Good Boy, Otto.

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So the other night I was back in one of the kids’ rooms “helping” them wrap some gifts for The Lovely Rhonda.  And TLR came home, knowing where I and the kids were, yet still called to me from the other room.  I was slightly annoyed, but eventually came out of the bedroom to find her with Otto.

Otto who greeted everyone with a hearty bark and a tail wag like the lash of a springy steel cable but was now splayed awkwardly on the floor with a blank expression on his face.  Otto who was clearly not right.

We had to call someone to stay with the kids while we whisked him off to the vet.  I think we both knew Otto wouldn’t be coming home from this trip.  He’d had to be carried to the car.  He was panting and he couldn’t stand up.

The vet told us he probably had a hemangioma — a tumor.  His spleen, he said, was huge and had sharp, defined edges.  His gums were pale and his temperature was dropping.  He wasn’t in any pain but there wasn’t anything anyone could do.  He was thirteen, a gray old man whose enthusiasm for The Ball had never faded.  Yesterday he seemed fine, maybe a little less energetic, but up and moving around and eating.  Today he was leaving us.

We went back to the inner recesses of the vet office to say goodbye to him.  He was already mostly gone and when he heard Rhonda’s voice, he let go completely.  The vet gave him the medicine just to be sure he didn’t linger, but he didn’t charge for it.  He had been Otto’s vet since he was six weeks old.  Everyone there was so nice to us.  I’m sure they see this kind of thing every week, but they were all so nice to us.

His bed and his crate are gone from the house.  There is more floor space and fewer noxious clouds without him here.

We would have it all as it was before if we could.

He was a good boy.

The very good dog

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