A few weeks ago my family and I suffered the unexpected loss of our much- loved Golden Retriever Dutch. I hope every dog owner reads the Canine Congestive Heart Failure post as this is what took our much loved pet suddenly with no warning.
It was a normal Friday evening, around 6:00 I noticed Dutch laying by the front door. Not a normal thing for him as he always had to be at our side or sneaking a sniff at whatever was on the counter.
Dutch was a very large Golden topping 145 pounds. Not overweight, just a very large beautiful dog. As I approached the door to let him out, he seemed fine; just not acting like himself. Sam, our other Golden, had been pestering him earlier so I thought he just needed some space and let him outside. Dutch would always come to the door and bark when he wanted to come back inside. Ten minutes later my wife Lisa let him in.
Once inside we knew something was not right. He was trembling and having trouble walking. He gave me this look like something was wrong with him. I didn’t hesitate and called my vets emergency after hour’s number. His wife answered and stated he was already at the office with another emergency so I rushed Dutch over.
As we waited for the vet, I noticed Dutch was now having labored breathing and his stomach appeared to be swollen. He couldn’t get comfortable as he laid on the floor next to me. Minutes seemed like hours as we waited. Dutch just stared at me; I knew deep down there was something very wrong with him.
After a few questions and an initial exam, the vet drew a sample from Dutch and tested it. He immediately wanted to do an ultrasound as Dutch’s heartbeat was so faint he had trouble hearing it. The ultrasound showed what appeared to be his enlarged heart. Not being able to get a clear enough view, the vet took an x-ray of Dutch’s chest. The x-ray showed the fluid and swelling around his heart. Tears welled up in my eyes as the vet explained his condition to me and diagnosed him with congestive heart failure.
The vet prescribed a couple medications and we gave Dutch his first dose. The vet could not answer as to how much time we had with him but did say he felt positive we had gotten him there in time and the medication should help reduce the swelling around his heart. We would soon know just how bad it was. Dutch and I arrived home at 10:30 PM. He waited as I closed the garage door and followed me inside.
Once inside he laid on the kitchen floor, he wouldn’t get back up. Lisa, Sam and I made him as comfortable as possible. I had fallen asleep next to him on the floor and awoke suddenly around 1:30 AM. Dutch had moved across the kitchen. As I approached him, I could tell he was in bad shape. His breathing was still labored and weak; once I got to him, I laid his head on my lap. A few minutes later, he was gone.
Dutch was just 9 short years old, had never had any health issues and lived a grand life. He loved to play with our children and watched over them every night, normally sprawled across them as they slept. He was best friends to Sam and a faithful and loving companion to my wife and I. He helped raise Sam who is going to be 2 years old to be just like him. Loving, obedient, treat lover, squirrel chasing, guardian and friend. Dutch, we miss you!