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The life and Death of Bear and Moto

We know what we know and that’s ok, but we must strive to do better, learn more, love, and advocate for our dogs.

What an odd thing to say hey? Well, I say this because when both my dogs passed away within 5 months of each other I had to wonder why? They were so young (in my opinion) Moto passed away first at age 9.5 and Bear passed 5 months later just after his 11th birthday.

Both passed away from the same thing – a ruptured tumour is what I was told.

Both passed on a Wednesday.

Both passed very quickly.


Moto


Moto was a little monster – I got him from the Chilliwack SPCA in January of 2011 – he was a Lab/Pitt mix and full of beans at 3 or 4 months old. The story is, he was found running on the road. He had been seen running down the road the week before as well and the SPCA had just picked him up, but the owners caught up and took him home, the next week when he was found they didn’t come looking for him.


I was not a trainer back then and I had decided that Bear definitely needed a pal.. (eye roll, I was so naive to think I had the skills to raise 2 dogs under the age of 1) but I got him, and we did our best. At that time, I was feeding Bear an expensive kibble and Moto got that brand as well. (never changing up his protein either because who knows who told me that you can’t switch dogs around it is too hard on their guts) so Moto was fed a grain free diet (because I was told he had allergies to grain- he had a rash on his belly when SPCA had gotten him. That was that for a long number of years.


I always called Moto my discount dog cause SPCA had given me a discount when I got him (likely because they knew how much trouble he was) ahhhhh back in those days my god how did I ever do it? Working 12 hour shift work – dealing with 2 puppies and Moto – well Moto had MASSIVE separation anxiety, he was so smart and energetic he NEVER stopped moving- I didn’t know how to tire him out, brain drain or any of the things I know now, I didn’t know how to kennel train him or calm him or do anything really other than the basics that I learned when I took Bear to a training class (again thinking it was a good place to go not knowing it was horrible and old school where you yank the dog into submission and choke them with a chain collar) how can dogs love us after we put them through this abuse??? Dogs love so hard.


Anyway Mr. Mots – he was up on the counters stealing food, eating books, tearing up the house, hanging out the window, barking all damn day, escaping out of the house/yard… I have so many stories to tell you, but I won’t cause you will be here for a year reading them.

In September 2019, we were on a hike and Moto had a stick in his mouth and I could see blood on the stick – I thought oh he bite his tongue – but it wasn’t that at all it was a very aggressive tumour that had grown up over his tooth.



I immediately took him to the vet and was told it needed to be removed and that should be done as quickly as possible – so yes get him in (yet another big mistake) I let the Vet down the road take out the tooth and the tumour, and well that was supposed to be that… it wasn’t.

Months later – the site of the tumour hadn’t healed and there was something growing on there again. Many visits back to the vet – she really didn’t know what tell me, so she suggested I got to a dental surgeon. It was suggested I go to the one on Vancouver Island or there was a bigger place in Vancouver. I decided to go stay on the island where I met a vet who was then suggesting that I needed to do a surgery that would remove the front half of Moto’s jaw because there nothing more to be done for him as this tumour was overtake the mouth and he would eventually die. What was happening to my life and my poor Moto – I really didn’t want to put him through this, I said I wouldn’t do that surgery and that vet basically told me I was being cruel as this would kill him – but I was also considering his quality of life. So I contacted the Holistic Vet from years ago and she was then working with a Homeopathic Dr, I took Moto to the mainland and started a holistic protocol to kill off this tumour and get him straighten up. In the meantime – they contacted the Dental Surgeon in Vancouver and we got an appointment about a month out – in the meantime I had been giving him his homeopathy remedies and switched him to a raw diet and was doing everything in my power to make him well again. The surgeon explained that most likely because I had had the tumour removed by someone who didn’t get the margins right the tumour most likely had turned cancerous and there was no point in doing any big dental surgery if he was full of cancer so they did put him under and they cleaned up the site of the tooth and tumour removal and also took out his lymph nodes to see if there was cancer in his body. Test results all came back negative even for the tumour site! He didn’t need ANYTHING more. Can you imagine if I had of just said – go ahead take his jaw off? My heart sinks thinking about what vets are doing to our poor animals.

