Saying Goodbye to Vince

When I got Vince someone told me: you know you signed up for delay heartbreak. While true, I thought I’d have longer than 4 years before my heart would be broken. House Train a French Bulldog

Vince was and will be dog of my life ⁣

On September 28, 2020 Vince had an MRI and spinal to figure out why he continued to have seizures while on an anti-seizure medication. The MRI showed he had a significant abnormality (tumor) in the brain. Unfortunately, he didn’t come out of the sedative. I stood there watching as they administered the last drug to euthanatize Vince. ⁣

A Healthy French Bulldog

Shortly, after his 4-year check up where the vet said he was the best looking and healthy French Bulldog she had seen, he began to slow down. He took more naps, he seemed completely fine with not sitting outside, and he didn’t want to walk. That wasn’t like him.

I took him to the vet for another check in case it was something related to his vaccines. The vet didn’t find anything unusual in his bloodwork. They thought his balance was off because he leaned on everyone’s legs.

I wrote that off as his thing he does to get attention, because it works! He learned early on at the dog park, if he leaned on people’s legs, they would bend over and give him scratches.

Canine Seizures

A couple days later in the middle of the night, I felt the bed vibrating and when I woke up, I realized Vince was having a seizure. I took Vince back to our vet who kept him for the day and said maybe it was a one-off thing and if he had another than we could discuss medication.

Saturday, I took Vince to my parents to visit because my sister was in town. My niece and nephew were sitting on the ground with me and Vince was pacing around us oddly when I said to my sister, he’s going to have another seizure.

Once he came to, my sister drove us to the ER vet and they kept him overnight. He had a few more short seizures, but he was reacting fine to the meds they gave him so he was sent home with an anti-seizure med to be given every 8 hours.

My Biggest Regret

My work schedule was hectic in that this was my first year as a manager for a department that never stops working. Also, I knew an employee was retiring and we had a hiring freeze, so if work that needed to be done it was ultimately on me to do it or figure out how to delegate it. Despite always stressing to others to take care of family first, I still didn’t feel I could ask for time off.

I completely regret that ever I put work before Vince.

While this was a tough way to learn that I need to always put myself and my family first, it is forever marked on my heart.

Vince’s Last Week

While I felt pressure to work in what turned out to be his last week, Vince wasn’t alone. He spent his days at my parents house so they could help me administer his anti-seizure medication on a strict schedule.

He would wake for his meals and meds, but he mostly slept. And I attributed this to him getting used to his new normal. He had several seizures over the last week which probably rocked his world.

The first couple of days on the anti-seizure meds, he didn’t seem to improve that much. It was a rough time. I scheduled an appointment with the neurologist at MedVet Cincinnati for Monday, September 28.

It never occurred to me when I was standing in the parking lot that morning waiting for a tech to get him, that it would be the last time I would hold him.

Looking back, Vince gave me plenty of hints, like the day I thought he was back to his usual self and visiting every neighbor’s front stoop, was his way of saying goodbye.

Brain Tumor – Cancer

When the ER vet called to say that Vince’s MRI went fine, she saw he had a brain tumor or glioma which french bulldogs, boxers and Boston Terriers are predisposed to, and he should start coming out of the sedative, I didn’t realize she basically saying we did all we can for him.

She ended the call, then called back a few minutes later asking if I gave permission to make Vince a do not resuscitate because based on his vitals, it was a zero percent chance he would come out of the sedative.

I knew there were COVID precautions and I assumed I wouldn’t get to see Vince, but I asked any way. While it was hard to see him on the exam table and difficult to have to agree to euthanatize him, I’m glad I was able to be next to Vince one last time.

My Community

For two weeks prior to Vince’s passing, I was dealing with his health quietly. I knew if I posted to Instagram or Facebook, people could send positive energy our way, but I also knew as a curious person that people would have more questions than I would have answers. All I knew is that Vince wasn’t himself and exams by his vet couldn’t say why.

