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an email

this mail was sent to kathy aka miss k aka little blondie on 11/24/2015. excerpted below……..

 

6 weeks ago I thought Tuco was a little off.  Some discomfort maybe, I don’t know. I thought maybe I was just being hypersensitive.  She needed her shots anyway so I took her to the little vet in Carizzo Springs.  He gave her a good exam and his best guess was a little metritus  and recommended getting her spayed.

A week later I got a gate farther north and took her to the good vet with the expertise and diagnostic equipment to give her stellar treatment. By now, she was panting more than I thought she should and had some very slight weakness in her legs.  The vet did a total workup and her bloodwork, kidneys, liver everything looked normal. He also did a tick panel for Lyme disease and Chagas which was negative.  An EKG showed minor abnormalities at this point.  We scheduled the spay for the following week.

By the next week she had degenerated even farther with the panting and weakness.  She was still eating and drinking OK and bodily functions were fine.  When I took her in, they were concerned she had lost 6 lbs and her respiration and heart rate were up.  They decided not to operate and did a sonogram.

The next day they called and said to bring her back.  Her heart was greatly enlarged from 2 weeks previous and she was building up fluid around it, in her lungs and abdominal cavity.  They definitely diagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy at this time. They gave me some pills to ease her pain and some more pills for the heart condition. The vet said cardiomyopathy is a recognized congenital disease of Gordons FWIW.

I took her back weekly for the next two weeks. The last time was this past Wednesday.  Each time she was markedly worse and weighed only 41lbs on this visit.  She had quit eating on her own though she till drank.  I was feeding her baby food 6X a day with a syringe. It had gotten to the point she could no  longer go up and down the stairs on the RV or even jump up on the couch.  I carried her in and out to do her business and even walking a few steps caused her chest to heave.

I do not believe she was in any pain at all and the discomfort seemed minimal with the medications.  I fixed her a soft pallet on the floor with a pillow to lay her head on and I would put her up on the couch to rest as well.  She was sleeping comfortably it appeared most of the day and night.

Yesterday, I contacted the vet and told them I thought it was time to put her down.  She had quit drinking and I  had to resort to giving her water with powdered gatorade via the syringe.   I requested them to come down here and do it in the RV where she felt safe and comfortable even though the charge was going to be $250. She had gotten to the point that loading her up in the Suburban was very stressful because she knew we were going to the doctor.  It was scheduled for today and I had secured permission to bury her here in a nice spot behind the RV.

Last night at around 2300 I carried her outside to pee and then lifted her up to go back inside.  I closed the door and went to lock up the Suburban.  I heard a thunk sound like she makes when she lays down. When I came back inside the RV she had collapsed and was dead.  I figure a massive heart attack with instantaneous death. There was no sign of thrashing around.  She just fell over dead and I believe it was painless and she did not suffer a single little bit.

I am crying now-   again.  Fuck

Ok, so I got the brush and brushed her coat out all nice and pretty and wrapped her up in that  patchwork blanket my Mom made for me decades ago that Tuco laid on in the back of the Suburban.  We buried her this morning just after daylight.

It is what it is and I miss her horribly.  I am sorry.

Regards,

Andy

 Tuco the Dog

Tuco the Dog    2008 -2015.     Loyal, steadfast, ever vigilant, much loved

 

 

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44 comments to an email

  • How sad, Andy. I’m sorry for you. You know I can understand. Her soul is the same place as Mrs. Charm’s, so there’s nothing to worry about, except for missing her.

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  • So sorry to read about your loss. Tuco the dog was a great friend and will be greatly missed. Your story was very sad. I believe Tuco the dog would want you to remember him as your friend during his better days. He loved you!

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  • Joel

    Sorry to read this, Andy. I know you loved that dog. My deepest sympathies.

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  • cyndi

    I am so sorry for your loss. You gave Tuco a great life. In return she gave you her all. Tha’s a big void.