Relieved I thought -GREAT news we are free and clear of everything, and my boy is healthy, and we can move on from this. Well, we did for a bit but March the following year was the worst night of my life, and everything changed. On the Saturday my ex’s dog had been taking into the ER as she had not been eating and she had pure blood suddenly coming out of her butt. So she spent the night in there Saturday – on that Saturday I had called the Holistic Vet to confer with her what was going on with Shyla and while I was talking to her Moto jumped off the couch and when he did he cried out suddenly and then went to his bed and looked very said – I thought that was weird and I told the Holistic Vet and she said “oh he probably tweaked himself from getting up and jumping down give him some Arnica” I did that – but worried about Shyla I didn’t really think much of it. When Shyla came home all the dog were quite and not moving around much and I put it down to the fact that Shyla was sick, and Bear and Moto were just being quite for her. On the Wednesday afternoon I took the 3 of them for a walk and I stopped at the trailhead and went to give them all a treat. Moto wouldn’t eat his, he spit it out… WHAT the heck is going on – in the 9 years I had known Moto he had never not eaten ever.

 

We walked the trail and around the neighborhood for an hour and I came back and fed them dinner and Moto wouldn’t eat his… again I was so stressed out, but this is how Shyla started so I thought that he had what she had just gone through, I was watching him very closely. A few hours went by, and he was very unwell, unable to walk, stand, his belly was extended, and he was whining. I called the Holistic vet, and she asked me to check his gums (they were grey) very bad news. She told me to take him to the ER- unfortunately she did not tell me the bad news (I didn’t realize that Grey Gums means that there is no blood circulation, and it means that they are bleeding internally.) I sped to the ER which was 45 mins away and when I got there in Moto form, he leaped off the table they had wheeled out for him to come in on because he couldn’t walk – but dammit he was "walking in there on his own" I guess he thought. This was also the height of Covid, so we were not allowed in. So, we sat in the car and waited. About 15 mins later I got the news. He was bleeding internally, I was told it was probably his spleen that had ruptured – as that is the most common issue, surgery is an option but probably not helpful most dogs pass away anyway he was pretty far gone at this point. and there was nothing to be done – we needed to put him down.

I couldn’t understand what was happening, this couldn’t be happening… the tumour must have ruptured on the Saturday when he jumped off the couch and he had been slowly dying for 4 days and I didn’t know.  Not to mention I was shocked because my god only 12 months before this he had been tested and there was no cancer in him. This is super hard to write this even though it’s been 3 years now, oh how I miss him – I’m angry that he was only 9.5 years old and to suddenly die when he was out on pack hike the week before this.


Bear


Mr. Bug Bear was an old soul – I got him from a farm in Chilliwack, BC.  in September of 2010 I had just bought my first town house and had been wanting a dog ever since I had come back from Grand Cayman. So as soon as I had the chance to get a puppy I was IN!

Bear had the greatest life- at the time I was driving the SkyTrain in Vancouver, and I was able to bring him to work with me on my night shifts, lil CRO was his official title, and he went and played at day care on my day shifts. So, he had a blast! Not to mention the whole crew at work LOVED Bear so he would go out for walks and play in the train hall. Those were the days!


I didn’t know a thing about raising a puppy and how to feed a puppy or what kind of vetting needed to be done. I just did what I was told by the guy at Dog Food store and the closest Vet to my house. (such regrets at these choices) I went to a boutique dog store and got some “better” kibble. I took him to the Vet and got his 2nd and 3rd round of shots like I was told and shortly after that Bear started getting sick – diarrhea, bloody stool, mucus in his stool, straining when pooping. I took him to the Vet and was told he had bowel infection and needed antibiotics- well ok we gotta give him antibiotics then. That my friends was the beginning of the end for poor Bear.


Bear then got kennel cough- back to the vet and they gave him some more antibiotics (only to find out now they don’t need antibiotics for this you can treat it very quickly and easily with homeopathy). Then he had some kind of wart/growth on his leg the Vet said it needed to be surgically removed so we did that, and he was given more antibiotics. Are you seeing a trend? Around and around, we went, as soon as I would finish up a dose of antibiotics the bloody stool would come back and the out-of-control diarrhea would return, back to the vet and more antibiotics. I can tell you that Bear would wake up in the middle of the night and poop would pour out of his butt like a fire hose, up the walls, on the carpet – it would hit him so hard and fast that he didn’t even get the chance to let me know he wanted out.


