June 23rd, 2019
Vito was a big guy who got a second chance. He was so loved by his family and is running free at the rainbow bridge.
We brought big ol' Vito into our already packed home during Christmas 2018. We were already caring for 4 dogs (3 of our own plus one for a friend), but when my SO's brother had to have double hip replacement surgery, he could no longer care for his beloved Vito, and we knew we had to help! My SO "rescued" Vito from the home he was temporarily staying, where the 5 large young resident dogs bullied Vito, and drove Vito to the safety of our home. Vito was just a big love. He had been abandoned several years earlier in the garage of a foreclosed home in the middle of the blistering heat of summer, and my SO's brother found him and took him in, ensuring Vito knew love and devotion like never before. But being the lab that he was, he ate too much, and was a hefty 110 pounds when he came to our house. It was apparent that the people that provided him temporary care when Vito's owner became disabled neglected Vito's care; Vito was filthy, and so was his bed. Vito was noticeably relieved when we bathed him and cleaned his bed; he slept so soundly that first night with us! We had our vet examine him in January because we could not get his ears clean, and we wanted to make sure he was otherwise healthy. We got some good news...his lumps and bumps were noncancerous! But then we got the bad news...he had mid-grade kidney disease. So, we immediately switched him to a renal diet and followed the vet's advice on how to manage the disease. Our hope was that we could slow the progression enough for his owner to recover and be able to spend some time with him before the end. In the spring, my SO drove Vito to see his owner, knowing it may be the last time they saw each other. Though Vito was happy to see his owner, he made clear he wanted to get back in the car with my SO to head back to what was now his "home." We shared pictures and videos almost daily, keeping his owner updated. Vito's veracious appetite changed in June. He became picky, would only eat high-value food. When he refused to eat anything other than meat, and began vomiting daily, we called the vet, fearing it was time. By the time the vet came on Thursday, Vito hadn't eaten anything at all for two days. But when the vet arrived, Vito perked up! The vet noted that he wasn't showing signs of dehydration, so provided some anti-nausea meds, with the hope that if we could get Vito to eat again, we may have a bit more time with him. And that evening, Vito ate some meat! Then suddenly, when we went to bed that night, Vito needed assistance to get to his bed. The next morning, Vito didn't move, he just looked at us. Our sweet Vito, who always wanted to be wherever we were, didn't want to get out of bed, refused to eat any meat, or drink any water. Then, we got the text from our vet...Vito's kidney values were the worst he'd ever seen, and he likely had, at best, only days. By Sunday, Vito's poor body gave out, and he was gone. We only had 6 months with him, but we loved him as if we had him his entire life. We ensured he was never alone during his final days, that he knew we were there and loved him and would be with him until he crossed. Though he was in our home for just 6 months, he will be in our hearts forever.