Saturday, 20 September 2014

Farewell my dear old friend...

Love you Hinks, you will be sorely missed
 A few days to reflect... It's not often I write negative posts here upon my blog. I mean sure bad stuff does happen in my life, just like everyone else's.But why write lots of maudlin crap and then get everyone feeling down, all teary eyed and feeling sorry for one another. So this blog (which I wasn't sure if I was going to write) is more a celebration of life, rather than the very sad fact I've lost a close friend.

The last good few months have been pretty unhappy ones for all of us here at the Johnstone residence, based on the fact that Mr Hink's hasn't been at all well. A little while ago we noticed he had a swollen face, this progressed to swelling around his neck and throat, as well as his chest and he became awfully lethargic.

Upon taking him to our veterinary surgery Mr Hink's was given a shot and put on both anti-biotics and steroids. This wasn't good I mean he was already on water tablets for an enlarged heart something he was diagnosed with roughly 2 years ago.

Anyhoo we brought Hink's home and over the next few weeks he was back and forth to the vets, he seemed to pick up at one point and we thought everything would be fine. Then his neck became swollen again and it was another trip down to the vets where they took a blood sample. After a week we had to go back and it came back that Mr Hink's could potentially have lymphoma. We were given more tablets and just asked to keep an eye out to make sure he wasn't getting any worse.

Mr Hink's became a little more like him old self for a while and the swelling subsided to just a couple of large marble sized lumps in his neck. He still had a good appetite and would constantly greed, would wag his tail on greeting us and even decided to go out and dig a few holes in our already wrecked lawn then come into the house proud at his efforts and showing off his dirty face and leaving a muddy trail throughout the house, like I say he appeared to be back to his mischievous best. Some things had changed of course, his habit of howling at the doorbell or ambulance,police or fire engine was still there,however his voice was now much deeper and he couldn't maintain a full howl. He didn't play as much with his toys, like run and fetch and though he still enjoyed a walk, didn't like going as far.

Upon coming home from work around 3 weeks ago, my dad was at our back gates, a stern look upon his face. I pulled up to our house and as I parked up and got out my dad told me Mr Hink's had had an accident. My dad went on to say that he had found  Hink's at the bottom of our stairs holding his back leg up and resting against the wall. It appears he had somehow hurt himself whilst coming downstairs. Ern thinks that he had slipped at the bottom of our stairs on the new wooden flooring we have just recently had put down, his front legs sliding out and the leg he hurt being jarred really badly. Yet another immediate trip to the vets. Once there the vet examined poor Mr Hink's and the news wasn't good, he would need an x-ray the following day. We were given some pain killers and an appointment and took Hink's back home, making a nice soft bed for him in our living room right next to the sofa. My dad slept downstairs that night with Hink's as you could tell he was afraid and in a lot of pain.

I've been a very bad boy
The day of the x-ray arrived, it was 10:30am. We had to leave Hink's at the vets and it was a very stressful day waiting for the phone to ring telling us we could go down to pick him up. At around 16:30pm we got the call and off we went don to get the news of what was wrong with our bully boy. The vet explained there was nothing broken, however Mr Hink's had seriously injured his back leg. There wasn't a great deal of detail in what was going on, we were asked to return a week later and see how he was getting on. 

Well what a nightmare week, poor Mr Hink's couldn't put his leg down, he was now terrified of the slippery floor as he tried either tip toeing on 3 legs or else scooting as fast as he could to get to the safety of his crate under our stairs or on the bed he had in our living room. You could tell he was in constant pain and his lymph nodes where starting to appear again.

 Back to the vets yet again and this is where we saw a new vet who upon examination of Hink's immediately said "he is going to require surgery to fix this leg". This was a bit of a shock. I mean I knew it had been badly injured I just wasn't sure to what extent. I just thought Hink's required much needed rest and peace and quiet and his leg would come right. Anyhoo I'm no vet, but as far as I can understand Hink's knee had come out of place and was no longer sliding up and down freely, it had been torn and was stuck, causing him lots of what must have been excruciating pain. He was a really good boy at the vets when being examined, however did give a low warning growl as the vet checked him out, his way of saying "yeah that's the spot, ok that's enough, get your hands off please, we all know it's not working". Just then the other vet I had been seeing came in and we all had a further chat. He explained that the surgery required was very extensive and that they wouldn't even attempt it at their surgery. Not only that there was no guarantees it would fix Mr Hink's or that he would make it through the surgery I mean remember his dodgy ticker. Also the whole procedure would be very expensive a guesstimate for the cost of the surgery was around £1500, money I just didn't have access to at the time. The vet went on to explain that many dogs get along quite well with just 3 legs and that Mr Hink's could possibly be one of those dogs. So we decided to take him home and think through our options.
I had no problems about having a disabled dog. I mean Mr Hink's was family and you don't just get rid of someone because they suffer an illness or a disability. 

