Recently, we were once again faced with that decision pet owners everywhere know all too well.
You may remember a couple of our social media posts about Henry, our “fospice” Heigl Hound of Hope. Henry came to us nearly two years ago from a busy Los Angeles area shelter where he was observed having seizures. In February 2016, we reached out for a special foster home for Henry. Raquel and her fiancé, Robert (and their black lab, Maxx) answered the call.
For a while, Henry just seemed to be a bit older than his years. Although suffering nighttime incontinence, he was a happy, sweet dog. After a few months, Henry had a very bad seizure episode and it looked grim. But Henry wasn’t ready and he pulled out of it. The vets suspected at that time that Henry may have a brain tumor, and palliative care was the only option. Henry was put on medication to control the seizures and any pain.
Even as Henry began to suffer from weakness in his hind legs, Raquel and Robert continued to love and support him, adjusting their normally active lifestyle to incorporate Henry into it. They got Henry a wagon and would take him along in his wagon. Henry got to see much of the southern California area, meeting lots of people along the way who loved seeing Henry in his wagon. For the last couple of months, Henry has been almost completely non-ambulatory, but Raquel and Robert still helped Henry along.
Late Wednesday night, a little over a week ago, something changed. Raquel noted a distant look and unresponsiveness in Henry that she hadn’t seen before, and his breathing became quite labored. Unsure if it was another seizure, she gave him some more of his anti-seizure medication and he fell asleep. However, by morning, his breathing continued to be labored and Henry was very weak. Raquel knew something was wrong. Raquel and Robert brought Henry to the vet. The news was not good. Henry had metastatic cancer in his lungs. This time, he would not be able to pull through. Henry went over the bridge on the Thursday morning.
Henry would have never made it as long as he did were it not for the amazing care and love that Raquel and Robert provided to him over the past year and half. Although we are always heartbroken to lose a Heigl Hound, we always take solace in the fact that the Heigl Hound knew love, perhaps for the first time, when they were with us.
We cannot thank Raquel and Robert enough for the loving home they gave Henry. He left this world in peace and surrounded by love. We cannot hope for more.