Hi Mrs. Columbo!
So so so sorry to hear about your beloved pets!
We, too, lost a MASTIFF at an early age. He had renal failure caused by a heart issue.
Hogan was only 4. We ended his lackluster existence as soon as the diagnosis was made. However, his lack of appetite, weightloss, and tendency to get wobbly had carried on for a couple months. Started with weightloss and lack of appetite. We didn't know what to think at first. The wobbly-ness manifested if he had to walk up our driveway. It was just too much for his heart. We couldn't figure it out. Finally, he would not eat anything save for his favorite thing: bread, and pancakes w/ butter and syrup, handfed! (the renal failure makes them sick to their stomache, and they just don't feel like eating)
After his euthanization, we called the breeder...she likes to be kept abreast of her dogs. She said Mastiff's have the HEART to please ....AND THIS "HEART"
supercedes their ABILITY
to please. She said he was indeed suffering, but in his desire to love us...he just forced himself, pushed himself, to get up and come to us. We felt so bad we had not taken him for tests and bloodwork at the first sign
something was "off".
This was our first experience with a young dog, any dog, becoming terminally ill with something like this. It is shocking how many dogs suffer from heart issues, etc. at such a young age.
You handled your pet's situation very well. You were his true friend
to the end!
Since Hogan's loss, we have had the unfortunate loss of two elderly dogs...in 2003, our 13 yr old Shih Tzu, Teddy Bear...then in 2005 our 15 yr old Llasa Apso, Emily. Cancer.
After diagnosis, we carefully monitored their quality of life on a daily basis. As soon as the quality was gone, we were their true friend, and let them off the hook. Because they were small dogs, my DH made me little doggy coffins for the day... and let me bring them home and lay them to rest on our property. When we move to Eastern Washington at retirement, he said he would move them for me, too. That will be their final resting place.
After Teddy Bear passed, we allowed Emily to be the "only child"...which she LOVED!
We had originally added her to our family first, whereas Teddy Bear was a 3 yr old rescue dog we added to our family a few years later. By her reaction when he left us: "Bear? Bear who?"...
I don't think she ever appreciated sharing me with him. She took up following me from room-to-room... something he always did. She happily took over where Teddy Bear left off!
After both little dogs had passed...Katie came into my life. AN AMAZING THING HAS HAPPENED: Katie has taken on the qualities of Teddy Bear and Emily rolled into one small, furry package! She is MY THERAPY DOG!
And I know she loves her life with us! (and our 3 big dogs: the St Bernard, and the 2 Treeing Walker Coonhounds)! Shih Tzus are such a BIG DOG in a SMALL PACKAGE...and incredibly good with any little kids in general! I never have to worry when children want to love on her, whether at home or away.