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  • Miss V

    Oh, good Lord, my heart could not possibly be more be more broken for you and for Kathy. Dammit, it is so hard, you love a dog so much and they become a part of your heart, and everyday routine, and then suddenly it seems, they are gone. And it is always the same, it seems to happen so quickly, when you least expect it, they suddenly go down on you. I am doing this for the third time now, and my heart is heavy, but grateful for every morning that me and my dog wake up together.
    I am so very sorry for you, as I know you do not take to an animal easily and I know what it takes to penetrate your heart to the point that you feel the love that you felt for Tuco.
    That old dog loved you and you loved her. It is pitiful that our pets die long before we do. But it is necessary, as we are put on this earth to look after them and care for them. You gave Tuco a good life, and together the two of you experienced much happiness, love and joy together. I know that doesn’t help much, but just think how her life might been had you not been in it. Just know that there was nothing else you could have done and that she died knowing you loved her, and that is all in this world a dog asks for, really ,is too be loved. You gave that to her in spades. She could not have asked for a better guardian to take her through her earthly life. In her eyes, you were her hero. Always know that.
    I am so sorry for your loss, if I could, I would snatch her straight down heaven for you, but her time on earth is done and she is in a much better place now, waiting for you, I truly believe that. When we go, I believe we reunite with our beloved pets as well as our beloved humans, silly as you might find that, it brings me comfort in the dark hours of the night when I cry for what I have lost. I have to believe I will see my loved ones again, otherwise what was the purpose of this journey?
    Just know that my heart breaks for you and that I am here any time you might need someone to talk to.

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  • D Lyle

    Andy,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Tuco was well loved by you and she knew that. You took wonderful care of a dog that legal wasn’t yours but she was yours by love and by choice.

    As we have read your post for a couple of years we could see that Tuco was YOUR dog and not Kathy’s. Tuco loved being with you on the gate watching over the oil patch. The loss that you are experiencing is heartbreaking for you and for all of us who follow your post. We could tell every time you mention Tuco in your post that your love for her was unconditional just as her love for you was unconditional. You did without so she could have what she needed. We always loved reading your post on the things she did while she was traveling with you. When you and Kathy were first split up and she was bringing Tuco to you to keep when it suited her, we said that Kathy should just leave Tuco with you. We knew that Tuco would be better off with you than Kathy. We knew that under your gruffness that you loved that dog and that you would take better care of her than Kathy. We were so glad when you kept her as yours.

    As Tuco crossed over the Rainbow Bridge her last thought would have been that she was loved by a gentle man who took care of her in her time of need, and who loved her with all of his heart.

    Again, we are so sorry for your loss and will miss reading your post of such a wonderful dog.

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  • ken

    Sorry. Always hard to lose a best buddy. My best bud, an Australian Cattle Dog, is coming 7 yrs. She is always there, glad to see me, 5 minutes away or all day. Unconditional love is what she gives, all the time.

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  • Larry Worsham

    Us true dog lovers always suffer immensely when we suffer a loss of our true friend. Every dog we love and lose makes us better people. As one who has walked in you shoes several times think of the good times with Tuco for she loved you as much as you loved her.

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  • Suzy King

    So sorry to hear this. We were gate guards for a while and know how lonely it can be. Our furry friends are our babies and there is always a hole left in your heart when they are gone. It’s ok to cry and it’s okay to grieve. You have to remember the good and I believe that we will get to be with our beloved furry friends again. Heart felt sadness for you.

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  • Cat

    Thank you for sharing your love for Tuco.

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  • Sorry for your loss.

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  • Brenda

    Sending my heartfelt and understanding prayers to you and Kathy for the loss of Tuco the dog…a baby with four legs loved by the both of you. That beautiful animal wormed her way into your hearts and her leaving hurts! I am certain she loved you and thanks you for a great life!

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  • Monte

    I offer you a hot cup of coffee and a place to sit and take a moment. No man wants to admit how deep a dog has dug into their heart, but that doesn’t stop the hurt when they leave. Tuco deserves your grief, she has been your constant companion for a long time. Your loss is terrible, please accept my sympathies.

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  • Joan Austin

    So sorry for your loss. Leaves a hole in the soul for a long, long time. Condolences.

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  • Pat Kitchen

    Andy, I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words to make it ok, I know. Pat K

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  • Kathryn Trice

    Andy
    First, thanks for the blog. So sorry for your loss of Tuco. Kathy.

