Chest Xray showed multiple nodules.  Ugh!  Cancer?  Who knows.

We brought home some meds: prednisone (cures all that ails anyone), an anti-inflammatory, and gabapentin (an anti epileptic med that is frequently used as an adjunct pain med).  We dosed you regularly for more than a week, but we saw no improvement, and sadly, your right hind leg was so badly injured that you were not able to flex your foot enough to walk on your foot pads, and you were developing a horrible sore on the top of your toes.  It seemed like you weren’t necessarily feeling pain, but this was not any kind of life for a dog.  You haven’t been able to go out for a walk for the past 2 1/2 weeks, as you’ve not been able to walk that far.  We’ve even rigged a towel under your belly to help you bear your own weight to go out to the backyard for a pee.

So, we finally decided that we needed to end your suffering.  We told the boys at dinner last night, and this morning at 9am, you had your final trip to the wonderful vet.  I know that the end was peaceful (DH took you in, as I had my own clinic patients to see).  I took these photos with you this morning, before I left.

I’ll miss you, Boxer.  You were a good dog. ♥