I will tell you right now that you will need a kleenex for this story, but it is what it is……………there’s been a lot of heartbreak lately with the extreme temps, we just have to keep on.
Got a call from KCMO shelter one day about a call they had received. An older gentleman, who had had 4 heart by-pass surgeries and couldn’t lift, needed help getting his 120 lb. dying Doberman to the vet. He couldn’t get him into his truck by himself so that he could take him in for euthanasia. His vet was ready for him, but he couldn’t get the dog there and the vet wouldn’t come to the house. Animal control won’t load an animal into a personal vehicle (they’re prohibited from doing that), so they called me. We were glad to help him and Marilyn and I headed over. We pulled up to a rather unkept place and the man who had called for help anwered the door. The dog, named Capone, was laying down the hall, kind of in the bedroom. He could not get up. The man had a fan blowing on him and was just overwhelmed, I think. We thought we could kind of roll Capone onto a sheet and carry him in a sling-type thing. However, when we went to handle Capone, he started trying to bite us (and he succeeded twice with 2 different people!). He was scared, in pain and I don’t really think that he really knew what was going on. He was kind of delirious. We decided to try and call Dr. Knapper, the mobile vet but we couldn’t get hold of him. While we were outside on the phone, the man went back into the house to check on Capone and lo and behold, a few mintues later, he came out the front door with Capone! Capone was up and moving-very, very slowly but he was walking! He got as far as the driveway and he collapsed. It was very, very hot out. We had gotten over there about 4:00 p.m. and it was now almost 6:00. We tried a couple of different things, but it was apparent that he was going to nail someone badly if we kept pushing. I finally called my friend Kendra and she and her husband John came over. We really felt like we needed more muscle. Capone might’ve weighed 120 lbs. a couple of years ago when he was last at the vet, but this dog easily weighed 150 lbs. We tried various things, covering his head with double sheets and trying to lift him, tried to muzzle him, it was all futile. He was really struggling every time we tried something else and we were very much stressing him out, which we didn’t wish to do, of course. We decided just to let him lay there for awhile. He drank some water and we took turns sitting beside him and petting him and talking to him. His breathing was labored, but he started to calm down and relax a little. We hit the phones, calling everywhere we could think of, but no one would come to the house and euthanize him. The man was on the phone with several places begging them to come, but no go. It was so late, we were dealing with the emergency clinic by now , but they don’t send anyone out to houses ever. We were really stuck and Capone just needed help to go ahead and pass from this world. This had been going on for 3 hours by now. I finally called the guy back from the shelter that had originally called me about this and told him the situation and that we were still there and Capone was in the driveway. He said that he would come over and he showed up shortly after. It was really a stressful situation by now-everyone felt sorry for Capone and the guy and just wanted to get this over with. People were stressed, crying, exhausted, hot and frustrated. The animal shelter guy came over, took one look at the situation and got on the phone. Finally, he had called the shelter vet, Dr. Steckelberg, and he was coming over to euthanize Capone. About 8:00 p.m., Doc arrived. By then we had helped Capone get up, because he was trying to pull himself up and he had walked a few steps into the grass to pee. He then collapsed in the front yard and that is where he was finally euthanized. Thank you, Dr. Steckelberg, for finally giving Capone peace. Thank you, Denny, for caring enough to give me the call in the first place and not just telling the man that you couldn’t help him. I don’t know what this poor man would’ve done had we not gone over. He had no one.
It was a sad, really stressful day, but I got to meet and be with a really awesome dog. He was regal and he was majestic and he had had a good life. Capone was 11 yrs. old. May he rest in peace. May we carry on our difficult work in Capone’s memory.