I did share to Instagram Stories and made a highlight because I thought I might want to reflect on it later since I knew it would take me a while to make a post here. It all feels so final.

I owe so much gratitude to the frenchie owners I’ve connected with via Instagram. Over the years, people have said to me, “I don’t get the whole having a dog on Instagram.” I always said to myself, I guess it’s not yours to get. But those dog owners on Instagram, the ones who rallied around me, sent condolences, and took up a fund to help pay Vince’s vet bills, get it. They get me and I’m forever grateful for their generosity.

With Vince’s passing, I now understand why he moved so fast, he had a lot of ground to cover in a short time. He lived a very good, albeit short life. ⁣

Zoom zoom Vince 🌈

His Legacy

I continue to share some photos and videos of Vince on Instagram and Facebook, but I’ve also had to take time away for my own mental health. 2020 was a year unlike any other and to lose Vince before Halloween and Christmas, which were two big sources of creative inspiration just stung.

I am still deciding what I’ll do with this space, but I think I’ll continue with topics related to being a French Bulldog owner who shared her pup on social media.

As for if or when I’ll be a dog owner again, remains to be seen. I understand genetics and predisposition to things like cancer, but no one thinks it will be their dog. The loss of Vince was tremendous and I have not been able to convince myself to jump back in for another dose of delayed heart break.

Vincecincy on the patio

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15 Comment

  1. Reply
    Janine Ruth Baggule
    January 23, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    What a wonderful legacy and visual story to share with others who are going through the all too familiar heartbreak of paw-loss. You have in the back of your mind that you may not have the longevity that other breeds have but the joy, adventure and personality brought by a Frenchie is what makes us take the risk. We lost Pacho unexpectedly to a severe seizure in October 2022 at 5 years old. A MRI diagnosed a nasty and large glioma which he would likely not have much quality of life even if treatment was commenced. Dogs leave us for the the rainbow bridge but they also live and its our shared moments they teach us all important lessons, most important to love, give and be thankful for our blessings. Their ways really do teach us how to be good humans so taking in Wallace, a 10 month old Frenchie whose owners couldn’t cope seemed the right thing to do and a spiritual message to keep our hearts and arms open, remember once the pain lessens and to make new memories.

  2. Reply
    May 27, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Thank you for sharing Vince’s journey. Magnolia is the 5th dog we have brought into our home over the past 36 years. She was the hardest to bring in. We lost our Maltipoo Sugar way too young on New Years Day 2021. She very suddenly, while at the groomer on 12/21 presented with bruising. By 6pm that night she was at a critical care hosp and diagnosed with ITP auto immune disease. She fought hard for a week (was in the hosp over Christmas … as if 2020 didnt suck enough!) She was guardedly getting better but after 4 days at home we had to say goodbye. She was 8. She would have been 9 earlier this week. You cant let the fear of disease keep you from opening your heart again. Its all about the quality of their life and not the quantity. I live in fear everyday over the predisposed illness dominant in French bulldogs but Magnolia is thriving and we live each day in the moment. That is the legacy Sugar, like Vince, leaves us with. Happy Birthday Vince! I hope you and Sugar have met!

  3. […] Vince passed away in September 2020 so I stopped posting […]

  4. Reply
    Tracey D. McCullough
    January 12, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    Vince was everybody’s pup because you shared his life with us willingly, creatively, and lovingly. I have a hole in my heart for that sweet baby and I am unable to fathom the gigantic hole in your mama’s heart.

    I will always have my Vinnie Pin hanging in my car to remind me of his gentle spirit. Love you so much, Andrea, I wish I could take your pain away.

