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 Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make

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hillarycole
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PostSubject: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:28 am

I adopted Boris from the Marin Humane Society 11 Sept 10. As a former counter-terrorism analyst, I needed 9/11 to have a new meaning for me. Additionally, having had cancer 3 times in my 20s, I can't have kids and was feeling like it was a perfect time to get a dog. The counselors at MHS had told me that they didn't think Boris (whose name at the time was "Demon") was adoptable because he was out of control and untrainable. He had just turned 1 and had been in shelter since he was 2 months old. After 4 levels of consultation with different counselors that day, though, they agreed to let me take him home because I worked from home, thus could work with him 24/7.

We walked for 5 hours in my neighborhood before I even brought him in the house. That 5 hours was immeasurable against the bond we created on that walk. Within 2 days, he was heeling, sitting, staying, laying down, waiting, leaving it (including my kitty), and even "relaxing" with the command "relax". Untrainable, my ars ...
He had the BEST personality I've ever known any living creature to have. He was loving, hilarious, witty in his doggy way, smart, and always ready to go when it was time to go and chill when it was time to chill. I gleaned more confidence and satisfaction from being his mama than I had from any other accomplishment in my entire life.

We went EVERYWHERE together: shopping, dining, bars, wine tasting, cocktail parties, football parties, road trips, 20-mile per day walks, hikes ... wherever I was, so was Boris. He's the reason I got into mushing. I figured he had rewarded me by being such a wonderful son, I should reward him with the activity he was bred to do. So in November 2010, I hooked us up with some mushers in the Auburn, CA area and after our first run, he earned us our own team to work with; the rest of our team was filled out by huskies from Charlyn Siberians.

Our only experience being separated was when I went to the east coast for 2 weeks for the holidays and had 4 friends taking shifts at my house to care for him so he would never be alone. Unfortunately, despite the fact that he was never alone, he still acted out because it wasn't me who was with him. He chewed a leash while I was away, but no one realized he ingested some of it. When I got home, he was SO excited to see me and we went about our normal routine, to include training with our team up in Foresthill 3-5 times/week. 3 weeks after I returned and out of nowhere, he started vominting profusely at 7:30 am on Monday, 24 Jan 11. I had him in the vet's office at 8:30 am and after many long hours, they informed me they needed to do emergency foreign body surgery. I had a terrible feeling. I was a mess. But he was released to return home the next evening and I was told he would show signs of recovery everyday.

When I got him home, I knew something was wrong, but told myself I was over-reacting, that he'd just had a fairly routine surgery. I didn't believe it, but it's what I told myself. The next day, he seemed to be slipping further away, not coming back as I had been promised. I called the vet 3 times, only to be told that I was crazy, too attached to my dog. The same scenario played out the next day as well. Finally, at 7 pm that night (Thursday), I was on the phone with the vet for the 3rd time that day and he finally admitted to me that Boris's surgery took 2 hours longer than expected and that his intestine was necrotic when he put it back in. He said he didn't have the equipment to help him that night because it was broken, so he referred me to an emergency facility.

I was enraged, panicked, and crying uncontrollably. I hadn't followed my gut and taken him to a vet the day prior because I was afraid to risk ripping his stitches if I lifted him, so had helplessly opted to monitor him and hope for progress. Neither Boris nor I had eaten anything since Monday morning, and I didn't sleep a wink while that was all he did. I couldn't even get a tail thump out of him after his surgery. I packed Boris up immediately and sped over to the emergency clinic, where they discovered that neither his stomach nor intestine had been sewn up completely. He was septic beyond return and his pancreas had started digesting itself. There was nothing anyone could do to save him. The vet gave him 2% odds of surviving another $7300 surgery. I couldn't say the words that had to be said. I made my best friend say the words (yes, let's put him down) as I walked out of the room and sobbed harder than I've ever sobbed before. I came back in the room when Boris was brought in, laid down on the floor next to him trying (and failing) to pull it together, telling him how much I loved him and how sorry I was to see him go. He licked my hand. When the vet administered the injection, I was still on the floor holding him, and was hysterical when he exhaled his last breath.

Boris's death still makes me cry, but his life still inspires me. He was my first son, and he was a kid who everyone had given up on until I brought him home September 11th. After he died, I quit mushing for a month. I couldn't imagine being with our team without him. After a month, though, I wasn't recovering too well, so I went back to our team and resumed training for the races that were to be held in March. His collar and tag hung from my belt loop everytime I trained and raced with the team, and still do to this day while we are in training season. The last day of races, I sprinkled a small portion of his ashes at "his" tree on the mountain -- the tree where I always had him staged while I got our team hooked up to the sled to go out on the mountain.

Because of him and the bond we had, Danika's breeder gave her to me because somehow in the mix of mine and Boris's time with our team, I had become the first and only person Danika trusted. She was our lead dog, and we had bonded without me even realizing it at the time. The day we finished our last race of the season, her breeder gave her to me to keep and I look at her as being a gift not only from the breeder, but also from Boris. She's an amazing dog and has come far since I've taken her as my own. Not a day goes by that I don't still miss and love Boris very much even though I have two amazing kids in Danika and now Volya, too. He inspires my bond with them both and is never forgotten. He would adore his new sister and brother.





