Elisha A. and her family bid recently their boy Hoagie farewell. Her moving tribute to him, written especially for The Daily Corgi, is well worth a read.
Thanks Elisha, for sharing Hoagie with us. His very special sparkle and spirit are undimished!
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“When a phone rings at 2:07am, it’s never good.”
“I had placed the phone on my nightstand before we collapsed into bed the night before, never really allowing myself to think it would ring. The past thirty hours had been an exhausting blur. Our beautiful Pembroke Welsh Corgi Hoagie had a cluster of four seizures beginning out of the blue on Tuesday night and was spending the night in the ICU at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center, awaiting transfer to neurology first thing Thursday morning.”
His doctor who called said that Hoagie had not had another episode, had been outside to potty around 1am and that she had just been in sitting with him fifteen minutes prior. He was resting comfortably, sleeping on and off. Because he was in the ICU and on seizure watch there was someone in the room all the time. When they called a code blue to the ICU, she came running and said that she was shocked that it was Hoagie. He had simply fallen asleep … and without any distress … or seizure … or so much as a desperate gasp of breath. Just passed away peacefully in his sleep.”
“They had tried to resuscitate him and got no response. We were in shock; inconsolable. How could this be happening? Our beautiful boy, who just thirty-one hours earlier was sitting in a chair with me, who had played ball in the house earlier, who seemed perfectly healthy except for some trouble from arthritis … how could he be gone just like that at nine and-a-half?”
“We ordered a full necropsy; I wanted to know how this happened. Did we do something or not do something? After six agonizing days, the results came back; it turned out to be a brain tumor. Brain tumors are not all that common in dogs and we would learn that his was additionally rare because of it’s type (Histiocytic Sarcoma) and the fact that there was no sign of any other cancer in his whole body. What had caused it? Did we over vaccinate? Had a dead nerve in one of his teeth caused an infection? Were there signs that we missed? WHY was this sweet, wonderful boy; brother to our girl Wrigley, a dog who brought so much joy to everyone who ever met him; why was this dog gone and so quickly?”
“Unfortunately, there is no answer. There isn’t enough evidence that any of the things that I mentioned have caused brain tumors. Even one of the best canine neurologists in the midwest couldn’t say anything other than it was “bad luck”. The truth is that there is so much that veterinary medicine doesn’t know, especially about brain tumors, because not enough owners will have the necropsy done. It is difficult to think of your beloved furry friend surgically explored like that, believe me I know, but the fact is they can’t find the causes for some of these deaths unless they have enough pieces of the larger puzzle. So please, from one Corgi lover, a grieving family to others, unless your furry child dies of an obvious injury (car accident, gunshot, attack etc.) PLEASE, PLEASE I encourage you to have your pet necropsied. That is the only way we can find the keys to helping them live the longest quality lives possible and the clues to what might hurt them.”
“Hoagie’s death was only a tiny portion of his immense life. His first four years were spent as a show dog. The “Heart Dog” of his breeder owner handler, Hoagie always gave anything that was asked of him inside the ring and out and only wanted love in return. Whenever we would bring Wrigley over to board, Hoagie would come for snuggling, especially to my husband Rick. Boys among a bunch of chicks need to stick together after all. We would say, “SO, when is Hoagie going to come and live with us?” In early 2005, our hopes were realized when he retired from the show ring and Yvettehis breeder wanted to find the best home for him and lucky for us, chose ours. It was a perfect match for him and for us.”
“He was just the sweetest most gentle boy you can imagine; beautiful inside and out. We used to call him Mr. Marshmallow because his personality was sweet and very soft. You couldn’t be in any way harsh around him. And he was SO perceptive, freakishly so. If you had so much as a stern thought in your head, he could tell and wouldn’t want to be in the same room. He just wanted everyone to be happy all the time like he was.”
“Everyone who ever met Hoagie just fell in love with him; from kids who would come up to him in the park, to bellmen at hotels where we would stay when we traveled, to complete strangers on the street. There was something special about Hoagie. A sparkle in his eyes, the way he always seemed to be smiling. He would flop down, exposing his belly, urging even people who were frightened of dogs to “come on over and give me a scratch, I don’t bite.”
“He was the MOST laid back dog I’ve ever known. Whether he was playing, snuggling, running or sleeping, he was good … whatever you wanted to do was fine with him. We were told that when boys get fixed, they get very relaxed and we were concerned that he might “loose his will to stand” if he was any more relaxed! From the first day, it was like he’d always been a member of the family, and he and his sister Wrigley were inseparable. They were practically joined at the hip.”
Wrigley taught Hoagie how to LOVE the ball…
… and how to tear open the face of any stuffed toy and KILL the squeaker!
Hoagie taught her how to love the water …
… and how to RELAX like a man … sleeping in the recliner in front of a TV!
“Hoagie, there aren’t enough words to describe how much Daddy, Wrigley and I miss you. We’re thankful you weren’t in pain and never suffered, but our heart aches because you’re gone. You were our shooting star who blazed into our lives, lit everything up and vanished in a flash, much too quickly.”
“Thank you for all the wonderful joy, love and laughter you brought to our lives. You’ve dropped your ball on this side of the bridge and run across. We’ll look for you when we get there.”