Thursday, 16 September 2010

Very Sad Update

I am so very sorry that it's taken so long to share this news with you properly, but this has been the last job that I had to do with regards to telling people about Hugo and I just haven't been able to do it. I've put it off and put it off, but I know that it has to be done as so many of you have been so kind and have followed Hugo's adventures for so long. I owe you this much.

On 28th March, it was Jacob's 14th birthday and we had visitors coming and going all day. Despite all of the attention that he was getting as well (which normally went down VERY well with our little boy!), Hugo wasn't quite right. His breathing seemed a little "off" and he was a bit grumpier than usual.

On the morning of 29th March, Hugo's breathing was still not right so I phoned Highcroft Vets. Unfortunately, Oliver was on holiday but they asked me to bring Hugo in as soon as possible. Sophie and I took him in and, after a quick check over, we were given the news that it was possible that he had gone into congestive failure. We were told that we could take him home but only if he was on strict crate rest to avoid excitement, as that would have him calmer than if he stayed in at the vets. The wonderful machine that is Highcroft was put into action and arrangements were made for Hugo to be brought in the following morning for a chest x-ray, for a specialist sonographer to see him and carry out a heart scan and for another wonderful cardiologist to examine the results of both and give his diagnosis.

We took Hugo home and snuggled him into his crate with his special healing blanket that had been sent to him by Liam, the wonderful son of my friend Loobie. Sophie was feeling poorly herself so led on the sofa with a blanket of her own with Hugo's crate right beside her. Whilst Sophie was sleeping, I monitored Hugo regularly and became worried when he wouldn't eat anything - not even his favourite freshly cooked chicken. He became quieter and quieter, whilst his breathing became more laboured and when I checked his gums, I found that they were grey. I called the vets again and they asked for him to be brought in immediately. Fortunately, our good friends Nina and Tom were staying with us for a few days, so Nina wrapped him in his special blanket and cuddled him as we drove to the vets.

The vet's face was grave as she examined Hugo and rushed him off to be set up in a kennel with an oxygen tent overnight and very careful monitoring of his medication.

I'm not sure that any of us slept that night.

However, on the morning of the 30th, the update from the vet nurse was more positive than we could possibly have dreamed! Apparently, our little fighter had continually chewed out his IV line and destroyed his oxygen tent through the night! He was certainly doing well enough for them to continue with their plans for the day and were intending to start with the chest x-ray.

I telephoned round all of our worried friends and family to give them the news that sounded so good and absorbed the sighs of relief.

Half an hour after my last call, the vet called me with the results of the x-ray.

Hugo's wonderful, amazing, brave heart was too enlarged for his body to cope any more. They weren't going to do the scan and there was nothing more they could do. There was no way they could keep him on oxygen and IV meds for any length of time. He just wouldn't cope.

I realised then that when he'd been chewing out his line and destroying his oxygen tent, he wasn't fighting. He'd been sending a message. "Enough. I've had enough now".

My heart broke as I told Sophie that we had to go to the vets again, but this time we wouldn't be bringing our soldier home with us. He'd fought so hard for so long, but now it was time for him to rest.

We drove to the vets in tears, but laughing as well as we talked about all of the things that Hugo had done in his very nearly 11 months with us.

Hugo was brought in to us wrapped in his blanket. Our poor boy wagged his tail as he saw us, but was struggling to take every breath. It hurt so much to see him in so much pain. Sophie cuddled him tightly as we told him how much we loved him and how brave he'd been.

The last sound he ever made was a growl. So typical for our feisty boy! Sophie is convinced that the growl was because he saw our collie boy Bear coming to fetch him. I pray that she's right.

My brave girl wrapped her special boy in his blanket with his sleeping head still out and we left the surgery with the vet nurse and vet in tears. Sophie held her head high as the tears poured silently down her face.

Then Hugo's bladder emptied all over her jeans.

"He never really did get the hang of housetraining," she laughed. And that was it. Our last memory of Hugo had become one not to cry over, but to laugh over.

So many people's lives were touched by our boy and those who were lucky enough to meet him will never forget the experience!

Our lives will never be the same again because of one tiny little dog who taught us how to tackle life in the face of great adversity - grab it tightly and make the most of it because you never know when tomorrow might not come.

Prince Hugo Roger Hendy: we thank Fionna with all of our hearts for entrusting you to our care and we thank whoever else had a hand in getting you to us because we loved every painful, joyous, heartbreaking, amazing moment of your company and we will love you forever. We hope you're resting easy now, darling darling boy.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Very VERY Special Day

Do you remember way back in May when this little scrap of just 4 months old arrived with us with a prediction of only 6 months to live?

Well. Today that little scrap looks like this......

And, even more importantly, today he celebrated his first birthday! It was a milestone that we never thought that he'd reach so there have been many tears.

Here are the photos of his very special day when he truly is a Prince for the day :o)

Birthday Cake and Presents

Not quite sure what to do

Getting the hang of it now!

Very special bowl for a Prince!

Straight on to the next present

Ooh! Smells good!

Thank you very much to Captain Jack, Princess Cherry and their lovely mum and dad

He was bored by the last present so big sister Flora helped

On tothe important business of cake!

