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I haven't posted in a few months. Our oldest Vizsla, Ajax, became suddenly and extremely ill on May 28. With a quick hospital stay and some medication, he seemed to get better . . . only to hit the wall again on June 16th. We spent 11 hours in the ER and then had to visit a cardiologist. We soon learned that Ajax had cardiac lymphoma and cutaneous lymphoma. We tried everything to save him - chemotherapy, dietary changes, acupuncture. In the end - and after just three weeks of chemo - it became every clear that the cancer was simply too strong and too aggressive for any kind of treatment that we could toss at it.

On July 10, we kissed our Mr. Ajax goodnight. He was 6 years, 9 months. Ajax was my loyal running partner and he was my husband's EVERYTHING. When I think about the idea of a man and his dog, I think about my husband and Ajax . . . they were strikingly alike and Ajax was strikingly more human than any dog we have ever met. We also have a 10 month old Vizsla who is struggling to cope with the loss of her big brother - he was her idol, her king, her alpha. She loved him so much. When we brought the puppy home, we imagined that Ajax would be around for at least another 5-6 years to help us train her. We never envisioned that his end would be so sad, so sudden, and so tragic . . . it was awful to watch him die from cancer.

I don't know why I am posting this, exactly. I guess I am just looking for other Vizsla owners who have had to put their precious V down. As the days roll by, I miss Ajax more and the hole in my heart grows even larger. I know that people say that time will make it better, but I am not so sure. I miss him beyond what words are capable of expressing.
 

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I don't know about time making it better. We lost my favorite dog ever 18 months ago. He was only 8 1/2 and I still get teary eyed when I think about him. We then had to put his sister down last Thanksgiving due to cancer of the jaw. She was just barely 8. We love our Vs (our first ones) to death but neither of them will ever take the place of Hogan. I'll miss him for the rest of my life.

I feel your pain and hope that you can learn to deal with it. It isn't easy but at least the shock goes away, but never the love.
 

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So sorry to hear of your loss. Losing a pet is one of the hardest things I have had to go through, it is definatley not easy. The dog I had before Ava our Vizsla was Mac a mini schnauzer and he was the best dog EVER. I love my Ava to death but Mac will always be number 1 in my heart, he was 16 when we had to put him to sleep because his kidneys were shutting down it was the hardest day for me and it didn't get better for quite awhile. My husband and I went to get toys for a families dog for a holiday and in the pet store was mini schnauzer puppies, I started to cry and had to leave the store because they reminded me of my Mac. Something I found that helped that our Vet did, was, after Mac passed they took a paw print of his foot and mailed it to us in a card, I didn't know this had happened until I got married and my dad tucked it in the back of our wedding frame, so I found it when I went to put our wedding photo in....talk about a wreck! I called my dad and couldn't even talk I was crying so hard (and that was almost a year later). I put the foot print on my night stand and can look at it whenever I want. Just writing this makes me teary remembering my Mac. It is amazing how these animals just steal our hearts.
 

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Thank you so much Big Rick and Lovemyava - it is exactly as you both describe: Ajax is our heart dog, the one dog that no other dog/child/person can ever replace. We love and adore his sister like crazy, but there was something so remarkably different about Ajax.

Lovemyava: we did get the paw print from our vet with his ashes. We had no idea that they made paw prints . . . when we picked up his ashes and the paw print on Saturday, I lost it. I kept thinking that I could control my tears, but as soon as I held his paw print, I just wanted him back. It's so hard to say goodbye when your pet is still himself or herself. Right before the final injection quieted his heart forever, Ajax tried to shake my hand for a treat . . . he just wanted one more treat. I cry when I think about that moment - his personality was so vibrant in the midst of a body completely ravished by cancer.

It definitely helps to write about this and to speak with other pet owners. My husband and I are due with our first child in 4 weeks and for many people without pets, they automatically suggest that the baby will swoop right in and take the place of Ajax. I wish it were that easy, but nothing can replace our Ajax. I was so looking forward to him helping me with the baby. On his final day, he rested his head against my belly for several hours - it was almost as if he was saying goodbye to his baby brother. Ajax got very protective of me when I became pregnant. I miss him so, so, so much.

Thank you so much for reaching out - it really helps.
 

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I'm a wreck just reading what you are going through.
I lost my dad a little over a month ago and have been having a really hard time with it. When I cry at night when I am grieving him, Charlie is always there to comfort me and lick my tears.

I am so sorry for your loss, you are in my thoughts.

