A Sad Farewell to Angus

Great Dane Angus "Gussie"

I received this very sad letter from Anna Nirva, the fine lady who is behind the wonderful organization and weekly tips from Sunbear Squad.

We had to euthanize our senior Great Dane Angus yesterday. He suffered from advanced stomach cancer, and we didn’t know that until yesterday. We noticed that he had a round stomach even though his appetite had waned during the past few weeks. But he wasn’t losing weight. We thought he had a bladder infection. I mention it because of your work to support cancer research in dogs.

We are grieving, but at the same time, in a corner of my heart, I’m feeling joyful for his life and our lives together. The house feels so terribly empty though. I know you understand.

Here is his Dogster page. I updated his page and diary today.

Anna wrote a heart-wrenching memorial for her beloved big guy, but here, I’d rather reproduce his truly amazing “Arrival Story”. I’d like to be honest and say that I would have been able to commit myself to such a needy fellow, but it truly takes someone with incredible fortitude to show such devotion. Anna takes in the saddest cases in her rescue work and I often wonder how she manages to keep her positive attitude. I am just thankful that there are strong people like this, out addressing the continuing plight of animal abuse and neglect.

We heard about a youngish Great Dane at the Coulee Region Humane Society in La Crosse that was suffering from mange, ear infections, and was emaciated. (A college student had surrendered him when he moved into a new apartment that didn’t allow dogs.) We thought he was sweet and took him home and continued his meds. He also had a case of “happy tail” and vomited his food up almost daily AND had loose bloody stools. We tried several brands of kibble, and several courses of antibiotics, and then one day he bloated, requiring surgery. WHAT A FRIGHT.

He survived, and we decided to try a holistic veterinarian. GOOD DECISION. We went to Rising Sun in Viroqua, Wis., and food allergies were diagnosed. We were advised to stop all antibiotics and stop feeding kibble, and embark on a diet of whole foods. We bought a freezer, a food processor, and learned a whole new way of feeding and IT WORKED. Over a period of a year, Angus’ skin allergies cleared up almost completely. The ear infection left him with permanent dizziness, though. He reels and sways like a drunken sailor on his soft bed.

Anna's hubby Terry, Angus, and Greta