Remembering our Dommie

September 14, 2019 By erinison

It’s been 12 months since you left this world. It was the most difficult decision we’ve faced, but we knew we were doing it for the right reasons, and had your best interests at heart. We know it was the right thing to do, but that doesn’t stop the pain. Nothing will erase that memory of you taking your final breaths in Daddy’s arms.

Dommie was the first born of a litter of 5. When I was drying him off, he was very vocal, and I noticed his head shape was different. I figure it was just because he was the first born, paving the way through the birth canal for the others. Whilst rubbing and rubbing, he was making a lot of noise and I thought at the time “Gee, he’s going to be a handful”… little did I know. As a newborn, there were very few signs he was different to the others, other than his head shape. In the first week, it wasn’t THAT different to the others. He was feeding and developing just like the others, putting on very good amounts of weight each day. He never missed a feed, and was very happy to feed from the rear nipples that no one else wanted to touch.

It was about that 1.5/2 week age that we noticed his head shape was quite domed and different. Whilst looking at him one day, I was feeling his head and noticed there was a big hole in his skull. Of course, we took straight to google, and the more we read about hydrocephalus, the more concerned we became. The only symptoms he didn’t meet, were the failure to develop and feed. He was the biggest gaining puppy, so what was going on? We consulted specialists vets who advised that the only way to definitely know was to do an ultrasound of his head. We discussed this, and decided that we would just let him be and see what happened. We didn’t want any invasive investigations. He was happy, warm, fed and loved.

As he developed, it was obvious there were more issues than we hoped when his eyes opened. They were looking in different ways, and one eye looked very odd. It was obvious he could hear us, but we weren’t sure he could see us. Once his personality started to develop, it was clear he was “different” to the others. His play was quite erratic, he would seek our corners and once in them, not know how to get out.

Once we started to introduce solids, we realised that he couldn’t work out how to eat. He was getting very little food, and was only getting nutrition and food from Poppy’s milk. At this point, Poppy was starting to wean them and we were struggling to get him to eat. The other puppies were not wanting slop anymore, and more chunky food they could chew. This caused a few issues as the less Poppy was feeding, the less Dommie was getting.

The biggest changes we saw were between the 4 – 5 week mark. We started taking them outside to play on the grass, and the way he interacted with his siblings was VERY different. His play was very erratic, lunatic, quick and was asleep very quickly compared to the others. When outside, he would pounce along, not walk/gait/run like the others. He pounced on the clover and loved rolling around in it. Those are the images I will keep of him, having a ball in the clover.

At 5 weeks of age, and his symptoms becoming more prevalent and his condition declining due to not knowing how to eat, and Poppy weaning, we decided the best thing for him would be to put him to sleep. We knew what the future held, and not knowing how long we would have him, it only meant pain and suffering for him. Even if we took the option of surgery, they would have to be frequent ones to keep adjusting a stent to cope with his growing body. What kind of life is that for a beautiful boy? Pain, suffering, surgery, with the inevitable being seizures and death. We decided that we would not put him through that, and he would only know love, warmth, happiness and fun.

We hope you found Sally and Leia over rainbow bridge beautiful boy. They loved raising puppies with us, and I’m sure they needed you over rainbow bridge to teach their lessons to.

Dommie – 09/08/2018 to 14/09/2019