It is with great sadness that I report to you that my sweet Prince went to the Rainbow Bridge on Monday morning. He wasn’t feeling well Sunday night and didn’t move from a spot on the living room floor all night, very unlike my boy who has followed me from room to room for the past 14 years. In the morning, he was still laying in that same spot and wasn’t himself, I could see his heart racing out of his chest and his breathing didn’t look quite normal. He couldn’t stand up so my husband carried him to the car and off to the vet we went. I was hoping his arthritis was just acting up but had to prepare myself that it could be worse news given he was 15 years old. Sure enough, all it took was a flash ultrasound that revealed he had large masses on his spleen, liver and in his bladder. The vet suspected he’d been happily living with cancer for quite some time until he likely had an internal bleed that was causing a low blood pressure, fast heart rate and dehydration. He was just running in the yard two evenings before that but now we were faced with only one choice, to let him go. The cancer had taken its toll and the vet and I quickly agreed that it was his time. No suffering.
My long journey with golden retriever rescue (both in Cincinnati and Florida) started with Prince in June of 2003 when I rescued him as a skinny, scrappy, hyper, ill-mannered one year old who was meant as a companion to my perfect 3 year old golden, Kenyon. Somehow, opposites attracted with these two and they instantly bonded. A year later, when I adopted Logan from GRRAND, Prince immediately took this scared, abused puppy under his wing. The 3 became my 3 musketeers. Kenyon was my honorary GRRAND representative who came on all my home visits with me to show how amazing goldens are (Prince’s wild ways only allowed him to go to a few and Logan wouldn’t even think of coming out of hiding to meet new people!). Prince handled the many fosters and dog sitting charges I took on over the years with such happiness. He was with me since I was 23, young and having fun, through grad school, many jobs, moving to Jacksonville, attending law school, more jobs, losing Kenyon, marrying my husband (who came into my life of 3 goldens never having been around dogs), moving to Tampa, losing Logan, adopting a new crazy golden pup Darcy, and having my two girls in the past 2 years. Through it all, Prince was my constant, taking on every life event as if it was no big deal as long as we had each other. In his older age, he became my representative for Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida as I volunteered and served on the Board. He was so wonderful and gentle with my daughters, even in his old age. He never stopped following me to every room, no matter how long or short a period of time I was there, with children or without, until he got sick on Sunday night. Arthritis was the worst health issue he had until this cancer was revealed on Monday.
I can’t thank GRRAND enough for being the wonderful organization that it is with the greatest group of people. It’s been a glorious 14 years with my GRRAND goldens and I don’t plan to lose my connection even though I’m in Florida and both my GRRAND dogs have now passed on. I will be making a donation in memory of Prince very soon.
With lots of love,
Abby (Lee) Katabaro