We would look after him and offer him all our love and continue to make his life a happy one. That Tuesday night however was a hellish one for poor Hink's he panted all night from coming home from the vets right through to the next day. His glands were right up and he just didn't know where to put himself. At around one in the morning I got up as I could hear him whimpering down stairs in his crate. I just sat outside his crate and he pulled himself out, hopped over to me and tucked his head under my arm, then  pushed himself as far as he could onto my lap. It was obvious he was frightened, in pain and just wanted a cuddle and someone to be with him. After a while Ern got up and he decided he would sleep down on the floor with Hink's and he took over looking after him as I had work in the morning.

Wednesday morning all I could do was think of my poor lad. I knew in my heart today was going to be the day I would have to say my final farewell to one of my best friends. Loads of stuff was going through my head, the majority of which was guilt, the fact I was deciding Hink's fate and playing god in his life. But I simply couldn't bare to see him suffer and be so miserable. So upon getting back home I talked through my thoughts with both my dad and wor Kyle and with heavy hearts we all agreed, it was for the best.

Yay lets roll down the hill
I rang our vets and made the appointment, with a lump in my throat and a slightly choked voice, 2:00pm. We had an hour to wait. An hour to say goodbye and pet and stoke our beloved companion and tell him what a good boy he had been and how much we all loved him. One of the best bits about Mr Hink's was his expressions. With him having a patch above his left eye it always looked as if he was either intently listening or just plain bored with your crap conversation. Today he just looked on as if he knew his fate, yet didn't judge us on our decision. Really he was just one sad pup. A very slow ride down to our vets in Lanchester and well the rest is as you can imagine a very traumatic experience and still a very raw one.
 WoW I've had some laughs with Mr Hink's... Here's just a few memories I can recall...

Coming back from hospital after just having my leg amputated. Mr Hink's was around 5 months old and very excited to see his da, after all I had been missing for a few days. As I hopped in towards our back door on elbow crutches Mr Hink's thought it would be a good idea to get behind me, trip me up and help me fall, arse first into a huge full bucket of water. There I was sitting in the bucket with this mad bull terrier jumping all over me excited I was home.

Is it on,Is it on???
 Hink's used to have typical bully mad half hours where he would run as fast as he could all around our house spinning and jumping and knocking over anything that was in his way. My friend Lee was over on one of these days and Hink's got soooo excited so much so he ran at Lee who was sitting on our couch, Hink's flew towards Lee who had to duck and Mr Hink's  shot over the back of our couch hit the wall and fell down the back of the couch.

Learning that actually it was quite good fun to howl at the police sirens when someone was playing Grand Theft Auto and then realising hold on we live on the main road to Durham and there is an ambulance which goes up and down everyday, lets Howl at that when it passes and why not chuck in the doorbell every time it rings.

Chasing and playing with my dad while he was on his bike what a great day
One of Hink's favourite games get filthy then get Ern to rub down, worked everytime

Deciding that around the same time each evening, it was time to run outside and scare off any intruders, even if there wasn't any about and bark my head off.

Helping with the gardening. Wait until Ern puts all the new bedding plants in then go and dig them all up again.Plus digging huge holes at random places in the lawn, wait for someone to fill them in and then go do it all over again.

The tripping people up and untying their laces game. As you used to walk Hink's took great fun in gently biting your shoe laces and undoing them.
The stick your tongue in anyone's belly button or ear game, oh and as my friend Essi will tell you, the bite the end of a tit game, well bite sounds such a harsh explanation, yet nibble sounds a bit perverse...Yeah lets just say bite.

Stand at the door, right at the door don't let anyone out, unless it's me first as I want to go for a ride in the car. Once at the car pretend I can't jump and get Ern to lift me into the back of the car, that Ern is such a push over, for years I managed to get him to lift me into the back of our car. You know how I discovered Mr Hink's could get in himself, nope not food or treats. I used a ash tray that used to make a coughing sound. Mr Hink's used to go bonkers when he heard it and i placed it in the back of the car and started it coughing, he jumped straight in and gave away his little secret that "actually I can jump I just choose not too".

See I could jump when I wanted too
 Loads more memories that keep coming to mind, one of my favourites is of not so long ago and my brave little m8 having his first real swim and doggy paddling his way to me at Druridge Bay as I practised my open water swimming.

A favourite memory I miss my Hinky so much
 A few shots of Mr Hink's and some of the adventures we have shared 


Mr Hink's was quite the character a real Joker, very stubborn, very mischievous and although some people took longer than others to get used to him everyone who met him eventually came to love him, really you had no choice, as  he would pester you until you gave in.
Peek a Boo

With my friend Essi, sorry for nipping your tit
Crap who put that there

I'm Thinking
Hink's doing what he did best

What a handsome lad
Been digging again
Can I look yet?
  R.I.P Mr Hink's April 11th 2007 - September 17th 2014

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written life story of a true friend, with amazing pics. R.I.P Mr Hinks and if you happen to meet an old Labrador called Bullar say hello. He will look after you xxx