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Louie the Neapolitan Mastiff

Jul 13

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The journey has ended. I don’t know where to start.  Lou made 2 years from diagnosis and a month shy of his 2 year ampuversary. I still don’t really know what happened. He just could not carry himself anymore. It became harder for him to rise from laying down and he could only walk 2-3 steps before his front leg would collapse and he would have to struggle to get up and remain standing. He still had a great appetite. He still wagged his tail and rolled in the grass and wanted to be wherever I was. It was the most difficult call to make. I knew that everything was functioning fine except he couldn’t walk any more. The day he saw a jogger run by the house and tried to run the fence line barking and collapsed 3 times looking like he was going to severely hurt himself was the moment I knew our fight was coming to an end. I tried to make the final call 3 times through tears and all 3 times I hung up before they answered. On Friday July 7th I somehow managed to make arrangements .

I called Lap of Love who were absolutely amazing. From the initial phone call until the final moments ,and even after, I have never experienced such emotional support, empathy, and most of all love and dignity for Louie.

I tried to make Louies day as special as he was. I cooked him a rib eye for lunch which he devoured. I layed down on the floor with him and held him for the longest time trying to breath in his smell and trying to capture the unique softness of his ears and his fur, I tried to absorb the sound of his breathing, his snorts and snores and all of the sounds that made him Lou. Meanwhile my heart ached with the knowledge that I was spending the last hours and minutes with my boy.

When the time drew near, my husband and I helped him down the stairs into the back yard where I sat on the grass with him while we waited for the vet. I brought out one of Lou’s favorite toys, a pink pig that oinked when you squeezed it, and while the tears flowed, we waited while I secretly prayed that time would just stand still.

When the vet arrived she sat on the grass with us and asked us all kinds of questions about Louie and his life. And we talked with her while he tried to roll in her lap for about an hour. Then she explained what would happen. She gave Louie a very strong sedative that was going to make him sleep. It would take about 10-15 minutes to reach full effect. During that time we talked to him and held him and everyone in the family got a chance to sit with him and talk for awhile. When he finally fell into a deep sleep (snoring loudly) I leaned over and told him how brave he was and thanked him for 2 glorious years, and his tail wagged! He heard my voice even in his deep sleep! When the vet asked if we were ready, I told her I wanted to be by his face. I moved in front of him and laid down with my face pressed against his nose. Each breath that he exhaled I could feel against my lips. I was trying to breathe each of his breaths into my lungs and I told him how much I loved him, that when he woke up again he was going to have 4 legs and wings, what a great guardian he was, what a wonderful friend, what a good dog, what a great fight he put up, I thanked him over and over until I felt him take his last breath. My heart shattered into a million pieces and the tears wouldn’t stop. The vet took a clay imprint of his paw, and shaved a bit of hair which she placed in a little plastic container for us. She gave us a certificate with his name and a booklet of comforting verses and poems. And she kissed his head before she left.

We buried him in the backyard. I have picked and placed flowers on his grave every day. The house is so silent. I listen for his snoring. I listen for his distinct tripawd thump as he walked through the house. I listen for his bark and for his howl that he always did when I walked out the door without him. It’s so quiet. The silence is deafening.

I look for the signs. I have already received a couple. Some quite amazing. But the tears flow too easy and the pain is too sharp right now. I know in time it will get better but right now the ache in my heart is tremendous. I miss my boy, my friend, my shadow. I feel so empty 🙁

Louie napping I just love this sweet picture

Louie enjoying his rib eye steak

This was Louie waiting with me for the vet to arrive. He was so full of life still 🙁






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13 comments so far

  1. juliedarling
    2:25 am - 7-13-2017

    I’m so heartbroken for you. My journey with Buddy was similar although only 6 months post diagnosis but he end was very much the same as with Louie. It’s so hard. There are no words except for your own. Louie is at the bridge, 4 legs and your new guardian angel. He will give you signs – when you need them most. Buddy still does. Tears are flowing as I type this. Sally told me something that helped me through the darkest hours. Would you trade this pain if it meant that you never got to meet Buddy and I said no. Maybe this will help you. I followed your story along the way and I am holding you in my thought and prayers. I know that Louie has a pack of Tripawds showing him the ropes at the bridge.

    Julie and Angel Buddy

  2. Jeanette
    2:38 am - 7-13-2017

    I’m so sorry and sad for your loss. Louie sounded like an amazing companion and friend and I know there’s a big hole in your heart right now. You gave him a peaceful passing in a peaceful setting. What a blessing!

    As Julie said, Louie was no doubt met by a pack of former Tripawds that were made whole again at the Bridge.

    Sending you love and light 💕🌈🐾
    Jeanette and Angel Boone

  3. dobemom
    2:45 am - 7-13-2017

    I’m so very sorry for the loss of your sweet Lou….Nitro is 3 years out, and is also struggling with arthritits and kidney failure, so I can appreciate your story. Your boy was a true warrior and much loved. Wishing you peace in the coming days.

    Paula and Nitro

  4. Amy
    2:58 am - 7-13-2017

    My heat is breaking for you, I couldn’t bring myself to watch the videos of Louie as I was already crying…. my thoughts wander to my own tripawd and it hits even harder. That is absolutely wonderful the vet came to your home and did so with such compassion. Thinking of you both and sounds like you built some amazing memories in those last few moments together. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  5. benny55
    3:21 am - 7-13-2017

    This just breaks my heart, just breaks my heart. I am completely worthless right now…sobbing too hard, so hard.

    For you to be able to give the gift before things turned into a crisis, before suffering started to take over, before he lost all dignity and coukd no longer wag his tail….true love. It’s such a testament to your devotion and yiur commitment to not let Big Lou suffer.