Warren
 

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The story about Ajax's final day is so touching. It's amazing how quickly and how totally these dogs steal our hearts. Tizane is my first vizsla and thankfully she is doing well. However a few years ago my beloved chocolate lab Rascal passed out of our lives at the age of eight and a half. She had degenerative disk disease and could no longer play frisbee or run or do much of anything. She died in our arms right before we got in the car to take her to the vet. She just lost the will to go on. I am so grateful that I had those last minutes with her. One thing that helped me get through it was thinking that my dad was now tossing the frisbee for her and she could run and jump again. However, her collar still hangs on my rear view mirror of my truck as a reminder of her love, loyalty, and devotion. She's the only dog I owned that just totally got me. I know what you mean when you said he was your husband's everything because that's what Rascal was to me. She helped me get through so many tough times in my life like the loss of my dad. She was and is irreplaceable. That being said, we as humans have huge hearts and our capacity to love whether other humans or our pets means that I was able to open my heart to Tizane when she came into my life last year and I am so glad I did. She has definitely placed paw prints on my heart. My thoughts are with you and your husband and your little pup. Give your pup extra cuddles and understand that she will be grieving for a while just like you are. Both of my older pets outlived Rascal and they both missed her so much. My cat used to sleep in Rascal's front legs and was constantly looking for her bed buddy as was Trouble our black lab. They both outlived her by four years. Trouble at the age of fifteen. And Priss the cat lived to the ripe old age of twenty. I never thought that anyone could ever fill Rascal's ever so big paws, but Tizane gives me so much joy and love that I do believe that she might just be able to do it. Just believe that Ajax is in a better place and is once again healthy. And remember all the good times you had together. And work on making new good memories with your little lass. She might not be Ajax, but she is a vizsla. And vizslas have a way of rocking our worlds in ways we just can't understand let alone explain. Again my thoughts are with you all.
 

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This made me cry as well. Never forget that we grieve the loss of pets very similarly to the way in which we grieve our human family members. It is a real, and devastating, loss of a dear friend. Give yourself lots of time. It will get easier, but everyone's timetable is different. Don't let anyone tell you when you should be "over it." We had to put down a pet dog (a wire fox terrier) a year and a half ago. He couldn't walk, but as you say, his personality was still just as vibrant. He was happily eating cookies shortly before the euthanasia. The guilt and sadness of that was terrible. Please take it easy on yourself. The only thing that helped me a little was I had some funny videos of him; watching them helped me remember how happily he lived and it eased some of the trauma of watching him die (I was traumatized by that). I imagine it might be even harder to lose a vizsla because the "velcro" bond is so close. Most people you'll talk with can understand how hard it is from personal experience losing a pet, but if some people who you talk with don't, or say, "it was only a dog," just disregard it. I'm so sorry for what you are going through.
 

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Not a vizsla, but I have had to let other dogs go before.
Very sorry for your loss. My condolences.

Mark Twain once said "One of lifes great tragadies, is that God put so many
fantastic qualities in the form of the dog, yet made his life so very short"
 

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You have my deepest sympathies.
I've had to put down three through the years. It doesn't get any easier.

They give us so much and expect so little in return, and their light burns so brightly that when the do pass, the day seems a little cloudier.
Take all of the love and affection you held for Ajax and transfer it to the little one, and watch her blossom.
 

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Warren, Sarahaf, Sarhara, sniper john and Gunnr - Thank you all so so so much for your responses - I hurt for all of your losses as well.

It's amazing how reading all of your responses has made me smile a few times about just how awesome Ajax was. I have been struggling with the gravity of the most recent memories - him crying in corners of the house, his once 55 pound frame of muscle depleted to 43 pounds, his torn CCL (on top of everything else), his heart rate of 220 and YET, on his final night, my husband and I captured one of his happiest moments on video: we fed Ajax a half a pound of bacon, two hot dogs and endless amounts of treats . . . he kept shaking our hands and limping back for more :) He went with a belly full of love - he waited 6 years and 9 months for a meal like that (and he was the most food motivated dog ever! He would do *anything* for a treat). We did our best to let Ajax go with his Vizsla dignity . . . when we arrived at the vet, he even walked into the first exam room to weigh himself - he looked at us like we were idiots because we were heading back to the final room - for almost 7 years, he always got weighed first and then got a treat. It was a very precious "Ajax" moment. We both cried and laughed.

Ajax's little sister, Willow, is a tremendous Vizsla . . . we are pretty sure she knew he was sick and instead of displaying her usual puppy energy and antics, she would just lay beside him during the day and comfort him. It was beautiful and so sad - I cannot imagine the loss that she is feeling. Like I said in a previous post, Ajax was her world. I have watched her very closely since his death - the two of us are completely inseparable and I am actually worried about leaving her for two days when I have the baby - I don't want her to feel abandoned (for whatever reason, she gravitates toward me . . . which makes the loss of Ajax even harder for my husband). When Ajax got sick, I started to work exclusively from home so I was able to be with him every waking moment . . . I am still working from home so Willow and I have been taking lots of extra walks, snuggling together quite a bit, working on agility - she truly is a dream V and there is no way that we would have been able to carry on without her love, energy and hand shakes.

Thank you again to everyone for their sharing their stories . . . very few things seem to help, but sharing this sadness with people who understand really makes a difference - it lightens the heart a bit.

Attached below is a picture of Ajax's little sister, Willow (10 months). The picture below is from when Willow was 7 or 8 months - she used to sit on top of her crate while I worked at my desk . . . she is so awesome.
 

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Bridget,

I'm really glad you are sharing the burden with us; it's too hard to do it alone, and your story will help other people who have been through the same thing. I think you may be able to find even more stories of loss in the "memories" and "health problems" sections, if that is helpful for you. Please check in as often as you need to. And thanks for the cute pic of willow on her crate!

Sarah
 

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Oh, Bridget. My heart breaks for you and I'm sitting in my cube crying. I just don't know the right words to comfort you but please know that I will be thinking of you and your Ajax.

Take comfort in the fact that he was cared for by two wonderful people who cherished and loved him to the end. :'(
 
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