Finally, enough was enough and I knew this couldn’t be the way for a dog to live, what was I doing wrong? A co-worker told me to go to a Holistic Vet and out of sheer loss that is what I did. She was amazing and treated him like gold, I believe I was there on our first visit for 2 hours. (much more investigating, history and care taken than the vet down the road ever did– she was concerned and wanted to find the cause of the issue not treat the symptoms… wow what a concept!)


She told me that Bear had IBS – and that it was probably started from the vaccines he got and then once I started giving him the antibiotics that that killed the gut flora and well the cycle had begun. The Holistic Vet had told me that I should put Bear on a raw diet and give him supplements and do all the right things. HOWEVER, I investigated the raw diet and holy smokes it was sooooo expensive (did I mention that Bear was 100lbs?) It was a lot of money to feed a dog that big and well at the time I just couldn’t afford it.


I so wished that I had made that a priority – my thought back then was this; I had no knowledge of Holistic Health or whole food diet for dog was I really didn’t understand or investigate myself what all of this meant back in 2011 did we really talk about gut flora like we do now? It’s not something that I knew about, the holistic vet had said that I could keep him on a kibble if that’s all I could afford but he needed to be on a low fat diet so that is what I did (by then I had Moto so it was a lot of money to feed them both) I found a ”good” low fat dog kibble which he seemed to tolerate and I kept him on that kibble because I was so afraid to change anything because otherwise he would get so sick. YEARS passed and I fed him 2 squares a day of the same food. (the worst possible thing I could’ve done, I did) Why? Because I didn’t know any better, well I did know better but convinced myself it was too expensive, it was too hard to manage – at one point maybe when they were 3&4 years old, I found a place in Surrey BC that made their own Raw food, and I did switch them to that. BUT after about 6 months they both got sick, and I had to take them back into the regular vet (because it was a weekend) who was appalled that they were on a Raw diet and told me that that was the cause of the illness (maybe it was maybe it wasn’t I don’t know) but I went back to the kibble afraid I had made yet another mistake. When Bear hit 9.5 Moto developed that tumour in his mouth, I just started learning more about the Holistic Health and I decided then switched all the dogs to RAW (but unfortunately it was too late the damage was done) However, in saying that Bear always had this line in his fur. Just past his shoulders there was a distinct line where his fur went from soft and bright to dull and course, a few months after starting the raw diet the line started moving down his back, his eyes were brighter, he lost some weight, he had more energy, he was playing again- running around the yard like he was a puppy. WOW what a change.


Once Moto passed things in my life literally got dumped upside down and I won’t get into that now – but the stress levels were high and poor Bug Bear really struggled. He was always very stable and stoic dog but the changes that occurred after Moto’s death, Bear was not coping at all in the first month, all of April basically, not to mention he had only been the only dog his first 14 months of life from then on, he was a multiple dog house. Bear was having anxiety attacks, shaking, drooling. whining, pacing in the middle of the night it was so stressful and exhausting. I would have to sit up with him and give him homeopathic remedies to calm him down.


I also found out after that I should have brought Bear with us to let him see Moto to say goodbye – I didn’t realize how important that was (of course I didn’t know that that was happening) – but if this was to happen again, I would go get the second dog and bring them back to the vet to let them know what is happening. Who knows what Bear thought, he must’ve been soo confused.


When Sprocket arrived in June, Bear really didn’t want to deal with the puppy but by the 5th week or so they started being buddies and Bear was playing with Sprocket and laying down with him. So, I feel like things were starting to settle down.



