Lost my camping buddy this weekend

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
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Chester was our Golden Retriever. We got him as a puppy in 2009, when my boys were 2 and 5. One of the first outings we had with him was a camping trip... back when we did tent camping. Since that time, he has gone on countless camping trips with us, most of them in our PUP. He was the best camping dog ever, never barking at other dogs, even if they barked ballistically at him. He would snooze patiently in his crate if we went on a short bike ride or other place we couldn't take him, and never bothered anyone. He would take turns snuggling up with my wife and I in our bunk, and with our two boys in theirs.

Chester has suffered from seizures for more than 4 years. Repeated vet visits could never understand them and although we tried several medications, really control them. They were always scary to watch, and seemed to get progressively more violent over time. But he would always snap out of them, sometimes quickly, sometimes after a day or so of mental fog. Then he was back to a normal, happy dog for weeks or a couple months, until the next series hit. They took a huge toll on him while they were happening but once he made it through he was such a happy dog.

We were camping over the 4th this week, and had him boarded in a kennel at the destination since we planned on being gone frequently during the trip. Got a call Friday night that he had a really bad seizure. We went out to see him, and at first things seemed pretty routine other than he bit his tongue which caused a lot of blood. We brought him back to the campsite and he was unresponsive, but that wasn't unusual for him after a bad seizure. We (especially the boys) gave him a ton of love and tried to get him to snap back to normal life.

Eventually we decided to play a card game inside next to him hoping that our closeness and normal voices would help him back. It was during that game we saw him take some deep breaths, and within a minute he was gone.

Chester is the best dog I ever had and it’s hard to imagine how he won’t be the best dog I’ll ever have. I always knew deep down that eventually these seizures would take him, and assumed I’d have to make that call as his quality of life deteriorated. Ever the gentleman, he kept me from having to make that call and went on his own time.

We just got home today, and now that we're back, it's hitting us even harder as he has left a big hole in our family. This is hard to accept even when we knew it was coming. We were grateful for every seizure series he made it through and went back to “normal” for a few weeks, never knowing how long we'd have him for. He was 10 days shy of his 12th birthday. The vet at our camping destination is having him cremated and we will get the remains back. My plan if for the boys and I to build him an urn.
 
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jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,871
Northern Virginia
So sorry for your loss. It must have been extremely scary for your family to witness, but just take heart Chester was exactly where he wanted to be, beside your family so that you all got to spend time with him. I also had a dog that had seizures and it is extremely scary to witness. I had to modify many plans to accommodate him on those days. Like you said some days he bounced back quick and others not so quick. As he got older the seizures got more and longer. He only just made it to the age of 16. Sadly it was cancer that took him though.
 

Eric Webber

Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jul 7, 2018
727
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Chester was our Golden Retriever. We got him as a puppy in 2009, when my boys were 2 and 5. One of the first outings we had with him was a camping trip... back when we did tent camping. Since that time, he has gone on countless camping trips with us, most of them in our PUP. He was the best camping dog ever, never barking at other dogs, even if they barked ballistically at him. He would snooze patiently in his crate if we went on a short bike ride or other place we couldn't take him, and never bothered anyone. He would take turns snuggling up with my wife and I in our bunk, and with our two boys in theirs.

Chester has suffered from seizures for more than 4 years. Repeated vet visits could never understand them and although we tried several medications, really control them. They were always scary to watch, and seemed to get progressively more violent over time. But he would always snap out of them, sometimes quickly, sometimes after a day or so of mental fog. Then he was back to a normal, happy dog for weeks or a couple months, until the next series hit. They took a huge toll on him while they were happening but once he made it through he was such a happy dog.

We were camping over the 4th this week, and had him boarded in a kennel at the destination since we planned on being gone frequently during the trip. Got a call Friday night that he had a really bad seizure. We went out to see him, and at first things seemed pretty routine other than he bit his tongue which caused a lot of blood. We brought him back to the campsite and he was unresponsive, but that wasn't unusual for him after a bad seizure. We (especially the boys) gave him a ton of love and tried to get him to snap back to normal life.

Eventually we decided to play a card game inside next to him hoping that our closeness and normal voices would help him back. It was during that game we saw him take some deep breaths, and within a minute he was gone.

Chester is the best dog I ever had and it’s hard to imagine how he won’t be the best dog I’ll ever have. I always knew deep down that eventually these seizures would take him, and assumed I’d have to make that call as his quality of life deteriorated. Ever the gentleman, he kept me from having to make that call and went on his own time.

