Thursday, September 8, 2011

Spoil Your Dog Like There Is No Tomorrow

Spoil your dog like there is no tomorrow. Because you never know when there won't be one.

Let your dog sniff that fire hydrant. Let him do all the doggy things he wants to do. Let him get dirty. Give him the piece of steak he craves.

Spoil your dog like there is no tomorrow.

Because you never know when there won't be one.

There won't be a tomorrow for Rufus, our neighbor's dog.

Rufus was 2 years old Bull Mastiff. He was one of the nicest, happiest dogs I've met. Always excited, always ready to play, always polite.

Last Saturday I was busy in the kitchen. When I was done I went for a smoke to find Rufus laying on the front lawn, being hosed down. He wasn't moving, other than spasm-like movements which might have been breathing or not. He was irresponsive to what was going on around him.

What happened?

The neighbors figured he got a heat stroke; thus the hosing down. Could have been, as it was a hot and humid day. They were out on a walk when he suddenly collapsed.

One thing I knew was, that regardless of the cause, just hosing him down was not going to save him.

If it was a heat stroke, he looked quite far gone.

"Listen, you need to take him to the emergency vet," I said.

"If he is to stand a chance, he needs to see a vet now. You need to take him now, trust me on that."

I gave them a card with the emergency vet's address and number. Rufus got loaded in the car, covered with wet towels and off they went.

They were gone for quite a while, so I started getting hopeful. 

It's taking a long time, which to me meant they were doing something, which meant he had a chance.

One look at their faces when they returned told me that Rufus did not make it.

The emergency vet declared that it was not a heat stroke after all, but his heart. The heartbeat was very irregular and then he stopped breathing. And that was that.

He was two years old!

With no known history of heart disease.

Spoil your dog like there is no tomorrow. Because you never know when there won't be one.

Jasmine is the most spoiled dog on the planet. We almost lost her twice. But she pushed through each time. She is eight years old now and living it up.

We are thankful for every day she has.

As she was getting older I used to worry about how long we might still have her in our lives. But now I look at it differently. She is eight years old.

That is eight years she has had that nobody is going to take away from her!

Every spot she wants to sniff, she gets to sniff. Every bit of attention she desires, she gets. Every piece of steak I can give her, I give her.

Spoil your dog like there is no tomorrow. Because you never know when there won't be one. RIP Rufus.



  1. We should. Thank you for the reminder Jana. Poor Rufus.

  2. Oh we are sorry to hear about Rufus. It is easy to forget that we need to enjoy each day.

  3. I'm so sorry about Rufus. What a tragedy.

    But thank you for this post. We often focus too much on getting our dogs to behave and not always enough on just letting them be a happy dog.

    After losing my 14 year old dog a few years ago, I've made a point of telling everyone who has a dog to take lots and lots and lots of pictures and video if they can. They will never regret it.

    Thanks so much for this reminder.

  4. Poor Rufus, that's so scary!

    I definitely keep this thing in mind when Elka and I are together, especially if I'm inclined to be frustrated about something. Thank you.

  5. My kitty Butterscotch died very suddenly - much in the same way as poor Rufus. He used to always follow me into the bathroom in the morning so when he didn't I got worried that I had accidentally locked him in the closet overnight. When I went downstairs I found him lying on the floor in front of our t.v. already gone. It was the most devastating moment of my life because there was no preparation, no warning. The night before he was there, the next morning he was gone. He was about 2 years old and had recently had full blood work and even an abdominal ultrasound (he was a rescue kitty that was used for an ultrasound seminar and then I adopted him). Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a silent killer whose first symptom is often sudden death. The only definitive way to diagnose the disease is with an echocardiogram, but in the absence of any symptoms or murmur how many people do an echo? My heart goes out to Rufus' family. I know how they are feeling and I know that in time their memories of Rufus will replace the sadness they feel at his loss.

  6. Thank you guys for your comments and sharing your stories. Life is finite. Let's seize the day!

  7. You are absolutely right. I will try very hard to keep this in mind when the critters are stirring at 4:30 a.m. trying to get the servants up and working :)

  8. Hi Vicky, I can see how that would be hard :-)

  9. Every day I am grateful for another day with my sweet babies. We lost a two kitties on two separate occasions to heart problems and it is devastating- my heart goes out to Rufus' family :(

  10. Hi Julie, so sorry about your kitties. Yes, we have to cherish every day; not day should be wasted.

  11. Such a sad story. My heart goes out to the family.

  12. Yes, extremely sad, thank you for your kind thoughts.

  13. I am sorry to hear about Rufus as well. That's so hard.

    Jasmine is such a sweet and special dog. Keep on spoiling her! I will do the same with Ace.

  14. Hi Lindsay, yes, very sad. Let's spoil them until they can't take it any more :-)

  15. I absolutely ADORE your blog. The look, the information.

    This post broke my heart. I am so sorry for Rufus and for your friends. This was such an important read.

    It is a pleasure to meet you.

  16. Nice to meet you too, thank you for your kind comments on my blog!

    It was heartbreaking. We really should live every day with our dogs as if it was the last.

  17. Very sad to read about Rufus, how upsetting for his family to lose him so young :-(

    I very much agree with the sentiment of your post. It is something I live by with our dogs.

    We very recently lost one of our dogs. He was approaching 14 years old, but had only been with us for 20 months. We made sure each day with us was as wonderful as possible for him, even when he was ill. Each day seen as a blessing. Doesn't stop the tears, but I know we gave him everything we possibly could.

    Run free Rufus,


  18. Angela, thank you for commenting.

    Yes, at the end it is all about the good things that happened. While it still hurts, not having any regrets helps a huge amount. It is my observation that with a loss of loved one or beloved pet it's not the grief what gets you, it's the regret.