Tuesday, September 3, 2019

In Memoriam Hogan

It's been quiet here the past couple weeks because we lost a family member last Saturday, August 31.

Hogan

Our beloved Hogan had been deteriorating, both in mind and body (the vet confirmed that he had Wobbler's Syndrome, a compression of the spinal cord). Last week we made the difficult decision to have him put down. A mobile veterinarian came into our home Saturday afternoon, and within a half hour, put him to rest in his own bed. The vet was most gentle, loving, and understanding, but the pain of losing Hogan wasn't diminished. We have no doubts that we made the right decision, but we miss him tremendously.

If only Hogan could have talked.

Our daughter Jill, adopted Hogan on October 30, 2005 from a shelter in Kansas City, where he was on "death row." She said she chose him because, as she walked by all the dogs in their cages, he was the only one who didn't jump up as she passed. Then, when she asked to see him, and they went outside to get acquainted, he went to a corner and pee'd. And pee'd and pee'd. He'd been holding himself so as not to mess his indoor space. Jill decided that being cute, as well as housebroken, was a plus. Hogan never pee'd in the house.

And gosh, he was cute! A darling combination of mostly beagle, and a little chow-chow.

A vet estimated that Hogan was two years old when Jill adopted him. So, we recognized his birthday as October 1, 2003. Hogan would have been 16 years old in October.

This is the first time Jill and Hogan came to visit us in West Des Moines, Iowa.


Hogan lived with Jill in Kansas City, and when a work assignment took her to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), he went with her. This is a family favorite picture of him when he lived there. He's got a chew stick in his mouth that looks like a cigar!

In 2006, Jill's new work assignment took her to Sydney, Australia. However, due to that country's animal regulations, Hogan didn't qualify to enter the country. He had canine ehrlichiosis (common among dogs from Missouri who have been bitten and infected by a tick), so his blood count didn't meet Australia's standards. Treatment is an antibiotic. Jill went to Australia without Hogan, while he stayed in Abu Dhabi, living in a kennel and receiving antibiotic injections. Each month, for three months, his blood was tested; he never met Australia's requirements. So, in July 2007, Jill made the difficult - and expensive! - decision to have Hogan shipped via air cargo from Abu Dhabi to Dubai to London to Chicago. Dan and I drove from West Des Moines to British Airways cargo terminal to get Hogan. He has been ours ever since.

At our West Des Moines home, his favorite spot was on this little ledge in front of the living room windows. He could see cars and pedestrians go by on our corner lot.




Hogan absolutely adored winter in Iowa. The colder the better.

I can't help but giggle when I watch this December 9, 2009 video of Dan taking Hogan on a walk during a blizzard. This is one of the few times I saw Hogan rather be at home than in the snow!

Once we moved to Florida, it was apparent that he needed a window spot in our new house. In my sewing room, this padded bench that I covered with batting and fabric was exactly the same height as the window sill. It became one of his favorite places. 

Hogan was a tough boy. Already blind in his left eye due to glaucoma, in 2014 he went through surgery to have that eye removed because it was causing pressure that gave him migraine headaches. The University of Florida in Gainesville is where Hogan received wonderful treatment by a skilled veterinarian.


In January, 2016, here in The Villages, Hogan had surgery on a lump.

The veterinarian found soft tissue sarcoma, explaining that she went through four layers of tissue and still couldn't get clean margins. She suggested we take him to an Orlando veterinarian for radiation treatment. We opted not to put Hogan through that, and were told to expect that he would live only three to six months.

He remained with us for another 3-1/2 years.

Hogan was often my sewing companion, keeping me company during quilting activities. This was our "I'm registering for QuiltCon" picture.
 

He helped Dan in the kitchen. 
 

He was a good on-the-floor cuddler. He never slept in our bed.


I like this 2017 video because it's Hogan at his finest... pestering in the evening. Hear his distinctive beagle bark.

These pictures make me smile because Hogan found inexplicable pleasure in hiding his head under our dry bar.

Isn't this a great picture of my housekeeping skills? Hogan was ever-shedding, and hair tumbleweeds were always visible a day or two after vacuuming.

Another picture that makes me smile is from earlier this year when we were visiting Jill in Kansas City. I found Hogan tightly curled up in Milson's bed.


