I lost my Apollo suddenly almost 3 weeks ago.   The vet said he might have had Addison's disease.  This is a disease that even people can get where the body doesn't properly regulate for stress.  Its difficult to detect and it is usually discovered when they enter a crisis.

I've been reading many of the posts on this forum and my heart goes out to everyone who has lost their little friend.  This is a wonderful place for people to share their stories and I am uplifted by the many caring replies that I see.  

I had a dog growing up.  Her name was Fetch.  She was not allowed inside.  She lived her entire life of 10 years on a chain in the back yard, covered in ticks, never a visit to the vet, with little love and affection other than her daily feeding and occasional run off the chain.  At the time I thought this was "normal."  I was a stupid selfish child that was more worried about playing video games than caring about the dog that was chained up in my back yard.  Looking back as an adult I am ashamed for the way that sweet dog was treated.  

I didn't get another dog until I was 30.  His Name is Nemo.  I was wary of what the experience would be like and I was apprehensive of the commitment.  I found that I very quickly became wonderfully, extremely attached to him and I was determined to ensure that he would have a comfortable easy indoor life with lots of love and affection.  He has been with me for 8 years.  

About 2 years ago I decided that Nemo needed some roommates.  I adopted Apollo and Gene Midnight from the local shelter.  There were some growing pains as the 3 of them learned how to get along but I soon learned that the joy of having a true "pack" in the house.  

Its so funny how these delightful animals have their own distinct individual personalities and quirks.  

Nemo could be aggressive and wouldn't let anyone play with his toys, Gene Midnight still refuses to be house trained and loves to make trouble and Apollo was my sweet boy.  So easy to get along with and so full of love.  

I live alone and travel frequently for work and I always hated to put them in the kennel but I found a kennel that gives each group of dogs their own small pen and lets them play outside all day. 

He had been having a great time all week, eating snacks and playing with his room mates.  When he saw me arrive he began a high pitched whine and then he collapsed.  I feel terrible that it might have been his excitement from seeing me that triggered his crisis.

I didn't realize that Apollo was fighting for his life.  I had to pick him up and take him to my car.  I should have realized how bad it was then and there.  He was alert and moving his head but he could not stand.  I thought maybe he had just gotten too much exercise.   

He was always so full of energy.   He loved to walk and we walked every day.  I had to use a gentle leader harness to keep him from pulling so much.  There had never been an indication that he had a problem.  He had had 2 vet visits 6 months before to get his teeth cleaned and for shots.   

I will forever regret the next 40 minutes.  I thought I would drop off my other 2 boys at home and then take him to the vet.  By the time I got on the highway I realized that Apollo was in very bad shape.  It was an agonizing further 30 minutes before I got him to the vet.  He was stabilized for a little bit but died shortly after. 

There was a vet just down the road from his kennel I could have taken him to.  My vet tried to tell me that with such a serious crisis it might not have mattered.  But at least I would know I did everything I could. 

I read what others have posted and the common theme seems to be to remember the good times and not beat yourself up for things you didn't know at the time.  I just miss my boy.  He was with me for only a short time but the mark he made on my heart will be with me for life.  

I'm leaving for work again tomorrow.  I'll be gone for a month.  Nemo and Gene Midnight are back in the kennel.  I might have to leave for an entire year after this trip.  I couldn't bear to lose another one of them, especially when I am away.  But I'll hope for the best. 

 I found something that said if a dog had a last will and testament it would be that another dog, a lonely unloved dog in a shelter, a stray, or abused dog get to take his place in the home he was loved in.  

I have a lot to make up for and one day I will find another lonely dog and I'm sure I'll get attached to him or her too.  But for now I'll remember Apollo and give his roommates lots of love and snacks.

I often feel like its a mean world and I thank everyone in this forum for their kind comments and understanding.  My heart is with all of you who understand the love that comes from the creatures that become a part of our lives.  

Apollo Christmas.jpg  Apollo Roommates.jpg  Apollo Rope.jpg 

Apollo you were the best.jpg 
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First of all how you grew up is not who you are. I grew up on a small farm with many cats and a few dogs ( whom I loved ) but I look back and think we were basically “heathens”. Not one cat ever went to a vet, the dogs only went if we couldn’t “fix it” at home or the dog catcher picked them up and we could only bail them out till they got a rabies shot. You are the wonderful person I’m reading about who takes in dogs that need a home desperately, need to be loved desperately. How horrible to go to get your baby and have an episode like that! You did nothing wrong, how could you have known? You did all the right things at that very moment. We miss that special unconditional love that only a pet knows how to show. We miss all the things that made us smile and filled our hearts with joy. We mourn them till the day we die because their will never be another just like them. And,,, we are forever changed because of the special bond that was,,, may you feel the sweet presence and have sweet dreams come to help the days ahead. The beauty of their spirit does not leave with their body, it lives with us, forever
Lynn, Tankie’s mom, forever
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Thanks for sharing those pictures.  What an incredible gang!  It is so hard, I know.  I think those "what if's" are probably the hardest part.  Just know you acted in love and did the best you knew to do.  I wish you peace and comfort.
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Thank you for your kind replies.
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