However, this was not the case. August came around and it was HOT. A massive heat wave had hit BC and I could barely cool down the house (my heat pump broke) and poor Bear was struggling with the heat and we really weren’t doing much Bear couldn’t handle walking in the heat. The other thing that Bear suddenly was doing was he would not sleep in the same room as me. It was shocking but it started in April and continued. He would always go to another room or go to the closet to sleep. In late August, on a Monday, I got up and there was Bear laying on the tile floor at the bottom of the stairs. (I thought because maybe he needed to cool down) but when I came down, he attempted to get up and well he couldn’t stand up. He Bambi’d out, legs splayed, shaking. I got him into the living room, and he flopped down on the carpet. It was early in the morning and I sat with him for long time wondering what was happening. His feet were ice cold (a memory of me holding Moto’s paw after he passed, and it felt ice cold like that) I started to shake NOT AGAIN. I called the Vet who did house calls, and they came out – told me to take him to the ER immediately, she thought she could hear a heart murmur and his heart was weak not pumping well.  So, I packed up and went to the ER – I sat all day in the parking lot waiting and finally they came out and said he needed an EKG and to bring him back, but he had rallied around so I should take him home. Tues, he seemed to be feeling much better. We even went for a bit of walk with Sprocket and then on Wednesday morning before the heat we walked down the trail by my house. I noticed him peeing and it appeared dark, but I really didn’t look at it. A few more minutes later he peed again – and it was clear to see, he was bleeding straight blood.

I rushed back down to the ER and was told the news that he as well had something rupture in him, he was bleeding internally, and he needed to be put down.

 

As you can see 2021 was not my year and after the grief, I charged forward searching for answers of why 2 healthy dogs could literally drop dead like this. The Vet who was with me when Bear passed couldn’t give me answers just “sometimes it just happens this way” but how, why? I couldn’t believe that both the dogs could just suddenly develop tumours, well guess what – they can and it’s my belief that feeding a kibble diet their entire life creates an environment in the body which will host cancerous cells. Kibble works great until it doesn’t. I can say out of all the people I have met dog training there are honestly so many with this same story. The dog was healthy and then they suddenly they drop dead. What are we doing wrong – Vets will say its life dogs are not meant to live that long- BUT my family dog from the 70’s lived till he was 19, there’s a dog in Portugal who just passed away at age 31 and 165 days old, – he was fed a whole food/raw diet his whole life. We are accepting the answers we are getting from the vets because we are told to trust the educated DR – the Dr who will prescribe the drugs (with the laundry list of side effect that they never tell you about), the vaccines they inject ever year because that’s a good way to make money, the food they suggest because they are trained by Hills Dog Food company and the nutrition portion of their education is only a short lecture. Vets as well as regular Human Dr’s (typically) are treating the symptoms they are not looking at why the problem exists to begin with. It is such a vicious circle, and most Pet Parent (Like me) don’t know any better and they give the drug, feed the food, give the vaccines and the dogs die and we have no answers as to why all these “healthy” (what we think are healthy dogs) die at such an early age.





Since Bear passed, I got Sprocket and now Slicks. I went into a deep dive of Holistic Health. I have taken a Animal Communication Course, Homeopathy First Aid course for animals, Numerous courses with Pet Summit – for pet nutrition, I am in the middle of taking a Holistic Carnivore Nutrition Course, I also follow Holistic Vets online such as Dr Judy Morgan, Dr, Will Falconer, Rodney Habib (wrote the Forever Dog) with Dr Karen Becker, Dr. Jean Dodds, Julie Anne Lee DCH RCSHom developer of Adored Beast Products, Dr. Dobias and so many more. I am like a sponge learning all this information about the horrible things the drugs that the vet is giving to our dogs is doing. Poisoning them with Flea and Tic “medications” Vaccinating them yearly, allergy drugs – suppressing the immune systems. OOFF and prescribing them kibble as a food source.

I have said this before and I am very late at getting this done – but I am in the middle of writing a Holistic Health Course to try to educate people to feed their pets (cats included) a whole food, species specific diet, the ins and outs of vaccines and alternate ways to prevent illness as puppies and information about itchy, allergy skin issues AND well how feeding a wholefood, fresh food diet can sometimes cure the disease in your pets.


So, like I said in the first statement- I was doing the best I could with the information I had in 2010 when I got Bear, I have a lot of guilt wrapped up in that and I blame myself for their deaths. I will never do the things I did back then to my dogs now, my dogs will never get a vaccine, they will never get a flea and tick “medicine” (It is not medicine it is POISON) and I have only scratched the surface of my learning. I will advocate for my dogs and will walk out of a vet’s office if I don’t feel like they are giving me proper information, I would never let a regular vet do a dental surgery especially for a tumour (go to a specialist)

 

If you have made it all the way through this blog, I thank you for reading as I know it was long. I just want to get it out there that we can do better and let’s strive to do that… in dog training and their health!






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