Milson is their teacup poodle!

Hogan, in July, at Jill's Missouri lake home.

Monday, August 26 (our 47th wedding anniversary) Dan and Hogan returned from a very slow walk.
By comparison, in this picture he looks very sad - ears down, tail down. He was likely in pain. When he felt good, that tail was always up, perky and wagging 100 miles an hour!

Our hearts are in shreds, but I know time will heal. I have reassurance in God's promise that Hogan is in His care now, and I will see him again someday.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. - Psalm 36:6 (NLV)
I'm grateful to have this blog as a therapeutic means of expressing my grief, and sharing good memories of being dog-owners - dog-lovers - who were loved by a dog.

We love you Hogan. 💔 Linda

40 comments:

  1. Awww, so so sad to have to say good bye to a family pet! I've enjoyed reading about Hogan, his rocky start in life, his travels and his little antics. It seems he had quite a personality and also that he was loved. What else can anybody (including animals) ask for. Hugs xx

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  2. So sorry to hear about Hogan, but what a wonderful life he had with you and your family -- that is so important. He is playing with all the other dogs and telling his "tails" of fun with you.

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    1. Thank you for your condolences. (You're a no-reply commenter, so I can't reply to you directly.) I appreciate your thoughts about where he is now, and I agree that I hope it's a happy place.

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  3. So sorry for your loss. There is no doubt he was meant to be your boy. Wish people were more like dogs who love with abandon, give everything to you and only ask to be fed and treated kindly. He is free to run now with two good eyes and no more pain or sickness. It hurts so much by the joy he gave you far outweighs the loss.

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  4. Another precious fur baby has crossed the "Rainbow Bridge" and my hurt hurts for you both. The unconditional love given by our pets is a treasure for sure and you have so many pictures and memories of him. I am sure you will never look at another green been without thinking of Hogan. You were blessed to have him for so long and he was loved. Hugs

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    1. Thank you so much for your sympathies. It’s sweet of you to remember how much Hogan liked green beans. That’s before the vet said “no more,” because they were bad for his digestive system. I know we were blessed, and that he was loved. I just wish all this didn’t hurt so much.

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  5. oh Linda. I saw your post title in my blog reader and was so sad to see it. I'm so sorry for your loss. I appreciated your post here today and sharing how much Hogan meant (and enjoyed) your family. What a wonderful blessing. I'm thankful for the gift you were to each other. Peace to you all...

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    1. Thank you very much. I'm still struggling... Yes, Hogan was a blessing. We loved him dearly. The sadness is overwhelming.

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  6. Dear sweet Hogan, now knowing no pain, only joy as he awaits an eventual reunion with his earthly family. Our hearts go out to you, it was only 2-1/2 years ago that we lost our sweet Olie who had been with us nearly 14 of his 16 years. You were the best family he could have had, loving and caring for him so tenderly during these past years of decline. Love and peace to you.

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  7. Hogan had quite a life story and so many experiences! I'm so sorry he's gone, and I'm sure you will painfully notice the "quiet" without his sweet presence. It's so nice that the vet came to his home for this- a comfort to you and to Hogan.

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  8. A very lovely story Linda, and you had him for so many years. There are a few animals that really touch us. We have one even though she's a farm outdoor dog. I missed you blogging and was thinking about you last night, when we saw on our news the terrible storm about to hit Florida. I hope all is well on your side of the peninsula.

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  9. Oh Linda. I know your pain and sorrow. It hurts. Go slow. Do not push.
    I still miss my Pierro so much
    Hogan had the best life. That I know.
    I will keep you in my prayers.

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  10. Hogan has had such a beautiful life filled with travel, adventure and much love. I'm so sorry for your loss. RIP Hogan

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  11. I am so sorry for our loss of Hogan. He looked like a lovely companion and a valued member of your family. I'm sure you miss him a lot. As an aside, we had our 47th anniversary yesterday, 9/2. Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. You're a no-reply commenter, but I wanted to say that I appreciate your sentiments. I miss him much more than a lot. And a belated happy anniversary to you too! As I know, 47 years is a very long time. :-)

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  12. What a beautiful compilation of memories of dear Hogan. I can understand how heartbroken you must be, as he was such a sweet boy and a quiet companion. I’m so glad I got to meet and cuddle him! Hugs to you, Linda xx

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  13. So sorry for your loss - I can see he was a well-loved member of your family, no matter where he lived. RIP Hogan

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  14. Such great pictures of Hogan. He had a wonderful life!