Go faster Mummy!

Bran and Flora waiting patiently to share

Only very special birthday boys get fed in the chair

Showing off his new "beg" trick or his Christmas nails?

Clearing up the crumbs

Think he enjoyed them??

Thank you so much to all of you who have followed Hugo's story through 2009 - the ups and the downs - and for all the support we've been given. Without Fionna and Lizzies Barn who knows what might have happened to Hugo back when he was just 4 months old? Their unending support has been crucial to helping us get this far with our little man so massive massive thanks to our very special friend, Fi - you are a true angel and Hugo owes you his life xxx

In just one week - the first of January 2010 - the very start of a new year, Prince Hugo will have been with us for exactly 8 months - exactly 2 months longer than he was given. Here's to another year full of strength, bravery and fight from our little man and to all the adventures we hope to have together whilst hoping that he is here to celebrate his second birthday.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a joyous 2010 xx

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Very Special Dish Served Cold ;o)

(In other news today, Hugo is to be added to the Lizzies Barn website as an official Sponsor Dog. We didn't honestly think that we'd have him long enough to be able to make this commitment, but we're keeping fingers crossed and going with it!!)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Very Strange Sleeping

I don't know if it's because the weather is soooooooooo much colder recently or just because Hugo is a little bit strange ;o) but just recently he's been very much taking advantage of having a big brother or sister to "snuggle up to":

And it's not like he's short on space or anything..............

Even his poor Mummy hasn't got away with being led on!

We weren't quite sure what was going on when we came out to the kitchen one day and found this!!

But soon realised!!!

Fortunately, a perfect sounding bed came up on Freecycle yesterday and we managed to get it for Hugo, in an attempt to give the big dogs a bit of space.........

Not sure Hugo's that impressed though.............

Some dogs are just never satisfied!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Very Special Water Baby

Yesterday brought 2 amazing revelations to Hugo's life.

The first: he can actually carry the football!

There have been so many diva strops and tantrums because he's had to drag the ball and then one of the big dogs will get it before he can get it to where he wants it to be, but yesterday he mastered actually lifting it off of the floor and moving. Woohoo!

Mind you, Bran wasn't quite so impressed ;o)

The second revelation: Hugo does NOT melt in the water!! I think we've documented his past history with water and so you will already know how pathetic he becomes at the mere sight of it.

Yesterday, we caught him doing this:

Apparently, the temptation of floating sycamore leaves is too great to resist!

Although the water WAS too cold tostand all 4 feet in at once ;o)

And he did get a bit keen on showing his "best side"!!!! LOL!!!

Sooooooooo. I think we'll be bringing in a supply of sycamore leaves in preparation for his next bath ;o)

Monday, 19 October 2009

Very Special Photos

Just 3 days after our last update, we woke up to a very poorly Hugo :o( He was vomitting diarrhoea and ended up having to spend the night in the vets on a drip. We were worried sick, as you can probably imagine, but Oliver took good care of him and turned him around. Just 24 hours later he was back home and boinging on the big dogs as if nothing had happened. We were exhausted and emotionally wrung out, but thrilled that he was still with us. Little devil ;o)

Anyway. Since that little blip, life is running smoothly again (touch wood) but we have taken some new photos of our special little man, so I'll just share them with you.....

This is a very poorly Hugo snuggling with his mummy whilst we were waiting for the time of his vet's appointment to come around :o(

A few days later, and feeling fine, Hugo slipped out into the garden to catch some rays on the bench (a rather difficult obstacle for such a tiny boy to master, but master it he did!)

But then decided to opt for the slightly less comfortable sleeping arena of the patio!

Later that evening, young master Hugo got caught having mastered another obstacle for the first time - my computer chair! He looked so handsome against the black chair, that I left him where he was and just reached for my camera ;o)

The following evening, whilst messing with the camera again, I took some black and white photos of all of the dogs.

Bran opted for the doting puppy look....

Flora opted for the doting puppy look......

Hugo refused to compromise his macho integrity and just did the "ear thing" again!

I then scored massive points by providing a huge box of cuddly toys! The dogs were absolutely thrilled!

Bran reallllllllly liked the tiger

and Minnie Mouse!

Hugo was not that bothered to start with and tried to entice Flora away from the toys with a wrestling session

He eventually agreed to a game of tug involving the toys

and then his curiosity got the better of him and he had a little investigate

and then got REALLY stuck in!!

He eventually settled on chomping on the strange frog

In the evening, the children decided to make best use of the box and Hugo went along for the ride

One morning, I remembered to grab the camera to catch the action as Sophie joins us.

I am usually first up. I let the dogs out into the garden for morning ablutions. They chase around the garden for a little while, then Bran and Flora come in to do this whilst Hugo gives me morning kisses........

And then Hugo will hear something that tells him that his mummy is about to join us......

And then the realisation dawns that she will be with us VERY shortly and...........

I hope these show you just how well our little fighter is doing at the moment.

Sophie has decided to arrange a sponsored walk from home to the much visited veterinary practice which is a distance of about 3.5 miles, so I will give you more details on that just as soon as it's finalised :o)