Losing Ringo

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Losing a beloved pet is so hard. We have all been through this. We recently had to say goodbye to our sweet Ringo. Our hearts are so sad.

Ringo came to us about 7 years ago. He was part of a litter of Border Collie mixes who had been abandoned by the side of the road. His brother, Trooper, came to us first. We named him such because our son-in-law was about to embark on his second tour to Iraq. Trooper has always been a feisty, social dog, so after having him for a year, we decided that he needed a playmate. As it turned out, Ringo, who had been adopted by another family, had been dumped at the pound. Upon learning this, we made a beeline there to adopt him into our  loving family.

Ringo was very timid from the start. Rumor had it that he had been in a family where the children were less than kind to him. We would have to earn his trust. As each day went by, Ringo became more comfortable with his new environment. He and his brother became fast friends and roamed our yard causing havoc! Although he became more at ease with us, he was still cautious about new faces. It took him several years to sweetly greet visitors to our home.

Two months before his passing, we noticed that he was losing weight. This was so unusual as Ringo had always had a voracious appetite! The joke in our home was if you wanted to keep your fingers, you best wear gloves when giving Ringo a treat! We tried some new foods to see if we could get him to eat more. Finally, we decided to take him to the vet for tests.

The initial tests showed some disparity in his liver enzymes. The vet suggested that we take x-rays as she suspected he could have cancer. We declined and decided to treat the liver condition with diet and supplements as recommended by our vet. My husband worked diligently preparing special foods and teas for our sweet baby. He would take a bit or two of his favorite food and turn away. We were devastated and decided to get the x-ray to confirm our suspicions. The vet showed us the scan and we fell apart….cancer all over his tummy. My husband left the room as the vet explained his prognosis to me. I keep hearing his voice…”take him home for the weekend and have some special time with him, we can talk next week.”

Sadly, we took Ringo home for what would be his last weekend. We decided to take him to the local dog park so he could have one more good run. Ringo mustered up enough strength to make the rounds with his brother. We took his weakened body home and prepared him a good steak dinner. The next morning we called the vet and they took us in immediately. We stayed with Ringo for the first shot that relaxed him. Before the vet administered the final shot, we professed our love for him and showered him with hugs and kisses.

I will never forget our darling Ringo. I miss his sweet demeanor and loving kisses. I especially miss him jumping up on my lap and burying his head behind my back. I am so happy that we gave him such a loving home.

Trooper is still with us but still looks for his brother. Losing Ringo was hard on us all.