The potential adopting family backed out of the adoption after talking to a vet about the problems that they would face with Hart due to his arrhythmia. The vet told the new family that it would cost them $2k every year and that he would only live a couple of year. Who would ever want to take on such a situation with a dog and then face the prospect of falling in love with the dog only to see it die of a painful premature death.
Well, I was one of those people and I completely understand where the family was coming from. Grendel was my little dog that had a heart defect when she was born as well as many other defects. I already had a dog and was looking for a companion to my dog when my Vet offered the option of taking in this cute little fuzzy dog. While the initial message wasn’t as harsh or expensive, I knew what I was getting into. But, when push came to shove, it was a terrible thing to watch a dog go through. She wheezed all the time and made a honking noise when she overexerted herself. She lived to be about 4.5 when she had hear heart attack. It then cost me $2k to get a heart sonagram where the resulting prognosis was that the little dog would only live another six months. Well, by this time I had fallen in love with the little dog by more than I had ever loved anything else. The vet said that she would live a happy life and that I would know when the time was right.
Well, that 6 months turned into 3 years thanks to my housemate who had studied to be a doctor. He varied the balance between her medications and listened to hear heart and changes in her condition so that he kept her going. When I finally put her down, my vet named her the little dog who’s heart would not stop. I cried for a full week over this little dog and to this day I get weepy when I think about her. All of her toys and her bed are locked away so that I never have to look at them.
Would I want someone to go through the same thing? Maybe. Knowing up front how it is going to be doesn’t really prepare you for it and going into it voluntarily doesn’t do anything but make you blame yourself for putting her through this instead of ending it early. Still, I think the little dog lived a very happy life and she had to be the most affectionate dog I have ever had both before and since. So, she got to have 4.5 years of life that I tried to make the best possible life that I could make for her.
This isn’t a decision that you can second guess or that you can judge. The family did what they knew was right for them and I hope that no-one bears any ill will for their decision. Hart will have to find a home and I hope it is a good and loving one with adults that will be able to deal with the situation. I think the vet painted an overly gloomy story but I suppose it was to make sure that they knew what they were getting into. It would be great to adopt Hart except I do think that going through that again would push me over the edge and I would just step out of this world at my own hand. Also, Bones, the big brute of a 13 year old Lab has killed puppies before and tried to kill Kira so it would not be a good home to put Hart into.
We will continue to foster Hart till he gets adopted. It is going to be much more difficult in having only one because there will be no-one to keep him company in the basement. At least with the 3 or 4, we knew that they would keep each other company.