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.
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.
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.
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 🌈
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.