It is over two months since my handsome boy Magnum died - he was 5 years old - and it is still so hard for me to believe it. We took a wonderful trip out west to compete in the English Springer Nationals in the state of Washington. We decided to make it a vacation. We have a Casita travel trailer and so camped. We visited a friend in Montana on the way to WA. Magnum was great at the Nationals although it was not well attended. We visited Mt. Olympic National Park, then camped and drove down the Oregon coast. It was Magnum’s first experience with the Pacific Ocean and he loved it. We camped in the redwoods in California then visited a friend along the northern coast as well as participating in an agility trial near Sacramento. The last big forest we stayed in was Sequoia.
Magnum was an awesome traveler, just a delightful companion. He doesn’t bark at other dogs or people and is very friendly. He traveled so well and he loved the little Casita because his humans were close to him.
Getting home, we discovered that he had an eye infection. I took him to the Vet the next day. We went about our normal classes in agility, tracking and competing in an agility trial. 2 weeks later he was lethargic, so we took him to the Vet and he had a series of seizures. He had climbed up on Alan’s lap just before the first hit. Alan said later that he felt Magnum died at that moment. We ended up taking Magnum to a critical care facility in Cincinnati with a neurologist who did a CAT scan and spinal tap on him. The C-scan showed a lesion on his brain. The radiologist thought it was probably an infection, so treatment was started. He died within 10 hours of this.
Reports from the spinal tap came in after his death, which showed a severe infection of his brain and spine – meningitis. I assume he picked up something he was exposed to while we were traveling out west.
MACH Topguns Magnum TDX, TDU, MXS, MJG, T2B was my dream dog. He was the result of Topgun Springer’s excellent breeding. Patty breeds for conformation, but just as important is the personality, drive, and bid ability of the Springer. He was such a lovely dog, a great competitor in agility and an incredible tracker. I had so much fun with him. We took 2 agility classes a week and tracked 3 to 4 days a week. Alan was our wrangler and was there always to assist or step in for me if I was ill. He laid many of the tracks for us. My life revolved around Magnum. He was my constant companion and always at my side.
It has been hard to deal with the guilt that our travels caused his death and that we couldn’t have done anything sooner to save him. I needed him to comfort me.
For a couple of weeks, I took the walk in the evening that Magnum and I took every day after dinner. I imagined that he was still by my side. I have looked for his sweet face in so many places. Sometimes thinking that I felt the press of his body against my leg as he leaned in and put his chin on my knee so that I would pet him.
I thought I had at least 9 more years with him. There was so much I looked forward to doing with him – but most of all, just having him with me.
Was it just a simple twist of fate that killed my dog? It seems like Magnum’s future was taken from him. How I wish I had a do over for his life. I would trade years of my life to have him back.
It’s been about 30 years since I have been dog less. I had someone at a Labor Day party tell me how much easier it is not to have a dog. I guess it is easier, but my life also seems to be meaning less.
I think about him everyday and probably tear up a couple of times, but try not to just cry. I have been hoping that if I behave and am good enough, then someone will bring my dog back to me. That’s all I want. I want my dog back.
This will be the last blog entry.