I met Gandolf on Easter Sunday while I was at the shelter to pick up another pug. He was sitting alone in the kennels back in receiving. At 14 years old, he had been taken to the shelter the previous day, to be euthanized. The reason given? He was 14 years old. Very overweight, he sat kind of hunched over; withdrawn; not paying attention toanything going on around him. He just had such an aura of extreme sadness about him. I walked over to his kennel to talk to him for a minute. I told him we’d come back for him as soon as the shelter would let us.
Monday morning we got word APARN could pick him up, so he was quickly escorted out of county and over to the vethospital. It wasn’t long before I got the call with the update: Gandolf weighed in at 33 pounds. The good news was Gandolf was Heartworm/Tick Fever negative. The mildly bad news: Anaplasmosis positive; tick borne, and treatable with doxycycline.
The worse news: Gandolf was diabetic. The horrible news: he was in DKA – Diabetic Ketoacidosis. He had a white blood cell count of 36,000 (high end of normal is 17,000) meaning something else was going on as well – could be pancreatitis, a liver issue or even cancer. A plan was put in place to see if he could be stabilized.
I got the dreaded call the following morning that his glucose was 577 and he still had no interest in food or water. It was time to make the call – either transfer him to the emergency vet where he would likely spend the next 3-5 days being poked and prodded every few hours before the doctors finally decided they couldn’t help him; or to let him move on before he felt worse.
It was an easy decision. I drove through Jack in the Box on the way to the vet clinic after work and bought a bacon cheeseburger, but even that wasn’t enough to tempt him to eat. He was already letting go of the things of this world. The doctor gave him a sedative, and he quickly became drowsy and drifted off as I talked to him softly, telling him about all the wonderful pugs that he would soon meet.
With the catheter set, the doctor delivered the drugs that released Gandolf from all ties to this earthly existence. Surrounded by love and bathed in the soft light in the room, Gandolf the Grey became Gandolf the White as he crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge, joining so many others that have gone before him. Perhaps he will return one day in another form to learn more life lessons. More likely, if he comes back, he will come again to teach those among us who keep failing to learn the importance of caring for every living creature.
Ways you can help rescue pugs like Gandolf.
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