Last edited by hillarycole on Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:49 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : was trying to add a picture of him)
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:56 am

@hillarycole wrote:
Boris's surgery took 2 hours longer than expected and that his intestine was necrotic when he put it back in. He said he didn't have the equipment to help him that night because it was broken, so he referred me to an emergency facility.


To think we trust our babies/Huskies to people like this, make me want to cry and be enraged at the same time.

I would make sure I would post your vets ignorance on every review forum in the area.
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hillarycole
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:16 am

He was fired 2 weeks after Boris died (a time period during which I took up battle against him) and his license has been revoked thanks to Boris's insurance company. He (the vet) sent me a condolence card the week after Boris died, in which he'd written "We are just as sorry as you are for the loss of Boris. He was our family too". When I was notified that he had been fired, I sent him a condolence card, in which I had written, "may you think of my son everyday for the rest of your unemployed life."

I have had a very hard time forgiving myself for choosing that vet.
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:30 am

Oh man I'm crying right now, that is so sad Sad

Thank u for sharing your story with us. And I'm happy u did not give up on the mushing and letting 2 more huskies fill your big heart!

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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:41 am

Sad

Ugh... that was heartbreaking to read, I can only imagine what you must be/have gone through! I am SO sorry for your loss. That is awful and I probably would have pursued the same action against the vet that you did! TO NOT TELL YOU ABOUT THE SURGICAL COMPLICATION IS AWFUL. I don't want to get into the What If's because everything (albeit as horrible as they are) everything happens for a reason, but man, Hillary, I feel for you. I'm so very very sorry.

But as Jenn said, thank you for taking Danika and Volya into your home. I hope their love helps ease some of the pain. I'm sure Boris is smiling down on all three of you.

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cmanding
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:52 am

This is such a heartbreaking story....I don't even know what to say to something like this....

....but I am glad you found it in your heart to take in Danika and Volya and call them your family and that you still carry Boris's collar and tags with you when you train and race....


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CoffeeK8
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:39 pm

Gah. I'm crying, too. I'm so very sorry for your loss. That whole thing is my worst nightmare. I'm glad that vet is no longer practicing and that now you have two beautiful dogs to share your love with. Boris was another name we considered for Nikolai. Good Russian name. :-)
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beck3465
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:09 pm

That is really sad. Dumb vet!!! Glad you went ahead and got two more. Guess I won't be too mad at Skyla for pulling out one of my newly planted Crepe Myrtle trees root ball and all and chewing the top all to pieces this morning, Naughty Girl. Glad you are enjoying Danika and Volya. Huskies rule!!!
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MelissaI
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:10 pm

Wow, this has me in tears. I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine going through that! As Kate mentioned, this is one of my biggest fears also Sad

I'm glad that you now have Danika and Volya....they're adorable!
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hillarycole
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:50 am



At a foot ball party with pals and mimosas
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hillarycole
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:57 am







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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:59 am

Thanks for the kind words, everyone! It's wonderful to find so many other husky-ophites Smile
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hillarycole
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:01 am



After our very first sled dog run ... he was sooooo happy! Smile
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cmanding
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:24 am

Handsome boy!

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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:33 am

Wow what a stricking mack and face! He was a great looking boy, thanks for sharing Smile
Jack has the same name tag

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MelissaI
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:53 am

He was such a good looking boy! How old was he? =(
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Guntar
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:07 pm

Awesome Husky, but very sad story. I am very sorry for your loss.
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hillarycole
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:12 pm

Thanks, y'all! I always loved his pretty chocolate brown fur Smile
@ Jen -- that nametage is indestructible. It rules mother earth
@Melissa -- he was almost 17 months. Poor baby
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MelissaI
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:14 pm

Oh my god that's terrible! Poor thing =( This is really breaks my heart!
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:16 pm

oh man i did not realize he was still so young Sad so sad

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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:34 pm

Yeah, he was just a baby still Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:59 pm

So sorry about your loss.... I was teary-eyed reading your story as well. Glad to hear that vet it out of a job -- what a jackass!! Boris was a handsome boy too Sad Enjoy your new babies, they are beautiful!
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:48 pm

Yeah, he sucked ass. The day after Boris died, he called trying to say that if he had known what the emergency clinic's assessment was, he would have had me bring Boris back to him, and he would have worked on him pro bono during his off-time and all this BS ... you know, trying to play big humanitarian hero after he told me I was crazy for 2.5 days while knowing there were complications (and possibly even suspected that he may not have sewn his organs all the way back up) ... mind you, it's not like he gave me his cell phone number when he sent us packing, nor did he ask me to keep him updated. Douchebag. "oh, I f'd up your dog's surgery, but I totally could have saved his life if you had just told me what the ER said." ... yeah, way to go, big guy ... big promises to make when we all know there's nothing anyone can do ...The last words i spoke to him before hanging up on him were, "You better buckle up, f*cker, I'm going to have your license by the time I'm done with you." ... I'm glad I made good on that promise.
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26nikita
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:30 pm

I'm so sorry you had to go through this. We are suppose to be able to trust our vets and when that trust is broken, it's so hard to trust again. I hope you have since found a much more careing vet. Sorry for your loss.
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PostSubject: Re: Boris - my first kid who still rules my heart and every husky-related decision I make   Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:03 am

I´m so sorry for what you have gone through. This story really meade me cry.
I know if this would happen to me someone would have to hold me back otherwise I would kill that vet. Atleast everything you do comes bakc someday, so he will receive his punishment for what he has done.
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