Some posts are more difficult to write than others. Everyone enjoys the posts that make you smile. The person telling the story as well as the person on the receiving end reading the story. Smiles are shared. However, while most of the posts we share about dogs that we rescue have happy endings, not all of the stories do. These stories we post are difficult to share. Memories of Baron is one of those posts.
To begin, one must understand that every dog we rescue is with a vision of finding them a forever home. Every dog. Regardless the health, age, or breed. We focus on German Shorthaired Pointers because we are passionate about the breed and staying focused on a single breed, and sometimes mixes, allows us to better manager our limited resources more effectively. We greatly depend on donors, Rescue Heroes, volunteers, and adopters. Especially repeat adopters. Those individuals that understand and share our vision to help German Shorthaired Pointers in need. This support allows us to never turn down a dog because of age or health conditions.
Baron was rescued from a shelter late last year after being surrendered by his owner because of a growth on his penis that would bleed intermittently. After picking him up from the shelter, the first stop was to see Dr Kang who removed the growth. A sample was sent to the lab and Baron was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. Dr Kang recommended keeping an eye for other similar type growths as they are likely to return in the next few years. However, because of Baron’s twelve plus years of age, Dr Kang was relatively optimistic Baron had a couple of good years left.
Over the next couple of weeks as Baron waited to have his stitches removed, it was noted that he sometimes would go off his food for a day or two. Not a real concern giving he was still settling in at his foster home after having surgery. His safe post was published and we were responding to questions from a few interested parties hoping one might be a potential adopter. One of these inquiries was from Omar, a repeat adopter, who had opened his heart and home many times to a Senior GSP in need. We remained optimistic. Everything appeared to be going well for Baron.
A few days before he was to have his stitches removed, a lump was discovered. It appeared to be a swollen lymph node. Another surgery. Dr Kang removed this growth and what appeared to be hemangiosarcoma “seeds” near the first growth. Given Baron’s overall demeanor, Dr Kang was cautiously optimistic.
A few days before the follow up appointment to discuss Lab work, Baron had gone off his food. This time not just a meal but several over a few days. This was a little concerning as he had settled in well in the weeks at his foster home eating regularly. He had also appeared to be more lethargic not wanting to get up when his Foster Dad came in the room or go for a ride or walk. In addition, Baron had sneezed a bloody ball of mucus the day before his appointment with Dr Kang and, at his Vet visit with Dr Kang, had a bloody nose.
This concerned Dr Kang. The lab work showed cancer of unknown origin. The x-rays revealed the worst. Baron was consumed with what appeared to be cancer throughout his body. The bloody nose was from a growth in one nostril that extended up into his sinuses. There was no way to operate to remove everything. The prognosis was grave. Dr Kang recommended taking him home and making Baron comfortable which we did.
Omar, an Angel in his own right, was still interested in taking him home for however much time, regardless how short, Baron had. However, Omar understood the concern that Baron would spend valuable time having to readjust to a new home. Rather than adopting, Omar met Baron and his Foster Dad for coffee where he doted on Baron and fed him blueberry muffins. It was a special moment in the final days that Baron remained with us.
For anyone having to make a decision of when to put down their beloved dog due to health reasons, it’s always a struggle. Baron, like most dogs, had good days and bad days. The bad days usually only lasted part of a day but, as time went by, were getting longer stretching into the following day. One morning Baron wouldn’t get up. His Foster Dad coaxed him with treats, food, and pets. Baron, only interested in pets, wouldn’t budge. Morning stretched into early afternoon and Baron had not budged. By mid afternoon it was apparent what needed to happen. A few calls were made to discuss Baron’s condition and one call was made to a very special Vet to visit Baron at his Foster Home where Baron was laid to rest in peace.
This isn’t a happy ending story we would normally share. Fortunately, we have few stories like this one. We feel, given the reason Baron’s previous owner gave him up, it’s important to know while he was never adopted, he didn’t spend his last days in the shelter. He spent two months being cared for and loved thanks in part to the Rescue Heroes that help support our efforts. After reading this, we hope you to take a few extra minutes with your dog and give them some love. They are only with us a short time, but share so much love in the time they have with us.
The video below is a compilation of some of the more memorable moments of Baron while he was with us. You’ll see many clips of food as we grew concerned he was eating regularly; him getting pets, lots of pets, because he liked that; and we also shared the special moments Baron spent with Omar at a coffee shop.