Our Handsome Boy Tank
by Nicholette D
Ears perked up, sitting on a wagging tail
My fiance and I adopted our first dog Luna, a boxer mix, and we got our handsome boy, Tank, just a few months later. We are a young couple with no children, but they became our lives, our babies. We planned our vacations and days off around them.
We recently decided to make a move to WA state from CO. It was difficult because my fiance had to stay in CO for several months for work before finally moving out with the dogs and me. Luna, Tank, and I stayed with my parents for almost 9 months. Though my father, stepmother and stepbrother grew to really love the dogs like their own, it was difficult for me because they have a magnificent home, and we all decided it would be best for the dogs to be primarily in the garage and backyard. I was so used to them being close to me in my own home that I missed them, and would spend evenings sitting on the cold concrete just so I could lay with them both.
Finally, my fiance was able to move up here and join us. We were looking forward to getting our own place and having our babies in the house with us again. We were going to be a family again! But, sadly, only a week after my fiance moved up here, we lost our baby boy, Tank.
Tank was only 3 years old. He had more personality and spirit and energy than all of us combined. He ran and jumped and played. He did everything with his whole heart. When I first moved to the area, all I had were my puppies. They were my babies, my best friends. I would take them on long walks so we could all get familiar with the area. I spent my days off with them, and was always excited to see them after work. Tank was especially close to my fiance, who visited us as much as he could. They were best friends; my fiance had the strength and athleticism to keep up with Tank, who would get so excited, he would jump straight up, 3 feet in the air. They would chase each other, jump together, laugh and play. Luna, my other dog, was also extremely close with Tank. They wrestled, slept together. They spent all of their time together, and when one wouldn't be around, they would whine for and look for the other one.
We lost him so suddenly, just two days ago (08/13/10). It was horrible. My fiance had Tank and Luna with him in his SUV, while he was running errands, so he could take them to the park afterward. He had missed them so much, just wanted to spend lots of time with them. He had all the windows down and water in the back for them. Suddenly, Tank was breathing funny. I was on the car's bluetooth. My fiance stopped to get some more water (he already had some in the car for them to drink, but wanted to get more to cool Tank down). Tank started to convulse. I was on the phone and could hear my boyfriend pleading with Tank to snap out of it. He was rubbing him, cooling him with water, saying his name. I found an animal hospital that was nearby. My fiance said, "I think he's dead..." and we were so shocked. We said we just needed to hurry and get him help. We both started driving in separate cars to get him help as soon as possible. We met each other there almost at the same time.
My fiance opened the back and picked him up. I looked at him and was hopeful, because his eyes were open. The vet took him while we waited. We were terrified. We had our other dog with us, who had been with Tank the whole time. We waited in the room. The vet came in and said there was no respiration or heartbeat, but she could do more aggressive things, if we agreed. We begged her to do anything she could for our boy. A few minutes later, she came in and told us that it was too late. His body was already in rigor mortis.
I couldn't believe it. He was so young and strong. He just had so much love and did everything with his whole heart, that it was just too much for his poor heart. He was only 3 years old. We did not get enough time with him. His life was much too short, and we miss him so desperately. My fiance is struggling with so many feelings of guilt. He thinks it could have been his fault, but I know it isn't. He had plenty of air and space and water. He loved to take rides with us, and I know his little heart just gave out. I am glad, though, that he was not in a lot of pain or suffering, and he didn't die alone in the garage.
He heard my voice on the phone, Luna was next to him, and my fiance was rubbing him, cooling him down, saying his name. But it still hurts me that he is not in this world. I feel like the world is a worse place because he isn't in it any longer. We are heartbroken and we know we have many years of sadness ahead of us because we will miss him forever. Luna seems so sad, and lonely. Our hearts and lives feel very sad and lonely now, too. Neither of us expected to be so heartbroken and devastated by his loss, but we never really thought we would lose him this way, or at his young age.
We are going to try to move on as best we can. We were looking into a good size house for the four of us with a big yard, and almost didn't want so much anymore without him, but Luna still needs space and a lot of yard. We are so sad we didn't get a chance to make a home for the four of us here, the way we did in CO. We will miss him so much, every day. I can only hope he is running and jumping and playing somewhere where there are no rules, and he can be as happy and jump as high as he wants.
We love you, handsome boy. You will always be in our thoughts and in our hearts.