While working at Bobs House I’ve seen many dogs come and go. Some dogs seem to touch our hearts in such a way it is hard to put into words. Milo and his brother Bear, Newfoundland mixes, came to the house in April of 2020. It was quite obvious this pair did not have a good start to life. They had never been seen by a veterinarian and now they were homeless due to a job loss. These boys were some of the gentlest of souls who just wanted to be loved. To read more on Bear check out Bear’s story here: A Broken Bear
Both were neutered mid april and estimated to be around 8-9 yrs of age. While doing a physical exam the doctor noticed limited movement in Milo’s hips and ordered x-rays. Milo had suffered serious pelvic and hip damage, in what appeared to be a past injury. The vet neutered him and reached out to a board certified surgeon to consider fixing his hip. While waiting to hear from the surgeon he was transported to us. Milo was so sweet to all other dogs and he loved people. Always pawing at you to pay attention to him. All he wanted was to be pet. He quickly became a favorite amongst staff and volunteers. Poor Milo was leaking some urine which we attributed to his past pelvic injury. We scheduled surgery for Milo and the vet decided to run some blood work prior to surgery. Sadly his blood work came back very abnormal, so instead of getting his hip fixed, he was scheduled for a bone marrow biopsy. Milo was also treated for Lyme disease during this time. His bone marrow biopsy came back inconclusive. Poor Milo, we just could not seem to get to the bottom of his medical issues. Not only could we not help him with his hip, but we now had concerns of cancer. We wanted only the best for Milo and pain management was a must. He was put on a good regimen of medications to help him with any pain or discomfort. He seemed to be thriving and doing well, never missing a meal and always being a gentleman. At this point Milo was placed into our Dying With Dignity program to live out his days with us at Bob’s House.
In June we followed up with another blood recheck and it had not changed much, but Milo seemed to be holding his own and any pain appeared to be under control. Mid October we noticed some behavioral changes and that he was “off”. We noticed his color was not bright and pink and he was sluggish. I took in a sample of his blood to recheck and the results were very concerning. It was time to schedule an ultrasound and get some answers. In late October we dropped him off for an ultrasound in the morning and waited patiently to hear from the vet. In the afternoon she called with the news. We finally had some answers, just not the ones we were hoping for. Milo had a multitude of findings on his ultrasound, the biggest being an enlarged spleen with nodules, and a serious blood clot. Because Milo was not neutered until later in life, he also had a very cystic and enlarged prostate, which was probably why he leaked urine.
One of the many things I love about this job is the way we work so close with each other and the vets in the area. After meeting with our staff we made the difficult decision to help Milo along. I called the veterinarian back and asked her for a favor. I didn’t want Milo to be put down right away at the animal hospital, so I asked her if I could pick up Milo and bring him back after an hour or so. I called a friend who works at a restaurant and asked her to prepare a special treat for Milo. Milo enjoyed a delicious peanut butter bacon burger made especially for him, and a couple of candy bars (typically bad for dogs, but it was his last meal, so why not.) In the car without him noticing, I was able to give him his first sedative injection. As he got sleepy we hugged him and drove him back to the animal hospital where the vet was waiting. The Dr. came out to the car so Milo never had to be moved. His was belly was full of treats and he was being held by those that loved him most. It was so very sad saying good-bye to my sweet friend. He was such a precious dog with a heart of gold. Most often the last act of kindness is the toughest on us humans. Despite knowing him for only a short 6 months, he will forever be in our hearts. He is dearly missed, but in my mind I can picture him running pain free, and that brings me peace.
Heather Muller, Bob’s House for Dogs Medical Coordinator, Certified Veterinary Technician