Yesterday on the 14th June my nan lost her very special English Springer Spaniel to cancer at the age of 11 years. Although not my dog, I grew up going to dog shows with him and spent a lot of time walking him. One of my favourite memories was when we were at a flyball competition in Wales. Fudge never did flyball, and I was desperate to go to the beach. I didn’t have my own dogs at this point (Ernie was still a small puppy so he stayed at home) and so I took Fudge to the beach with some friends. Unfortunately he wasn’t very well behaved… he had to be on the long line and refused to come in the sea with me ;). But it was just me and him, and it sure is a very very special memory.
Fudge was born 3 doors down from my nans house. The mum had a huge litter of puppies, too many for her to handle, so my nan was the other mum and took care of half the puppies while the mum took care of the other half, and then they swapped over. My nan used to breed Boxers which is why she was given the job. The breeder let her keep one of the puppies as a thankyou, and so Fudge joined her family. He was never much into flyball, but loved agility. I ran him in agility a few times and have the rosettes to prove it :). He sure was fun to run, he never really competed in proper shows as we were always at flyball but he did the flyball fun agility runs and loved it. He even competed in a fun obedience competition at a fun dog show… and held his stays!
He loved the beach, he loved the sea and he loved chasing birds. He loved camping, he loved going to dog shows and he just loved life. He was very confident for a Springer, was friendly with absolutely everyone. He would bark when worried by things, but hey he was a Springer ;). He was just so laid back, never barked when waiting to get out the car/van… he was a very special boy. One of his favourite tricks was that he loved to steal things, I remember when staying at my nans I’d reguarly lose shoes, socks etc. and Fudge would always have them ;). Even the remote control would go missing on a regular basis. Then afterwards his favourite game was for you to chase him.
Last year he developed a lump on his side. My mums Basset has a lump, this is definitely a fatty lump and when me and my mum were looking at Fudge’s we could just tell it was different. This was at Christmas. In April/May the lump suddenly moved and Fudge was clearly uncomfortable so my nan took him to the vets. The vets weren’t sure what it was exactily so drained it and took a biopsy before sending him home. Unfortunately that evening he started bleeding and it just wouldn’t stop, so he was rushed back to the vets where he spent the night. About a week later the lump was removed after the biopsy came back non-conclusive. If it was cancerous, my nan had said not to wake him from the op. Unfortunately there was a bit of confusion regarding the op, and afterwards they were still no wiser as to what it was. Finally after more tests it was cancerous, and due to the bleeding it had spread to the blood. After that the kindest thing to do was to just let him live each day until he can’t.
During this time I looked after him often while my nan was at work. He was such a happy boy, loved seeing me, and my dogs certainly loved him too. I’m so glad I was around to help out, and I’m so glad I got to spend some final time with him. He was constantly jumping on my lap for cuddles, and got very over-excited on one of my visits and was bouncing around :). Unfortunately, there were drops of blood everywhere and my jacket came home with a large splodge of blood :(. But he was happy. The painkillers kept the pain away. He was a smiley spaniel.
He had a few weeks of just being a normal dog. He went for walks along the beach, and everything was normal. Yesterday completely out of the blue I recieved a text while working that he had been put to sleep. Unfortunately early yesterday the bleeding had started again. So my nan took him for one final walk along the beach before taking him to the vets. The cause of the bleeding was that the cancer was attacking the muscle and basically there was nothing to stop it. My nan had 2 options, either to have the lump removed again and bandage him up or put him to sleep. She couldn’t face putting him through more operations when in fact it wasn’t going to help him.
He was such a special boy. I will miss him, even though he wasn’t my dog he certainly touched my heart and left a mark. My nan is absolutely devastated as he was particuarly special to her. He had a wonderful life going for long walks and travelling around the dog shows. Now he can steal all the slippers, socks, shoes and remote controls he likes :).
RIP Fudge until we meet again.