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  • David

    Hi Andy,

    I’m very sorry for Tuco’s passing.

    As always, thank you for sharing.

    David

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  • Dawn Rodgers

    Dear Andy,
    What tough news. Having lost a dog who “companioned” me 24/7 for thirteen years, I know your pain is deep and the loneliness intense. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Dawn

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  • Rob

    There are no words for this kind of loss… well I don’t have them.
    Sorry for your loss

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  • Byron

    Andy,

    The hurt you have in your chest is real and I know you two were very close. Know there are many of us here that hurt some too for you. I will have you and Tuco in my prayers tonight. Thank you for sharing this strong life event with us. May God grant you comfort and strength during this time of need. Take care of yourself bud. Respectfully, Byron

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  • Aw crap. This makes me so sad, I just can’t stand it. She was such a good dog. I’m so sorry that she’s gone.

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  • Trevor

    I feel your pain, sorry for your loss.

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  • Bryan

    Andy,

    Sorry to hear about your loss of a great friend and faithful companion.

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  • Judie Gray

    I am so sorry to hear of Tuco’s passing. Having lost several animal companions, I know it leaves you with a huge hole in your heart. But you gave her a tremendous amount of love and she loved you back just as much. I feel for you.

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  • Mike Callaway

    Rest in peace Tuco.

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  • It is really heartbreaking when one loses such a good friend. I think that dogs know how much we love them. When our dog, Barney, was deathly sick this last summer; he seemed to understand the force feeding and all the other efforts to help him recover. He is now fairly healthy for a 12 yr old dog, but his remaining years are undoubtedly few in number. When his final days arrive I hope that I can show him the care that he deserves. You’ve certainly gone the extra mile to give Tuco the greatest possible comfort in her final days. I’m certain that she understood that and would have thanked you for it. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Ron Johnson

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  • Nancy1340

    OH Andy I am so sorry. I know she loved you and you loved her. She has been a comfort to you in the last year.

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  • Patt

    Really sorry to hear about this, Andy. Everyone knows what Tuco meant to you. I went through almost the same situation shortly over a year ago with my little girl that had been with me for 17 years. The morning I was going to take her for her last ride she died at dawn.
    As hard as it is it helps somewhat to share the pain with others that know the empty feeling when the companion leaves us. It just takes time to adjust to the loss.

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  • Wallace

    So sorry, Andy. Can’t read anymore, something’s wrong with the screen, it’s blurry…

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  • Gail

    I am just so, so sorry for the hole in your heart. Nothing compares to the pure love of a dog. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

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  • nikki

    So sorry to hear of your loss. I loved to read your stories about Tuco. She was truly loved.

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  • Beautiful dog…. beautiful telling of her story. Condolences.

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  • Llana

    Andy, I am so sad to come here tonight to catch up with you, only to find that Tuco has just passed away. I know you loved her like your 4-legged daughter, and the aching pain of her loss must be almost too much to bear now. My hope is that your terrible sorrow today will somehow move into celebrating her life, and you will, one day soon, smile at all the happiness she brought you. My sincere condolences to you for your terrible loss as you grieve her passing.

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  • Lynette Bailey

    Catching up, as well, after the holiday, I am sorry to hear of your loss. Your beautiful words of her life have been enjoyed by me and many others. Thank you for sharing her with us. Hopefully, time will heal the hole in your heart. Keep on keeping on, gentle friend.

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  • Vince

    Morn’n Andy,

    So sorry to read about your loss. Tuco was a very fortunate dog to have you as her friend. I know how much you cared for her. Because of you
    Tuco the Dog had a very good life.

    My Brandi is 14.5 years old now. Every day when I go home from work I am looking up the road for her and when I don’t see her it kinda scares me. I know she will be gone soon and I know how much my wife and I will miss her. She is such a good dog. So loyal and so smart.

    Looking forward to seeing pictures of you with your next best canine friend. Going to be another lucky dog!

    And life goes on.

