December 6th was just about as awful of a day as I could possibly imagine. Gus, our nearly 15 year old Yorkie-Bichon suddenly collapsed. When I tried to see if he could walk, he kept going in a circle. We immediately drove to the emergency vet clinic. They found that a tumor, probably on his spleen, is causing internal bleeding. They could perform emergency surgery to determine if the tumor was malignant, however that would mean he only has a couple of months, at best. The hemorrhaging may have caused a lack of blood to his brain, which means he probably also had a mild stroke.
The most humane thing to do was say good bye, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Yes, I know a “Maharajah” is an Indian Prince and I’m not trying to be culturally insensitive. Gus had a very strong personality. He was very much a “I want to do it my way” kind of dog. If there was a mound of blankets, pillows, or laundry and you turned your back or stepped out of the room, you would return to find him lying at the top of said mound. We often accused him of thinking he was “the maharajah”. He would lay there with a smug look on his face. This was a behavior he exhibited to the end.
We’ve had him since he was about 20 weeks and over the years he had many nicknames. His full name was actually Gus-Gus, named after the mouse from Cinderella. Gus was the short version. He had a big dog personality; always thinking he could take on Canadian geese or deer. Therefore I would sometimes call him Battousai the Manslayer, clearly he had that man killer instinct.
He could be a little asshole sometimes. For example if it was raining or too cold outside, then in his mind that made it all right to pee in the house. One time we accidentally locked him in the bedroom, so he jumped up on the bed, walked onto the dresser from the bed, and pooped on the dresser. It was his way of saying “How Dare You Lock Me In Here”. His strong personality was his most endearing quality, it is truly one of thing things I loved most about him.
None Shall Compare
I grew up with dogs. We had Labradors when I was a kid. A few months after my wife and I started dating we bought Gus. He was apart of our life before we were even married. He was the first dog I ever personally owned (Gromit was the second dog we bought together a few months after Gus). While I adored all the dogs I had around me as a kid, there is something different about the first dog you bought for yourself (or your family).
When I was talking to my neighbor, he told me about a dog he had. He explained that it was almost as if the dog could tell what he was thinking by a simple look or a nod of his head. He said that dog is the dog that all his other dogs are compared to. This is true for Gus. We know there will never be another Gus, but I know we will compare every new dog to Gus. We have a one year old Westie, and I already comment about behaviors he’s exhibiting that he has clearly learned from “his mentor”, aka Gus.
RIP buddy. I will miss you every day for the rest of my life, but I hope we gave you the best years of yours.
“Dogs’ lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you’re going to lose a dog, and there’s going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can’t support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There’s such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware that it comes with an unbearable price.” – Dean Koontz
I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!