Thank you for all the kind comments here and on Facebook – Jeff and I really appreciate them. I’ve told him that Cujo touched more lives than he ever realized and the stories everyone has related regarding their memories of Cujo have only proven my point.
We are definitely feeling the gap in our home right now…it’s a lot quieter around here (amazing how quiet 2 beardies can be actually) and a lot sadder. Many tears have been shed and I’m sure there are more to come.
Cujo lived the best life a dog could possibly have. He spent his summers backpacking in the Sierras and Idaho, he played in the snow in the winter, he went on long walks 2+ times a day (as often as he could con Jeff into them), he snuggled Jeff on the couch for TV time every night. He merely had to give Jeff the right look at noon and he got to go out to lunch. He slept where he wanted, ate when he wanted, and only wanted to accompany his master anywhere and everywhere. He deigned to let me live in the house and he liked his beardie brothers, but he lived for Jeff.
I made this video several years back, so it doesn’t even come close to covering his whole life but I think it demonstrates the fun he got to have at all times.
Cujo’s last day with us started out as normally as ever – he got to go out to his favorite field and stroll around marking the fenceposts and reading his p-mail. The beardies went off to the groomer and he hung out with Jeff at home. Cujo got excited about something Jeff was doing and did the world’s most cute little spazzy dance of joy. It is likely that this is when he bloated.
Jeff went out to run an errand and I kept an eye on Cujo while working around the house because he seemed a bit off. When Jeff got back less than half an hour later, we talked about it and watched Cujo who then threw up. Jeff went to pet him and found his belly swollen and hard. They immediately headed to the vet, and I finished up at the house and followed.
By the time I reached the vet’s office (@#$% Lincoln Ave lunchtime traffic), they’d already done an x-ray to confirm bloat and tried to drain off some of the pressure with a catheter. Cujo was quite distressed, uncomfortable and panting heavily, which would only make the condition worse.
It came down to the fact that Cujo would not survive bloat surgery due to his progressing heart failure. Our vet, cardiologist and the criticalist at the specialty hospital agreed – we could do the surgery but he was unlikely to survive it and it would only put him through more pain.
In the end, he was sedated and comfortable and we were able to spend time with him before saying goodbye. Our hearts were broken - and still are.