a99kitten's Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

Tomorrow it will be 2 months since I lost my big guy. I’m still not really any closer to being “over it” or much better.

I still think about him all the time, and think how unfair it is that he is missing out on more Mom time, Tahoe time, beach time. Our new house is on 5 acres which I basically wanted for him and Storm. He would have really loved to patrol his forest. He visited a few times during the remodel and had so much fun there and I was so excited to have the land for them.

I still cry almost every day. Although I don’t just break down and bawl every day or start tearing up when someone asks where he is so maybe that is getting “better”. But I still can’t look through his pictures. I still have his collar and tags in my purse from when we left the vet. It’s supposed to help to talk about it. But I still cry. Writing about it makes me cry a little less.

I still blame myself for not figuring it out. Maybe he did have more tumors or was riddled with cancer and maybe he would have not made it past a month or I would have had some horrible choice to make. But it all happened so quick and never got that far. And I’ll never know. And maybe that was better for him and me. He would have hated to be sick. His life was about having fun. And he would have been miserable sitting around. And having to make a choice regarding euthanasia was truly not something I could have handled. But I can’t stop thinking maybe he could have had his surgery and been OK. And here with us now.

He died from a hemoabdomen. A tumor on his spleen that ruptured and bled out. These tumors are likely due to hemangiosarcoma. According to the doctors and everything I read afterwards, there are no symptoms to watch for until it’s basically too late. All the doctors described it as the dog equivalent of a heart attack. You can be totally fine, no symptoms of anything, playing on the beach and bam. You get weak from the blood loss which is the first sign and unless it gets operated on right then, it’s probably too late.

They told me there was no way I would have ever known unless he got regular ultrasounds on his spleen and no one would ever do that unless their dog has had tumor issues in the past (like Storm has and does get ultrasounds.) His latest physical just 2 months prior showed once again he was perfectly healthy. His heart, ears, eyes, gums, all blood tests = perfect. No one could ever believe was 11 1/2 as he looked and acted so young. Even when they ran blood tests at the ER they were all perfect except that he was anemic due to the blood loss into his abdomen.

Best case scenario was they got in there and got the tumor and spleen out after stabilizing him. Then hope for finding no other tumors while they are in there. Apparently that is highly unlikely.

The ER doc and our regular vet said up to 85% of these cases end up being a super aggressive cancer (hemangiosarcoma) and that he would have 1-3 months at most and most of that recovering from his surgery. But that leaves at least a 15% chance that he would have been OK. Stormy wasn’t supposed to make it after his surgery and he’s here 1 1/2 years later still happily ah-rooing. So why not Angelus?

But they never got him stabilized. He started doing a little better after fluids and a blood transfusion but they said he was losing it too fast. And he just stopped breathing.

I know I am supposed to take some comfort that he did not suffer. Was not in pain. Played and had fun right up to his last few hours. And I am glad of that. He was the best dog in the world who brought so many people smiles and joy. He certainly deserved all the happiness and pain-free life he could have.

I took him to work pretty every day all of his life and there were some people who weren’t too happy with the idea of dogs in the workplace at first. But Angelus won them over. He was such a great ambassador for both his breed and dogs in general. So many people that met him at work (employees, guests, partners, etc.) would comment on how awesome the huskies were. How well behaved, sweet, etc. Everyone he met on walks or at the beach loved him.

Angelus only ever wanted to have fun. He was such a happy dog. But not in that slobbery lab kind of way. He was very chill. But could also be a spaz. His presence in my life was very calming. And I always had so much fun with him. Every day, every walk, all the time. Even when making me take him for a walk in the rain he would make me smile at his desire to sniff and want to see the world. He just wanted to walk and run and play on the beach and meet new buddies and walk and sniff and walk and pee on every tall stalk of grass he could find so every dog knew that Angelus was here.

He was never sick a day in his life which was why this was so sudden and painful. He had surgery for a torn ACL but never, ever sick. He was the one who was always there for me. When my mom died, when I had a miscarriage, when Stormy got sick and we almost lost him, when my little brother died. Angelus was the one always there to get me outside, get me out of my own head. And to just sit right next to me with his head on my feet while I cried.

I miss him staring at me when I wake up in the mornings saying with his eyes “get up!” Or sitting at my feet while I work. Or hanging out in the front yard staring out into the world waiting for his next adventure. Stormy and I still haven’t gone into the yard actually. Stormy is still sad, you can tell. He was with his brother every single day all of his life except the first 7.5 weeks.

Angelus taught me that the mornings are quiet, beautiful and awesome so sleeping in is for suckers.

He taught me to take every chance to get outside and enjoy it, even if it’s raining but especially if it’s snowing.

I miss him. And his handsome face and happy smile. And his presence. And hugging his big fluffiness.

I just miss him.


  1. Sonya
    8:55 pm on May 24th, 2012

    :( love and miss him.

  2. Helen
    11:24 pm on May 27th, 2012

    This is a nice tribute to Wellus and I think it’s good for you to write it down.

    I miss him and think that, Roxy, especially, would’ve had a terrific time playing with him. I wish they could have met.

    Also, he’s right – sleeping in IS for suckers…and that’s why I was so appreciative when he let his lazy Auntie Melon sleep in on days she was taking care of him and Stormy.