Truman was our last “kid” and he was the best Lab we could ever hope for. We are a military family and move every 2-3 years, and everywhere we went Truman quickly became the most popular dog in the neighborhood. We arrived here in the Omaha area this past July, and Truman was instantly the most loved dog on the block. In fact, a neighbor girl sat and read to him in our front yard the day we moved in.
He was so gentle and sweet that people couldn’t help but immediately bond to him. I really think our adoption was a match made in heaven. Truman was the perfect dog for us and we think we were the perfect parents for him. He was very skittish and reclusive when we first got him, but our other lab (Rommel) taught him the ropes and the order of things around our house. Truman seemed to immediately look up to Rommel as a big brother from the first day they met, and it wasn’t long before Rommel helped bring Truman out of his shell. After Rommel passed away, Truman demonstrated a resilience that we did not expect and seamlessly transitioned to the role of the our only dog. We took him everywhere and never left him in or boarded at kennel, mostly because he was very uncomfortable in a kennel (we think from his troubled past). We didn’t mind end enjoyed every minute of his company. He was the perfect travel companion and couldn’t wait to ride with us whenever we started our car or truck.
Unfortunately, his passing was rather sudden and surprising. One afternoon when John was home from work, Truman was laying on his bed next to John when he suddenly tried to get up in a panic. He couldn’t walk straight and his eyes were quickly shifting from left to right. This lasted about 2 minutes and then passed as quickly as it had come. Truman was visibly shaken, but calmed down after several minutes. John thought it might have been a mild seizure and stayed with Truman. Shortly thereafter, it happened again and John rushed Truman to our vet. This second episode quickly passed, and when they got to the vet there was no visible signs of an illness or problem. The vet took a blood draw to conduct a thorough set of tests. John and Truman came home, and Truman seemed to be fine for the rest of the day and evening. When John woke up the next morning and then woke Truman up on his dog bed at the foot of our bed, Truman’s eyes began shifting quickly back and forth again and he was unable to walk. John rushed Truman to the emergency vet, where Truman was diagnosed with a central vestibular disorder. The vet thought it was caused by either a stroke or brain tumor. The vet explained that Truman had severe vertigo and the only way to determine the cause was with an MRI. The nearest MRI was in Kansas City, several hours away, and their first appointment was in a week. We consulted with a few more vets over the next 24 hours and received the same diagnoses. We were also advised that Truman was very uncomfortable and, even if the cause (stroke or brain tumor) were known, there was little if anything the vets could do. After two days, Truman still could not walk, was showing no interest in food (the vets said the vertigo tends to make dogs very nauseous), and showed noticeable drooping on the left side of his face. Although the most painful decision of our lives, we decided not to prolong his suffering. We performed a home euthanasia and Truman passed away peacefully in our back yard. We don’t know exactly how old Truman was when he passed. SHLR estimated that he was 6 when we adopted him, and we had him for 7 ½ wonderful years. We were so glad to be able to give him a loving home for more than half of his life. The attached picture of Truman on his bed was taken several weeks before he passed. We will always remember his loving nature and gentleness. The final picture is of our beloved Rommel and Truman, enjoying a hike near Pagosa Springs, CO, and what we imagine is The Rainbow Bridge.
Please let all of the staff at SHLR know how thankful we are for bringing Truman into our life. The love and joy he brought us was more fulfilling than we could have ever hoped. We truly believe Truman had the time of his life with us, too. We appreciate SHLR and all the hard work they do to rescue and find homes for so many loving and deserving dogs. We were blessed to have your help in connecting us with Truman, and wish you continued success in this most noble endeavor.