Sunday, November 29, 2009


Its been a difficult Thanksgiving Holiday for the Clare family. Jonas was diagnosed with Mitrol Valve Insufficiency on Wednesday. On Friday morning he was put to sleep. We miss him terribly.

We only had Jonas with us for 8 months but in that short time he filled our lives with joy. He added a warmth and vibrancy to our lives that we hadn't experienced before.

Jonas wasn't too fond of other dogs but he adored all people. If Jonathan or I were sitting down Jonas felt that he should be in our laps. If our faces were in striking distance he would stretch himself until he could lick our noses. If he couldn't lick a nose he would lick the air. In fact, his air licking tendencies would have made any obsessive compulsive proud.

Second only to his love for nose licking was his love for food. Peanut butter and french fries and banana bread were his particular favorites. He also enjoyed licking out our yogurt cups and would often have a yogurt ring around his muzzle. In his last few months as he felt more secure in his role he believed certain food scraps belonged to him. He would sit and huff until we gave him his due. What a character!

On Tuesday evening, he was breathing heavily and didn't want to eat his dinner. We got him to eat part of it but could tell he wasn't feeling well. We decided to call the vet first thing in the morning. We took him in on Wednesday morning and after some testing were told that he had Mitrol Valve Insufficiency. The Vet was able to show me the current x-ray compared to the one taken 8 months early. His heart was visibly larger than it had been. His enlarged heart was pressing on his trachea and making it difficult for him to breathe. As a complication he also had fluid in his lungs. The Vet gave us 3 different medications and sent Jonas home. The prognosis was decent. The Vet figured that with medication Jonas would have about 2-3 years.

Unfortunately, the medication did not help as the Vet had hoped. Jonas got progressively worse Thanksgiving Day. His breathing became more and more labored, he stopped eating and going to the bathroom. We wanted to give the medication time to kick in but we knew he wasn't improving. At midnight we took him to the emergency animal hospital. He was put into an oxygen chamber to ease his breathing and given medicine intravenously. We still hoped that he would bounce back. On Friday morning the animal ER explained that Jonas' heart was just too worn out. They said that they could keep him alive for a couple weeks but recommended euthanizing Jonas to relieve his struggling.

Jonathan couldn't bare to be there. (Jonas was his special buddy.) I went to the animal hospital to say goodbye. Even though he was so sick he stood up and wagged his tail when he saw me. I took him out of the oxygen chamber and held him for a few minutes. He licked my nose at first but then had to concentrate on breathing. He was so tired. I got to hold him as the Vet injected him and he put his head down on my leg. I held him and told him what a good dog he was and he was gone.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving I want to say how grateful we are for Jonas and the time we had with him. Our house is feeling pretty empty without him.


Andy, Beth and Jennah, too! said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. We didn't have a chance to meet Jonas, but obviously he was a special beloved family member. We'll keep your cute family in our thoughts and prayers.

stina said...

Oh no! I am so sorry to hear about this. Its so hard to let pets go. We've been thinking of you guys all weekend and we keep saying we better call you for Thanksgiving and Birthdays. Now I really wish we'd called a few days ago. Love you guys!

Melanie said...

I'm so very sorry, I know how it feels to lose a pet that you feel was truly meant to be yours for the time they were there. If it brings additional comfort, I truly think they still watch over us. :) Plus, think about how fantastic the yogurt must be where he is now! Thinking of you!

Doug & April said...

I'm sorry you guys! I'm glad he brought so much joy to your home for the short time you had him.