  5. Reply
    January 12, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    I love you friend.

  6. Reply
    Marsha Fitzgerald
    January 12, 2021 at 7:27 am

    Andrea, I have no words other than to say we all “hug” our babies a little more often because we worry one day that heartbreak will be ours. Most people don’t understand the depth of our love for our pets but having ALWAYS had a pup in my life, I think you’ll find the following are true:
    1) Vince will have created a love between the two of you that you can’t be replaced or recreated
    2) Vince also created a space in your heart to hold a special “love” for a dog. Even though he’s left you, he gave you a gift- room for another pup to love.
    3) The loss of our pet is the price we pay for the devotion and love they gave us. Would you ever have turned your back on those 4 yrs with Vince? Of course not – he taught you to love.
    4) To me, the loss hurts almost as much as losing a child. Grieve, Andrea
    And then open your heart again and take the risk of loving again.

  7. Reply
    Amy and Mayor Wilbur
    January 12, 2021 at 5:12 am

    Thank you for the ugly cry..thank you for sharing Vince with the world..thank you for the photos, videos, tutorial, the little snips of time, and thank you for the inspiration. Thank you for the reminder of what’s important in life. You are a beautiful person..

  8. Reply
    Norma Rebholz
    January 12, 2021 at 3:53 am

    Thank you for sharing! Your story, as painful as it must be. I lost my fur baby three years ago, and it still hurts. I loved seeing Vince’s photos! He brought so much joy to so many in such a short time. Bless you for sharing him with us.

  9. Reply
    Kasey and Co.
    January 12, 2021 at 2:14 am

    I’m so sorry you went through this. Ellie still talks about Vince sometimes when we see pictures of frenchies on the Internet, and since the sudden loss of Neville she likes to think they are playing together in the big dog park in the sky.

    I know I am not ready for another dog, and after my senior dogs pass (they are so old- I’m just begging Bilbo to make it through the winter) I still don’t know if I will be ready for a puppy. You have to do what is right for you.

    I absolutely love that you shared Vince with all of us. Love and light to you. ❤️

  10. Reply
    Jen (Monchichi525)
    January 12, 2021 at 12:57 am

    Hi Andi, thanks for sharing the details of those last few weeks. I have lost a pup years ago right before he turned 1, so I totally understand the heartbreak and the self-doubts and all the “what-if’s” you are experiencing. Thx for the Vince card and sticker and I get to look at him everyday when I go to my fridge. He was very fortunate to have you as his mom – and your unconditional love undoubtedly had made his short life on this planet full of joy and adventure. I do agree when it comes to work/life balance, sometimes it does take a life changing event like this for one to realize how we should prioritize our life (for me i learnt that lesson when I went thru something similar but with my mom). Life is an experience and they come with ups and down. I am hoping the frenchie community will help you heal, know that you and Vince will always be loved and treasured. As for when / whether you will be ready for another frenchie, no need to rush it. Your heart will tell you when you are ready or not. And when you do, it also doesn’t mean you are replacing Vince. Vince will always be Vince and there is no substitute to that. Take care!

  11. Reply
    January 11, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience. ❤️

  12. Reply
    April Stel
    January 11, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    We lost our boy Odin to seizures. He and his brother turned a year old on April 18th and the next day he had his first seizure. We did what we could to stop them but he passed away in my arms the morning of August 2nd. You never think you will lose your pup at 16 months. I was heartbroken and completely shattered. But I knew I had two other pups to care for. My oldest Freya was very close to Odin. She was 9 months old when I bought this little 8 week old boy home. His brother Aniken came when they are 5 months old. As a foster. We never intended to keep Aniken but fell in love with his quirky little personality. And I thank God we did. Aniken has become my rock. And has actually produced some beautiful litters for us and others as a stud. And every once in a while, he produces a puppy that looks like Odin. So he lives on.

  13. Reply
    January 11, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity, while short, to meet Vince prior to his passing. He’s a true inspiration! Losing my girl unexpectedly at 3 years young, your pain is all too real. Sending prayers and love to you, Andi!!💛🙏🏼💕

  14. Reply
    Juan m.
    January 11, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    I’m so sorry for your lost.. I can’t imagine what it feels like… we love our frenchie Benjamin… hope your heart heals soon… ❤

  15. Reply
    Charlie & Family
    January 11, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Sending all our love ❤️ Vince is very missed and our hearts break for you that you had to go through this.

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