16 April 2021 (Friday) - Goodbye My Best Boy

I first met Fudge on 3 Sept 2011 when “My Boy TM” took him on. At the time I wrote “…Now I have a grand-dog. Fudge seems rather like hard work…” At the time when he was with “My Boy TM” and Cheryl, “My Boy TM” would cycle round to visit us and Fudge would run along next to him. When they got to our house the first fruit of my loin would be a mass of sweat and gasping for air; Fudge would still be raring to go.
We would dog-sit, and he would come out with us for walks. I always felt he was as good as gold, but there were those who said he was hard work. So much so that “My Boy TM” eventually felt he was too much and considered re-homing him. I wasn’t keen on this idea (at all!) and I suggested a dog share. We would each take turns in having him for a week, and the dog share started when “My Boy TM” went on a summer holiday in August 2012. He came to us for a week, went back to them for a week, and was with us again in early September 2012… he never went back for some reason.

There’s no denying that I wasn’t on top form back then, and Fudge was excellent company. We would walk for miles round Ashford exploring the paths out the back of Park Fark, exploring the woods out beyond Great Chart, even following the fields out to Wye. I once managed to lose him for a very worrying hour in Kings Wood.

No matter how cold it was, he refused to wear a coat (like other small dogs would). He loved rolling in fox poo. Despite having been “done” in 2012, he was always very keen to play dog-piggy-back whenever the opportunity arose (especially with boy dogs). He was very keen to chase anything he could (he hated squirrels with a passion), and over the years he caught a pheasant and (with Pogo’s help) a rabbit and on both occasions he proved he was still a little wolf. He could swim – and loved water. He would shout at people to throw stones into rivers and ponds for him to chase, and he would spend hours following the Koi in our garden pond. Over the years he had many toys, none of which lasted. For him a toy was something to be destroyed. He would have the stuffing out of any toy within minutes (if not seconds). And (so-called) indestructible Kong toys didn’t last long with him. 

He was incredibly well-known on the local geocaching scene. All of the children wanted to hold his lead when we went on walks, and quite a few of the local hunters of Tupperware openly said that they only knew me as “that bloke with Fudge-dog”. We created a trackable dog tag which we registered with geocaching dot com so that we could record his geocaching adventures with us. Over nine years Fudge called in at over ten thousand geocaches and whilst doing so he covered a distance of over twenty-six thousand miles (slightly more than the circumference of the Earth).

 But he wasn’t the healthiest of dogs. In October 2014 he somehow slipped a disc in his back and was referred to “Supervet” (from the telly). I was in Birmingham at the time and “My Boy TM” drove him and er indoors TM” on a round trip of many hours to be given a diagnosis of a grade two spinal injury and a prescription of six weeks enforced cage rest (which he didn’t like at all). That spinal injury would play up from time to time, and it was rather worrying to see an incredibly active dog suddenly laid low.
To ease his back issues a succession of vets advised he should lose weight, but (like me) he was always a little porker. Try as we might, the weight would not come off.

 It was when he inexplicably started losing weight two years ago that we became concerned. Slowly and surely he was getting thinner and thinner. Blood and urine tests showed… well, I won’t go into endless detail, but (bearing in mind what I do most days) it was clear that his kidneys were struggling. The waste product stuff that should have been peed out was staying in his blood, and the good stuff that should have been kept in his blood was getting peed out.

There was (and is) no cure for chronic kidney failure. The treatment was to help his kidneys by giving him food that would be easier for his kidneys to cope with. We spent a small fortune trying pretty much every specialist food on the market only to find he didn’t like any of them. He was never a greedy dog, and was always a very fussy eater. 

Over these last two years he has had a slow but steady decline. He would still want to walk for miles at the weekend but would recover slower. He would sleep longer in the morning; not getting up with me at silly o’clock. We monitored how he was doing: he was as good as gold when blood had to be taken, and he would look at me in frank bewilderment when I would catch some of his pee in a bottle. But as time went on he slowly got worse and worse. A week after my mum died (in February) he rapidly underwent a very serious deterioration and had a few days in dog hospital with pancreatitis.

On reflection he never really recovered from that. After a few days he came home, but he wasn’t himself. We would still go for our walks, but he would straggle more and more. He was sick most days. Things came to a head last Tuesday. As I pootled in the garden I was watching him. At the time I wrote “…Fudge was laying in the sunshine but was very restless. He couldn’t get comfortable.. “ We went to the vet, and blood tests showed that his kidneys had all but given up following a resurgence of the pancreas problem.

Three days in dog hospital on fluids didn’t improve his condition at all. He came home last night and was very dull and listless. I sat with him for much of the night; he was miserable. We went back to the vet this morning where the vet took his pain away.

I miss my dog so much….

1 comment:

  1. Fudge will be dearly missed, I know how it feels to lose a family pet... so please take it easy!