Most times we are very happy when we can rescue a bulldog from neglectful or dangerous circumstances and place them in forever homes as happy, healthy pampered pets. Along with those good times, there are some so sad that it nearly brings us to our knees.
GEBR was contacted last month by a family in Alabama who was considering surrendering their 4.5 year old male because his owner was suffering from a serious and incurable illness. As his momma’s medical condition deteriorated, Lewey’s emotional health deteriorated. Every time mom was taken to the hospital, Lewey was having panic attacks, so bad that he was requiring medication for stress relief. Mom had become completely debilitated and the family was having a difficult time caring for her and taking care of Lewey’s emotional needs. After much soul searching they decided it would be best to re home Lewey into a more stable environment. This is not the usual owner surrender story…this family loved Lewey more than themselves. He was provided with the best possible care and was a much loved family member.
After much consultation and plan was formulated to get Lewey to Atlanta with as little stress as possible. A lot of thought was put into making this transition as seamless as possible. On 8/11, Lewey was transported by his family to the GA/AL line. He was then transported to his calm, quiet foster home with another bulldog to keep him company (he seemed to have less stress with another dog around), and a member of the foster family home much of the time to provide Lewey with a sense of security. Lewey did well. He tolerated the transport and the introduction to his foster home and new foster sister like a champ. He even felt comfortable enough to explore outside with his foster sister for a short time.
Foster dad left Lewey for a short period to pick up a treadmill they had purchased (Lewey’s only form of exercise since mom had fallen ill) to help make his transition even smoother. When foster dad arrived home a short time later, he found that Lewey had crossed the bridge.
Without going into too much detail, Lewey didn’t appear to have suffered. He simply laid down and went to sleep.
He was transported to UGA for a necropsy: preliminary results show that Lewey had a massively enlarged soft palate and a very small trachea. When he laid down, the palate flopped down over the trachea and blocked his airway, resulting in his death. There was no indication during activity that he had breathing issues and the family was unaware that he had any palate issues, eventhough he had 2 surgeries for other reasons since 2/2012.
Words simply cannot express the sorrow we feel for Lewey’s family, our hearts are with them during this tragic time.
Lewey, words can’t express the pain we feel or the hole left in our hearts.
We truly thought we were doing the right thing and are so very sorry. We
miss your wiggle, your heavy head in our laps, your digging in every bag we
brought home for your “present,” your talking during meals, the snoring,
and especially your sweet, “sugar smacks.” We miss everything about you! We
hope you are playing in a field of flowers in the company of other bullies
and plenty of your favorite stuffed ducks. May you be there waiting for us
under an oak tree, when we cross over to the other side. Your mommy will
look for you when she gets there. You will always be our best friend, the
love of our life, and we’ll carry you in our hearts wherever we may go.
Thank-you for the joy you brought to each and every day we shared!