Whew - today will go down as one of the tough days for sure. Though she'd been steadily slowing down over the past year, sleeping a lot and yelping for no reason, over the last couple of weeks Bella our 9-year old Viszla really just hadn't been herself. At all.
Reaching down to pet her pretty little head recently, I felt a neckful of mass under the skin and alarms bells went off. After a trip to the vet and a biopsy, the diagnosis was Stage 3 or 4 Canine Lymphoma. At that level, for all practical matters, incurable and fatal w/in a month or so. She had been having trouble breathing and recently was losing control of her bowels so today my wife, son Ethan and I made a really hard decision...
Bella came into our lives through a chance conversation I had with the owner of a Tierrasanta Dog Wash here in San Diego. I'd taken our first Viszla, River, in for a bath and was asked whether I'd ever considered getting another V. One thing led to another and we ended up "rescuing" an 18-month puppy who was way too much for her elderly owner.
Bella was quickly a pal to River, game for anything. She became super-attached to Ethan, sleeping in his bed almost every night for the past 7 years! I was proud of him for being with her at the end, their eyes locked on one another. I may have been the Alpha male in the house, but Etho was her human soul-mate.
I know she's romping in Heaven's rockin' dog park now with River. Goodbye sweet girl - we miss you!
Update: 12/1/13 — my daughter Emily expresses herself via Instagram.