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  15. I am so sorry for your loss. I met Zeus at the pound the same way. He was the quietest and really had to pee. I really enjoyed reading your stories about him. He did have a wonderful life.

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  16. I'm so sorry for your loss Linda! Hogan was not only a precious family pet but an integral member of your family. This blogpost is a wonderful tribute to his long life and the special times you shared. I'm sorry he didn't get to visit Australia, he would have loved those fabulous Sydney beaches.

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  17. Such sad news for you Linda, however gather strength in the knowledge that you put Hogan's health ahead of your own feelings of not wanting to have an empty house - you did the kindest thing possible for Hogan, as difficult as it was and he would have thanked you. Your post and photos certainly show Hogan had a wonderful life, and like all rescue animals, repaid you many times over for your kindness.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Alice. (I would thank you directly, but you're a no-reply commenter.) Yes, we know we did the right thing; he was in pain. He was a very special boy to us, and his absence is extremely difficult to overcome.

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  18. So sorry, Linda. Thinking of you!

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  19. Oh Linda I am so so sorry for your loss. You have written a wonderful tribute to Hogan. He was one well traveled and certainly well loved dog. Thank you for sharing him with us over the years. I am glad you were able to be at home with him at the end. We did the same when it was time for our beloved 18 year old kitty and it was a good experience.

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  20. How lucky you were to have had such a wonderful animal. RIP, Hogan.

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  21. Oh Linda, I'm so sorry! He was a beautiful dog and lived a good life with y'all

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  22. So very sorry for your loss. A friend sent this poem to me when we lost our "firstborn." It comforted me as I hope it will comfort you.

    The Rainbow Bridge Story
    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal who has been especially close to someone dies, that pet goes to the Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    Animals who were ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them from days and times gone by.

    The animals are happy and content, except for one thing: they miss someone very special to them; the person they left behind.

    All of the animals run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to break away from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. Happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to share this... whoever you are. (You're also a no-reply commenter.) I've read this before, and a friend gave it to me yesterday. I'm still feeling sad.

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  23. We lost our Mandy girl 8 years ago this past Monday...there are very few days that we don't say her name or think of her. I did get Kalee 3 days after Mandy passed. No, Kalee will never fill that hole in my heart for Mandy but she has filled my heart with love again (as has our rescue Gigi). I know the pain you feel and it will take time...but you have such wonderful memories and you gave Hogan the love and home he deserved.

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  24. Hogan was certainly the constant companion. How brave that he made that trip back home without Jill. So sorry, Linda!

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  25. Linda and Dan, I am so very sorry! Thank you for sharing all the photos of Hogan. He was obviously a special member of your family. Hugs to all of you,

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  26. Linda and Dan - so, so sorry for your loss - this is a wonderful post and shows how much Hogan was loved. Keeping you in prayers that time heals your hearts - I'm sure Hogan will be waiting across the rainbow bridge for you someday with that tail wagging 100 mph! :-)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. Even after a week now, the heartache hasn't diminished. He was a very special member of our family. I'm so glad I have several videos of that wagging tail. Seeing it will always make me smile.

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  27. I knew that day was coming, and I was sad for you all day. I love this tribute you've written, and I was able to understand Hogan's history and beginnings. He's one of those beings that connects people, and his love and good cheer will remain with you always. Hugs from afar.

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  28. I'm behind in blog reading and just came across this post. I'm so so sorry Linda. My heart breaks for you. A friend once told me, "the only bad thing about dogs is that they don't live long enough". I can't argue with that!

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  29. Hi Linda, I've been on holiday to Auusie so a little behind with blog reading. So sorry to read of you losing Hogan. This is always so hard to bear, even though you know it is for the best. Many condolences, and im sure you will look back on all those very special memories of Hogan in your hearts.

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  30. I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Hogan. His paw prints will forever be on your hearts. I pray that your pain will ease soon and all your memories of Hogan will be happy.

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  31. What an absolutely beautiful post. Such a wonderful life you, Dan, and Jill gave Hogan. My heart is heavy for all of you.

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