Ervin's Golden Apollo
On Friday, October 26, Apollo had dinner at 8:00 pm. At 10:00, while checking on a couple of our girls, Jim discovered Apollo in distress with a very distended middle. We rushed him to the veterinary emergency hospital where he was diagnosed with Bloat. This condition can happen in large, barrel-chested dogs. For whatever reason, gas begins to build in the stomach and intestine. This can lead to the intestine twisting upon itself. In severe cases, bloat can progress to the stomach rotating and cutting off circulation to the organs (stomach, small and large intestines). In surgery, the surgeon discovered that Apollo's stomach had rotated a full 360 degrees and had indeed cut off circulation to his digestive organs. Once she straightened everything out, the color of the organs did come back and she hoped that Apollo would recover.
Despite three days of recuperating with some ups and downs in his condition, he became very ill. It was now evident that the damage had already been done prior to his surgery. Another surgery was planned for early Tuesday morning to try and save Apollo's life, even though the chances were very slim, however at 1:20 am, September 30, 2008, Apollo's heart just couldn't hold on anymore.
Some of you have already heard the story of Apollo's acquisition. Jim's parents owned several labs and had purchased one from a breeder in Oklahoma. While on a visit, the breeder informed us that they had one puppy left out of a litter and needed to find him a home before they moved. Jim's parents wanted us to come along to look at him. Janet told Jim in the car, "Now Jim, we are not buying a dog! We are just going to look at him." The only dogs Jim and Janet had ever owned were given to them and were not purebred. Well, Apollo went right up to Janet and jumped in her lap. "We'll take him!", she said. And that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Apollo was an amazing canine child! He always stayed close and never tried to run when he got loose. He was extremely intelligent and very loving. We had two indoor cats and they tolerated the dogs, somewhat. One of them slipped outside without our noticing and spent the night in the back yard with the dogs! We found her the next morning cuddled up to Apollo. He apparently kept her warm during the night despite the scratches he endured in the past. When anyone in the family was sick, Apollo wanted to be right beside them. He didn't want attention, he just wanted to keep us company. When we were sad, he was sad. When we were happy, he was happy. He'd let us know with his "helicopter tail". He didn't wag his tail from side to side. It would go around in a circle like a helicopter blade!
Apollo wasn't the most beautiful dog in the world (darn close to it though). He also wasn't a winning field champion (but he could have if we would have trained him). Apollo was just the most amazing, beautiful, pet, and friend that anyone in the world could every hope to know.
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