Sonny by Lori & Paul Light / Love you my poop a choo – mom & dad

On this past Saturday July the 24th a day that started out like any other day with our morning walk and play, Sonny was his usual playful loving self. In the afternoon Myself, my husband and Sonny went out for a mid-day potty break. Just out to the field behind our apartment as it was very hot and humid, We brought along some water to wet Sonny down. We were due to celebrate his 8th birthday next month.

After about 6 minutes Sonny started acting like he wasn’t feeling well so we headed down the sidewalk towards home. We turned around to look for our kitty ET who was following us and had been frightened by people passing by us when I noticed Sonny was not following right behind my husband as he approached me to help look for the cat. I immediately asked where is Sonny as he wasn’t close to any of us which was odd in itself and as I turned to see where he had gone, I witnessed him come out of a bushy area go completely rigid and fall over stiff sideways. As I ran towards Sonny (who was now about 15 feet away but seemed like 10 miles) I yelled out to my husband that Sonny had fallen over. As I approached Sonny I called out his name and bent over to see what was going on he immediately let out the most heartbreaking and blood curdling whining moan and I knew he was in serious distress.

We began to carry him down the sidewalk needing to place him down once to re-adjust our grip at which time he vomitted. I looked inside his mouth and his gums were a very pale white color. We proceeded to carry him further and then placed him in the grass in the shade as I now saw that his tongue and gums were blue and my husband now had to run for the car as he was now in very extreme distress and he was having great difficulty breathing. I phoned the emergency vet up the road (thank god for cell phones) and informed them we are on our way and explained all of Sonny’s symptoms to them. He had multiple cardiac events for about an hour while they were attempting to stablize them and kept becoming rigid. His organs were shutting down, he had no circulation and was unable to breathe on his own.

We are shocked and devastated as our boy had no history of heart disease and had just had a physical and blood work the previous week which showed nothing wrong. We were looking forward to at least 3-5 more good years with him. We expected the vet would come out and say he had to stay the night for observation but were in no way prepared for the words that it “didn’t look good”.

Although It would be nice to know we will never know what caused this event in my doggie “soul mate” because I could not bear the thought of letting anyone perform an autopsy (necropsy) on him when it wouldn’t change the outcome and wouldn’t bring him back. I am told that they sometimes still don’t find a cause even after doing an autopsy (necropsy). He did have a bad case of Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever last year and it is quite possible these diseases did some unseen undiagnosed damage.

I am glad that I have taken pet first aid classes and became a pet first aid instructor as this helped me to realize the seriousness of his condition and the need to rush him for care. It allowed me to stay calm when it was needed and to act instead of reacting ( I saved that for later). At the same time I am saddened that all of this knowledge and training did not allow me to save the life of my furbaby. There was still nothing I could do to change his outcome.

In sharing this story with others I am hoping you can recognize the signs of such an event and know your need to rush you pets to the nearest vet. What started out appearing to be mild discomfort of my dog (tail between his legs, ears back and head down) similiar to when he needs to vomit turned into a life ending event within a matter of 2 to 3 minutes.

You should always know the route of your nearest emergency clinics and have the phone numbers in your cell phone ready to dial. I am doing some research as to what one would do if you were alone with your pet during such a tragedy and needed help to carry or transport them.

We are lucky in that we were all together as a family and we were able to get him to the vets quickly so he at least would not suffer for too long. I held him in my arms as best I could as he was on the table I hugged him and kissed him and told him I was sorry that mommy could not fix him this time but that we would make his pain go away. I told him that I loved him. I cradled his head in my hand one last time gave him a kiss on his frozen wet nose and looked him straight in the eye and he let me know that he could not go on. I gave him my final act of love of not letting him suffer any longer. Knowing that I did the right thing has not made me feel any better. I am still in shock at the suddeness of this event and miss him as he was always by my side day and night. Whenever I run into people that haven’t heard the news yet they say “Oh I am not used to seeing you alone” or Where is Sonny today and I immediately burst into tears. He was like an appendage.

He was the best dog anyone could ever ask for: Loyal, eager to please, obedient and loving to all the people and other dogs he met (unless they picked a fight with him). He had a special way of howling and carrying on whenever any of our neighbors passed him by as his way to say Hello and welcome home. He had an infectious doggie smile that made all that met him smile themselves.

People would comment what a great dog he was and how they wished their dogs could be just like him. Very well trained and well behaved.

Goodbye my baby boy there will always be a huge spot in my heart for you. You have brought me almost 8 years of unconditional love and the best doggie kisses in the world. I will miss your big wet tongue on my cheek when I wake.


I hold you in my heart forever
Lori & Paul Light