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Sunday, December 26, 2010

RIP Belle Cloutier


                                 Belle Cloutier

     We have lost Belle.  As I type this, Baxter has his head in my lap.  He'll never be the lovable gentle soul that Belle was, but he tries.  What follows is the email I sent to the Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue League yesterday.

     "Well, once again we have spoiled the holiday season by losing another lovable golden. It was New Year's Day of 2004 that we put down Riley (YGRR #2424) after determining that a brain tumor was causing his seizures. We got Belle (3852) from you five months later. She was euthanized this morning, Christmas day, just three weeks short of her fifteenth birthday. Actually we had taken her to the vet a week ago anticipating putting her down then, but she got a second wind. X-rays and blood tests couldn't find any organ problems or cancer, so we got some pain meds and canned food and took her home. She had been exhibiting severe lethargy, a loss of six pounds in four weeks, lack of mobility and a fist sized (but unattached) growth on her right shoulder that had been there for six months. For a few days she seemed comfortable and would go out in the back yard as needed. She NEVER had an accident inside. We got up Christmas morning to find that the growth had burst and was bleeding. She couldn't eat or get up. I guess all that sleigh chasing last night was just too much. Fortunately, the Charleston area is blessed with a very professional, 24/7 emergency vet service. It was they who had taken care of Riley for us six years ago. So Belle made her last trip in our Jeep. She actually managed to get to her feet with assistance and walked to the car which always excited her.
     Belle was a special lady. She was turned in to YGRR at 108 pounds and with heart worms. Through your excellent care, we inherited a healthy, gentle senior. She was an enthusiastic puppy for all but the last few months of her life. This spring, before we left on one of our five month long motor home trips, she went to the vet for a check-up. Dr. Lerma pronounced her "the healthiest 14 year old golden I've ever seen!" She had a great life highlighted by appearing on page 2 of your 2011 calendar. 
     We thank you again for all you do. We still have Baxter (4552) and can't imagine not having a golden."

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