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My wife, daughter and I are heartbroken at the unexpected passing of our beloved family member, Comet (I'm hoping the photo will show in this thread).

We got him in 2010 when my daughter was 11. We had a family cat, but for some reason the cat ("Mr. Cuddles") seemed to bond more with me and just didn't give my daughter the kind of relationship she wanted. Of course, I wanted a "manly" dog (lab, retreiver, bulldog, boxer) but we live in a condo, and after doing a lot of research on our living space and what we were looking for, the result that kept coming back was that we should get a Papillon. I had never really heard of that breed. My first thought was that we should go through a rescue shelter. We talked to some friends and neighbors in the area and they had all had bad experiences with the shelters in our area. So we ended up looking for Pap breeders. My daughter found one online and fell in love with the picture of him. He was only a few weeks old and we had to wait until he was weaned from his mother. We met him and picked him up in December 2010.

Anyone who has had a beloved dog (or cat) knows how they work their way into your heart and become a member of the family. At the very least, Comet should have lived until he was 15. On Tuesday night, after dinner and a walk, he started throwing up. We just thought he had an upset stomach. We kept an eye on him, but when he started breathing strangely, we rushed him to a nearby Vet Emergency hospital.

Long story short, he was experiencing heart failure. They put him in a clear plexiglass oxygen crate and the vet said they would try to stabilize him. She said that even if she stabilized him, it was a progressive disease and he would need regular medication. We had been there from about 10pm until a bit after midnight and because he was in the equivalent of an ICU, they told us we could go home and they would call us and update us with his progress. I had a bad feeling about it and I made sure that my wife and I could go see him and say goodbye in case he did not make it. My wife was so hopeful that they could stabilize him, but I could read the vet's face and knew that he was in serious trouble. We saw him, then went home. About an hour later, the vet called and said he was really struggling. He had an enlarged heart and his lungs had partially filled with fluid. They were still trying to stabilize him and get the fluid out of his little lungs, but she reported that he had started having seizures. Did we want to come in and then have him put to sleep? Or she said they could try sedating him to calm the seizures and make him more comfortable. My wife thought he could still be saved so we opted for sedation. The danger was that he could pass on while sedated, but we took that chance. Ten or fifteen minutes later the vet called to say that his heart had stopped and he was gone. This was around 2:30 am, Wednesday morning.

We went back to the vet to see his body, say goodbye, and arrange for cremation and paw prints. I'm glad we did, but it was very very hard to see his still little body.

My daughter had Comet from the time she was 11 years old. He was like her best friend and had comforted her through the difficult dramas of her teenage years and young adulthood (she's 23 now). She was at the apartment she shares with a roommate so there was no time for her to get to our house or to the vet. It's probably just as well, I'm not sure she could handle having seen him go through all of that.

Comet was such a bouncy, happy little guy, with a bunch of crazy idiosyncrasies, and a loving disposition. He had his little different ways of relating to each one of us. My wife had always been more of a cat person, but he just burrowed his way into her he did with each one of us.

I'm 68 years old. I've been through, and seen, a lot of death. I was at my dad's bedside when he passed. I was at my mother's bedside when she passed. I've attended the funerals of two very close friends. When we lived in San Diego, I buried two beloved cats. Maybe this sounds terrible to admit, but I have never ever been through the kind of grief and pain I feel over losing Comet. Something about his innocence and unconditional love, his bouncy larger than life personality, and how happy the simplest things could make him. We still have our cat, Mr. Cuddles, (my daughter named him when she was 7), and it is heartbreaking to see him wandering around looking for Comet. They used to occasionally chase after each other, and when we would throw toys for Comet to chase after, Cuddles would often lie in wait and then spring at Comet, something Comet absolutely loved.

So, our dear beloved friend, we love you, we miss you, our hearts ache for your presence, and you will always, always have a special place in our hearts and our lives.

Dog Carnivore Dog breed Companion dog Whiskers
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