He was an awesome dog and the kids' best friend. He loved the kids, loved walks, and in his younger years playing chase. Over all he was a good dog and loyal to his family. Sure, I hated the fact he would get into the trash (if we didn't lock it up) or food from the counter/table when we were gone! He never did this while we were home. Sure, I hated the fact that he would break the window and bust out if we walked down to our neighbor's house WITHOUT him! He never did this if we drove! Just if we walked anywhere. So if we went walking and didn't want him to come with we would have to put on a lead in the backyard. Of course he would then bark the whole time.
Despite these flaws over all he was a good dog and actually stayed in our yard as long as WE didn't leave the property ON foot! Our backyard is completely fenced, but we always leave the gate to the front yard open. So he could have left the property, but didn't. He stayed in the backyard unless someone pulled in our drive or we were out front. He had to be with us or go greet the person that pulled in.
Seeing he was lab/collie mix his size would scare delivery people when they would come by, especially if he greeted them at the driveway before we could get outside. We would tell people all the time he's just a noise maker. That's the truth really, he was just a noise maker and would keep on being a noise maker until you acknowledge him. Once you acknowledge him he would lick you to death!
Gravy's passing was sudden and unexpected. Friday I took him to the vet because for a week he wasn't eating properly and that day I noticed he was bloated. I called the vet Friday morning and at first agreed to bring him in Monday, but after I hung up the phone I realized he was bloated so I called back and asked them to please squeeze him in Friday. They agreed to see him Friday.
The vet looked him over: gums looked good, temp normal, heart rate a little high, but sometimes when they come in they are are little high so that didn't worry her. She feeling on the tummy area could tell it was fluid. She then did a rectal exam and from what she could feel on that end things like the prostate and anal glads were normal. It was at that point we discussed how to find out what the possible fluid was in the abdomen area. We decided that she would shave his belly and would stick a sterile needle in to see if she could draw out any of the fluid. She did this and drew out blood. It was very easy for her to do this. His belly was full of blood!
She did some blood work and from the blood work it was clear that there was some kind of liver and spleen issues. WITHOUT doing more testing she figured he had a tumor on his spleen or liver that rupture. She came to this conclusion because of how fast his symptoms developed and the fact we found tumors on his body at his annual exam in September. The tumors on his body, age, arthritis, and the fact he had not fully recovered from a broken leg that took at the beginning of summer did NOT make him a candidate for surgery. So that left us with the option to let him die on his own or end it for him. We opted to end it for him.
Friday night when my hubby got home for work we took him to the animal clinic and said our good-byes.
This has been very hard on the family, especially the kids. This is their first time dealing with the death of a love one that was so close to them. We have had close love ones die, but the kid were real little at the time so they don't really remember my dad and their cousin deaths.