December 2000 — January 5, 2011
Yogi was a Christmas gift for Cami & Payton in December 2000, Santa brought him. In the beginning, like all puppies, Yogi was rambunctious and wasn’t very fond of rules. After he was trained (along with everyone else in the house) he loved to learn and yearned to earn praise from those around him.
The in-between years are similar to most stories, happy memories of swimming, walking, playing ball, the stepping on toes, stealing of pillows (or anything fuzzy) were constant. His favorite toy was the tennis ball, 3 years ago he was a tennis ball eating monster, I bought him pink tennis balls and after two months he didn’t eat tennis balls, he carried them around and played with them.
It was a week before Thanksgiving 2010 when we noticed Yogi wasn’t feeling well. Sometimes he would have an upset stomach but this particular morning seemed to be more. The next morning we learned that Yogi had advanced stage canine cancer, specifically hemangiosarcomas of the spleen which is a very common cancer in german shepards and golden’s – also it affects males more often then females. The ultrasound showed a tumor the size of a softball on his spleen and the vet advised it had also spread to other parts of his body. They did not suggest surgery and treatment due to Yogi’s age and the advanced stage. Surgery would not guarantee survival and would be very hard on him without a positive result. The vet gave him anywhere from days to weeks so we brought him home and have made sure he was happy and comfortable for the time we had with him.
The tumor had grown rapidly over the past few weeks and he would have good days and bad days, until the day he lost mobility of his back legs, therefore was unable to sit, stand, or walk. Even when food and water was brought to him, he refused both, not even bacon tempted his appetite. Although he did not show any signs of pain, it was evident he started to suffer, his breathing was harder and harder by the minute.
January 5, 2011 turned out to be the first difficult thing for the new year. We miss him but know he no longer suffers. Yogi is missed by all of us every day, it is still hard for me because I did so much with him, we were snuggle buddies on the floor and he loved when I would brush him. If I wasn’t feeling well I would lay on the floor with Yogi, he helped my migraines go away. I could relax him as well if he was stressed out because of a thunder storm or just anxious. We bonded instantly and the day we went to put him down I sat next to him in the back seat and he put his paw in my hand and like he was holding my hand his toes grabbed down. It made it even harder to let them take him, but I knew, he knew, it was time. He can, and never will be, replaced but will remain in our hearts forever.
— Mark, Stacey, Cami & Payton