We just got home today, and now that we're back, it's hitting us even harder as he has left a big hole in our family. This is hard to accept even when we knew it was coming. We were grateful for every seizure series he made it through and went back to “normal” for a few weeks, never knowing how long we'd have him for. He was 10 days shy of his 12th birthday. The vet at our camping destination is having him cremated and we will get the remains back. My plan if for the boys and I to build him an urn.
Sorry for your loss. I’ve been there. Took me 5 years before I could even think of getting another pup. Now have a 2 year old golden and hopefully many happy years to come
 

Sneezer

Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
3,076
DFW, TX
Sorry for your loss. It is always hard to lose a pet. Last year was rough for us as well, my cat had congestive heart failure, she passed in my arms as we were taking her to the back for her final procedure. That was a rough one. May his memory bring you comfort.
 

kcsa75

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 9, 2013
5,934
Kansas City
I feel your pain. We had a similar experience with our dog about a year and a half ago. At the time, @nineoaks2004 posted this:

Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,786
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Chester was our Golden Retriever. We got him as a puppy in 2009, when my boys were 2 and 5. One of the first outings we had with him was a camping trip... back when we did tent camping. Since that time, he has gone on countless camping trips with us, most of them in our PUP. He was the best camping dog ever, never barking at other dogs, even if they barked ballistically at him. He would snooze patiently in his crate if we went on a short bike ride or other place we couldn't take him, and never bothered anyone. He would take turns snuggling up with my wife and I in our bunk, and with our two boys in theirs.

Chester has suffered from seizures for more than 4 years. Repeated vet visits could never understand them and although we tried several medications, really control them. They were always scary to watch, and seemed to get progressively more violent over time. But he would always snap out of them, sometimes quickly, sometimes after a day or so of mental fog. Then he was back to a normal, happy dog for weeks or a couple months, until the next series hit. They took a huge toll on him while they were happening but once he made it through he was such a happy dog.

We were camping over the 4th this week, and had him boarded in a kennel at the destination since we planned on being gone frequently during the trip. Got a call Friday night that he had a really bad seizure. We went out to see him, and at first things seemed pretty routine other than he bit his tongue which caused a lot of blood. We brought him back to the campsite and he was unresponsive, but that wasn't unusual for him after a bad seizure. We (especially the boys) gave him a ton of love and tried to get him to snap back to normal life.

Eventually we decided to play a card game inside next to him hoping that our closeness and normal voices would help him back. It was during that game we saw him take some deep breaths, and within a minute he was gone.

Chester is the best dog I ever had and it’s hard to imagine how he won’t be the best dog I’ll ever have. I always knew deep down that eventually these seizures would take him, and assumed I’d have to make that call as his quality of life deteriorated. Ever the gentleman, he kept me from having to make that call and went on his own time.

We just got home today, and now that we're back, it's hitting us even harder as he has left a big hole in our family. This is hard to accept even when we knew it was coming. We were grateful for every seizure series he made it through and went back to “normal” for a few weeks, never knowing how long we'd have him for. He was 10 days shy of his 12th birthday. The vet at our camping destination is having him cremated and we will get the remains back. My plan if for the boys and I to build him an urn.
My condolences to you and the family..As somebody who has 2 tattoos of my dogs i have lost i know how much they mean to some of us.
Hang in there and remember Chester loved you like no other and vice versa and that is one of the most special things that happen.
 

djmello99

Active Member
Feb 19, 2013
138
Anthem, AZ
So sorry to hear about your beloved pet. I lost my bulldog on 6/4 just one month before his 6th birthday. I miss him everyday.
 

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strangiato

Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jul 22, 2020
155
Aston, PA
I'm so sorry for your loss. Pets really become a full-fledged member of the family, so it is just as hard to lose them. Prayers of comfort for you and your family.
 

Slowhandmike

New Member
Jul 23, 2020
4
So sorry for your loss. Our Sophie (3 year old Golden girl) got us through the social distancing of the last year and probably saved our marriage. I understand how goldens get into your heart and life. Sophie is a good camping dog but unfortunately not a good car riding dog so get’s left with friends on longer trips. Best wishes for good recovery and good reminiscing.
 

jonkquil

Super Active Member
Jul 20, 2009
891
How very sad for you all, but somehow lovely to hear his last breath was with you all, calm, peaceful & camping.

I am very sorry for you & your families loss.
 

TG2020

Member
Aug 19, 2020
58
Efland, NC
Really sorry to hear of your loss. Dogs have a very special place in our lives. I wish you strength and peace at this tough time.
 

Michael J

Active Member
Aug 9, 2018
201
Michigan
The wife and I feel your pain, Sorry to hear about your loss losing a fur child leaves such a huge hole in your life when they are such a big part of your life. Our Shelby was lost to us last year and our camping trips are still ruff even after taking on another great rescue as she was, our fur child would sit on the bench seat waiting for us to get breakfast done so we could all eat she loved her pancakes too!
 

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