a few photos of LAKODA…

I’ve been retired since April 2016. I’m coming up on 5 years retired. I guess I was fortunate enough that after I retired, I haven’t had to work. My days have been mine to fill. I had plans to travel.

Buy or lease an RV and spend 6 months or so on the road traveling with my dogs from the east coast to the west coast and returning.

I’m an amateur photographer and videographer. I had visions of writing a book with thousands of photos and a documentary video.

For the first few months I enjoyed not being part of the morning and evening rat race. Having my days to do with as I see fit. May, June July go by and I involve myself in taking many walks and taking video, photos of my dogs and neighborhood. I’m newly retired and I have plenty of time to plan a trip across America and back.

August arrives and my youngest dog Dingo has a seizure. I spend the next 5 months dealing with a brain tumor that Dingo is diagnosed with. Trips to UT Veterinary Clinic in Knoxville Tennessee with Dingo to be evaluated, have surgery, recover and then radiation therapy.

During the time I was treating Dingo, Lakoda was diagnosed with liver issues. Multiple trips to a local vet for evaluation, testing and treatment.

Dingo improved tremendously. He had no seizures and was the Dingo of old. On February 28, 2017, Dingo had another seizure. I took him to my vet and they kept him all day for treatment. I talked to my vet several times during the day and the prognosis wasn’t good. Around 5pm the vet called me and told me I had a decision to make. They were not able to stabilize him long term and I either had to transfer him to a local long term facility, or euthanize him.

The morning that had started like any other morning over the past 4 months or so was ending with me not knowing what to do. I could take him to the long term facility and they could keep him alive with special care that could cost me as much as a $1,000 a day with no certainty that he would ever improve.

I had already spent $15,000 on Dingo and almost $4,000 on Lakoda and I couldn’t see spending a $1,000 a day with no certitude of recovery. So on the evening of February 28, 2017, I lost Dingo. He was 12 years old.

I continued to treat Lakoda with undetermined cost. She continued to decline. In January 2018, I bought a blue wagon so I could take her with me when I went on walks. She could walk, but not for long distances. The wagon allowed me to take her to a park about a mile away so she could enjoy being outside the house. Photo 2 shows Lakoda in the blue wagon and photo 1 shows Lakoda after we had arrived at a destination and I had removed her from the wagon. The two photos are form March 2018. Photo 3 is from 2011 and 4 is from 2014.

Lakoda passed away on May 25, 2018. She was almost 16 years old.

Blue was a Siberian Husky. After Lakoda passed Blue’s skin issues became even more problematic. I treated with baths, steroids and other medication. He had a cruciate ligament repair in October 2012, and from the time Lakoda passed away, Blue’s skin issues and ability to walk deteriorated until February 2019 and I had to euthanize him. Blue was almost 15.

My plans for any trip were placed on hold and to date I haven’t made that trip. I’ve been retired for 5 years and didn’t plan on the first 4 years my retirement being wrapped up in treating 3 geriatric dogs.

Three lives well lived. I did spend a lot of money treating the three dogs in their final days. I would do it all over exactly the same way.