Asproolee by Tina Hale / Your “parents” Tina and Ray

It’s been 8 months since I saw the light go out of your eyes. . . gone forever! Eight months of heartache, guilt, and “what ifs.” His name was Asproolee (it’s a Greek nickname meaning “little white cute thing.”), a male, toy poodle, very intelligent, with a heart of pure gold. He was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on December 10, 1994, and he joined the Hale family on January 2, 1995. It was love at first sight! We brought him home in a woven basket, and I kept and treasured that basket ! (he didn’t know at the time, but I had plans for it. . . ) I buried him in this woven basket on February 21, 2008. Your departure broke my heart, my Asproolee, into thousands of pieces. I am still trying to put the pieces back together, but it’s so hard. . .Grief counseling has helped me, but I’ve got long ways to go, bud!

He filled the gap in our life when my only child had just moved out—He was our new child, and we were his parents. We worked and are still working for the Department of Defense both in the military and civil service. The government assigned us to a lot of overseas assignments.

We moved from Florida to Europe in 1998—he was 3 years old and we had a lot of fun overseas. We met a lot of veterinarians in Europe. These vets took very good care of my Asproolee. They really didn’t become vets to make money because vets in Europe don’t often have the same number of clientele that their US counterparts have. They entered the field because they either genuinely loved animals, or they were farmers, with lots of animals to take care of, and they gravitated to the field.

We spent the last 5 years in Germany. Asproolee really enjoyed that as he got to take long walks with us through vineyards and along beautiful rivers. As he got older and couldn’t walk the long distances, we modified a stroller for him and he could ride in that part of the time on these long walks. This was great fun and he still got to go! He was the patient of US Army vets and German vets. Establishing a permanent vet was impossible—because the US Army vets were deployed for 6 months to a year at a time. That’s the reason we had to see German vets, but of course there was a communication problem, so we all were looking forward to returning to the U.S. to place his health care
into U.S. vets’ hands.

When he was 13 years old, the Government sent us to Madison, Alabama, and everyone was so happy, especially Asproolee! We could finally establish a permanent veterinarian to take care
of his minor health problems.

We took him to a veterinary hospital in September 2007. We were brand new in Madison, and this hospital was only a couple of blocks from our temporary living quarters.

As an elderly pet, Asproolee had some problems, and we told the vets what the symptoms were. They thought he had arthritis in his hind legs and gave him lots of medication for pain, all of it Metacam. Then his problems got worse. . .They asked us to leave him with them for 3 days for tests and observation so they could diagnose his problems. They took a lot of X-rays, including a barium series test. They still could not give us a diagnosis, and they referred us to an internist in Birmingham. The internist performed an ultrasound, and he told us that Asproolee had an intestinal obstruction. The referring vets concurred with the internist, and they all recommended exploratory surgery. They told us that obstructions are life-threatening and that Asproolee had to have the surgery to remove the obstruction ASAP!
The surgeon, also in Birmingham and collocated with the internist, performed the surgery on February 14, 2008, but he found NO OBSTRUCTION! The internist and
the referring vets misinterpreted the ultrasound.

He came home on February 18, 2008, and he died an agonizing death after a seizure/shock and coma on February 21, 2008—3 days after his release from the surgical hospital and 3 months
after we came back to the US.

This is my little bud’s sad story. Please visit his website


Till we meet again, my Asproolee,
Tina Hale