Well the day started as any other Sunday. Woke up at 6am and headed down to Port Melbourne for a swim, met up with Steve and in we went. Conditions were not great with a south westerly causing a small chop and a decent current pulling you towards shore. Steve wasn’t a big fan of the conditions but to his credit lasted about 40 minutes before pulling the pin. I did another couple of laps and then headed in also. Probably the highlight was trying on of the Shotz gels about halfway into the swim. I had the banana flavoured one and despite it didn’t taste too bad. Even better was that it didn’t make me sick and seemed to go down pretty well.
When I arrived home, I immediately knew something wasn’t right as Andrea looked really worried and told me that Vada (our Alaskan Malamute) seemed to be in a lot of pain. Vada has had numerous medical problems over the past few years and has always pulled through with fighting colours. A few years ago she lost all of her hair as a result of a extremely rare condition but we found what the problem was and got her on the right medication and turned that around. She has also had some joint pain due to her age and size but again the pain killing injections seemed to be worked and she still loved going for walks.
Andrea decided to take her down to the vet to find out what was wrong so Ben and I cleaned the deck and then headed off to the play centre for some father and son time. However when we got home the news was not good. Apparently Vada had an 8cm tumour in her stomach which had ruptured (probably overnight) and she was in a lot of pain. The vet was confident that it could be removed and sent her off to the emergency centre across the road for a second opinion. Unfortunately after a more detailed scan, the extent of the tumour was worse than first though and at about 6pm, Andrea had to make the tough decision to put Vada to sleep.
It was heartbreaking to watch. Vada was 12 years and 10 months old and is a member of our family. She was such a good and gentle dog and everyone who met her loved her. We couldn’t quite explain to Ben that his dog is not coming home….
Vada never gave up – even until the end – and I will be thinking of her when I’m swimming across the channel. We love you Vada and we wont forget the great times we had with you. Hope you get a nice big bone up there in doggy heaven and you find your buddy Tyson who we lost in 2008. RIP.