    I will be back. I want to be able to come back when mynhead is a little more clear. For now, thank you for allowing us to be on this journey with Louie, one of the most magnificent, awe inspiring dogs who has ever joined our family. I absolutely love EVERYTHING about this dog.

    With love and light

    Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie

  6. Alicia
    3:57 am - 7-13-2017

    What a brave and beautiful boy. Thank you for sharing your story – our hearts are with you.
    Alicia and Angel Daisy Duke ❤️🐾❤️

  7. midnighter94
    9:29 am - 7-13-2017

    I am crying right along with you. I am so very sorry for your loss. Sweet Lou is now running at the Rainbow Bridge pain free and rolling in the soft grass.
    Hugs to you,

  8. rikntracy
    2:28 pm - 7-13-2017

    Run free, Louie! What a blessing to have him and what a blessing for him to have you! I’m sitting here crying my eyes out. It makes us all hug our babies a little tighter. His was truly a beautiful story. I love the tail wag, even as he slept.

    Wishing you peace during these difficult days,
    Tracy & Zatoichi

  9. linda8115
    2:39 pm - 7-13-2017

    Tears flow freely here for both Louie and you. My heart breaks along with yours and all who have followed sweet Louie’s story. You started your journey about the same time Max and I did. I remember you posting needing ideas to help to get Louie in the car. I remember your Louie having such a bad reaction to chemo you decided it was in his best interest to to quit it. I remember cheering every step of your journey! Louie was a mighty Warrior! He did things his own way and on his own timeline. I will remember your boy forever and will always have a soft spot in my heart for your gentle giant. Louie’s life was filled with love every second of every day. You made his life extraordinary and in turn he gave that back to you tenfold! Sending you much love and healing peace at this hardest part of the journey. Fly free new Angel! You have earned those wings Mighty Warrior!
    Linda & Spirit Mighty Max

  10. superkylie
    5:15 pm - 7-13-2017

    I am just bawling uncontrollably here. I’m just so sorry you have to go through this. What a beautiful last day for your sweet Louie. What a difficult journey this is. Every single line you wrote hit me hard, I can just picture everything. I can feel your pain and loss. I am not looking forward to being in your shoes in the near future with our Kylie who is struggling. What wonderful keepsakes with the pawprint and hair. It sounded like your Vet was amazing with him and with you guys! It makes such a difference. I have no doubt there will be signs for you from your boy. Treasure each one. RIP sweet warrior Lou and take care of yourself Mom & Dad xox
    Chris & Kylie

  11. jerry
    12:28 am - 7-14-2017

    Sue, I also have tears in my eyes and a deep sadness knowing he is an angel. I want to celebrate his amazing victory over cancer but my heart is so heavy with this news. I am SO sorry. There are no words that can ease the pain of his departure. I can sense how much you loved him in your recollection of his final day. It reminded me so much of how we spent ours with Jerry and how we also had to make a decision that felt way too fast, but so right.

    You gave him dignity in his life and his final hours. No dog could ever, ever ask for more. Louie was and always will be a hero in this community. He defied the odds on many fronts and lived life in pure joy as only he could.

    Please accept our condolences and our sincere gratitude for allowing us to be part of your journey. Louie’s story will always be here to inspire others and he will forever be a hero in the Tripawds Nation.


  12. teri
    4:03 pm - 7-26-2017

    I’m so very sorry. It just rips your heart out of your chest, losing them. Louie’s banner has come up for me a couple of times in the past few days. He was so handsome, I had to hear his story. I’m sorry I missed his earth journey story and will have to go back now and catch up.

    Crying here for you with the others. It’s easy to see he was well loved and had a great life with you. Two years is amazing, a superhero!

    I am so sorry for you loss.
    Teri, Roxy and Angel Isa

  13. benny55
    5:13 am - 8-11-2017

    It took me this long to be avle to come back. I absolutely adored Louie! He jumped into my heart from day one! And your devotion and @ove for hime…and he for you…came shining through with each and every word you wrote.

    I cheered with you, we all did, with every victorious milestone Big Lou achieved!! 🙂
    And I mean this with every fiber of my being….LOUIE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN HERE!!! He is a true inspiration for any vig dog starting this journey!!! I have directed people to Big Lou over and over again when they have a big dog facing amputation.

    And then when people are trying to decide on chemo but leaning away from it for various reasons. OR, they started treatment and weren’t able to continue due to side effects. The story of Louie….all his MAGNIFICENT VICTORIES…..without chemo….AND…he beat every statistic out there!! 🙂
    And Sue, for Louie to give you that very, very special “tail wag of love and gratitude” as he headed excitedly towards the Bridge…WOW!! That was one of the most beautiful “thank you” gifts I’ve ever heard of! I’m still welling up over here over that sweet act. He DEFINITELY heard yiu! He DEFINITELY knew you were right by his side AND he knew he would ALWAYS be by your side!!

    I so hope you will let us know some of the signs Lou has shared with you that he’s just fine AND still very present with you…and with his horse buddy too!

    I’m also wondering….just wondering…..has he presented you with another doggy who needs to be loved and who needs to know what joy feels like? Just wondering…:-)

    Being on this journey with Louie has been…and continues to be..a true privilege! I am in such awe of Big Lou’s tenacity, his courage, and his determination to just get on with life!!!! And he sure did get on with life!! Nothing held that sweet boy back!! 🙂

    Seeing Big Louie’s banner…sure, it’s bittersweet…but it’s also a stunning tribute to a well loved dog who impacted us all. Yes Lou, your life here on earth made a difference! Thank you for letting me travel by your side.
    With love
    Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie

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