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  • gatorman

    you are in my prayers.i am so sorry for your loss.i ve read you for a while and enjoy your columns a lot.i know how much you loved you pup. it’s hard not to cry when someone you have kinda come to know and respect is hurting so much.i feel we are kindred spirits in a lot of ways. i just know that if God brings us to something He will get us through it. take care compadre and better days are ahead.

    he

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  • Stephanie

    Great dogs have great human mates. Peace for you both.
    Stephanie

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  • Don

    What can one say? We get so attached to our dogs then they go die on us. It reminds me of a dog we saw when in the shelter looking for our last dog: this little spaniel who was looking so lost. We asked and were told her owner had died. It goes both ways. I’m very sorry for your loss.

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  • Paul

    Andy,
    I have read your blog from the beginning and have enjoyed it very much and agree with the other commenters (probably not a word yet) regarding the loss of Tuco. I hope you will keep us entertained with your insight about life and the enjoyment of being alive. It is understood that you don’t set foot above the Red River into my part of the country I live just across the river in a small town 30 miles east of Durant. I am sure you are wondering what would a okie be doing reading your blog well the day I graduated from high school my plan was never to return to Okla. I went to Dallas for the big time. Guess what my big time was working at Miss Bairds Bakery loading bread trucks late at night, not that I have a problem with that kind of work I hauled hay as a kid ever since being able to pick up a bale of hay not the round kind. After one summer I decided that I needed to do something different so I joined the Air Force and have never looked back. After Tech school (Amarillo Texas} I put in for bases all over the world guess where they sent me Clovis New Mexico. You have probably figured out that I am an old fart the year was 1963 after the Cuban scare. So what does all my rambling have to do with an RV blog. After living in Calif, Colorado, Illinois, I did what I said I would never do returned to Okla. due to low property taxes. Ok I am finally getting to it we have a older fifth wheel and try to go to New Mexico in the summer and head south just past you into deep south Texas in the winter. It is obvious you paid a lot more attention in English class than I did so forgive the grammar. (Please keep blogging)

    Paul

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    • Andy

      Paul

      Thank you for your gracious comments. You are living in one of the areas of OK I am especially fond of. That sparsely inhabited stretch of US 70 between Durant and Hugo is especially nice in my book. I have made that enjoyable drive many times just because I could.

      One of the results of this blog post was I am hearing from many, many folks (like you) who have never commented on a post ever even though they may be regualr readers. Makes me feel good that somebody actually reads what I churn out.

      Many thanks,

      Andy

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  • Paul

    Andy,
    If things really get bad we have a hideaway in the mountains between Antlers and Broken Bow up on Little River (not really mountains after living just out of Castle Rock Colo.)
    We do have power and water (well) but the power might not survive really bad.
    You are always welcome if things sink really low and need to escape don’t worry I am not a survivalist just someone who is concerned about if they get our bowling stuff they have us. Like your younger brother said small government to help the states boy has that gone sideways.
    I wanted to ask has you brother considered wind generator for his hideaway not sure but believe there are some that will power the A/C on RV’s? There has to be a better was to store power rather than batteries I believe you will see hydrogen in our future where you won’t need the grid.
    My adult life has been involved in aviation with a major airlines (maintenance) been all over the world and even Iran, Libya, Viet Nam when it first started in 1964 worked on the F100’s in the Air Force.
    Sorry to take up your time with bending your ear.

    Paul

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    • Andy

      Paul,

      Your comments are welcome. Those Kiamichi mountains are rough,beautiful country.

      We have looked at the wind generators and the price, complexity and installation are real drawbacks. Whether you use wind or solar to generate the electricity, you still have to have a storage medium and that is batteries. I had never really messed with off grid solar until the last little sojourn at the Secret Hideout. I found it amazingly cheap and efficient and fairly simple to set up. I am a fan of solar and it is going to figure prominently in future plans.

      On the bowling stuff — Right now, this very minute, all things bowling have never been cheaper or in greater supply. This opportune window for acquisition is not going to remain open through 2016 I think so I would advise stocking up while one can.

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  • sheila

    SO sorry for your loss…. here’s a Bible verse for you. There is comfort in His word! I pray it helps you.
    Psalm 36:5-6

    5
    Your lovingkindness and graciousness, O Lord, extend to the skies,
    Your faithfulness [reaches] to the clouds.
    6
    Your righteousness is like the mountains of God,
    Your judgments are like the great deep.
    O Lord, You preserve man and beast.

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