Hey, fellow pet lovers!!
Today’s post is a bit different from our usual ones as is all about my partner’s previous pooch Freya. She was the sweetest dog ever and like Nia a big fat lump of Staffy love, I only knew Freya for a short while but the time I did spend with her was truly wonderful.
Let’s jump straight in and learn about my previous gorgeous girl Freya!!
Freya was such a happy and energetic girl, she loved walks and no matter how much physical exercise she did, be that pulling the bike, chasing after a stick in the park or walking to and from work with my partner, she could easily do it three times over.
Before I and my partner got together he decided he wanted a canine companion in his life and went to the local kennel to see if there was a perfect pooch there for him. The kennel was full of course and uncomfortably loud with the sound of dogs barking and howling. I’m guessing a lot of you would have been in a kennel at some point but if you haven’t it’s a really heartbreaking experience and if you leave without giving a pet a loving home you feel awful!! I went twice before deciding we were going to get Lily and both times I left without giving an innocent pet a second chance.
My partner slowly walked around the three rows of kennels and got to the end to find the most energetic dog there. Freya was jumping up at the cage and was going a bit mental, he went to the desk and asked about her, how long had she been in, what they knew about her history?
They said that they thought she was about 2 years old and was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and heartbreakingly she only had tonight left as tomorrow she was going to get put to sleep. Freya had travelled various kennels and our local one was destined to be her last stop. My partner couldn’t and wouldn’t leave her there knowing her fate, so he said he would take her.
Walking back with her was apparently an experience, she pulled the whole way but was so happy someone was giving her a second or even a third chance. When she got to her new home her crazy energy continued and she was like Lily just more energetic, which is an achievement in my opinion. She settled in just fine and thankfully my partner got what he always wanted, a loving canine companion.
When I and my partner started going out back in 2014 we had a month together before he got a new job and we moved into our current flat that we now share with our girls. This was when I really got to see what Freya was like, she was the sweetest pooch ever and also very smelly!! These were the days that we didn’t know anything about raw feeding and believed the clever marketing campaigns of large pet food corporations, so, unfortunately, we happily fed Freya a diet of canned wet food and we were far less strict about what we gave her.
I remember one night we ordered a pizza and had a slice left so decided to give Freya a bite, however, she wasn’t satisfied with just a bite and ran down the passage with the whole slice in her mouth, it was so funny!! We were that bad that she even got a little pancake made for her whenever we had them, which at one point was almost every day.
Thankfully, we are a lot more clued up now and feed all our girls a raw diet to keep them fit and healthy. A month or so into living together I was really enjoying getting to know Freya, her favourite place to go was the park not far from where we live, in fact, this is also Lily’s favourite place to go.
Freya at the park with her favourite stick 🙂
We used to take her to the park daily and she would find a stick she liked then would chase after it, she is the only dog I have ever had that loved sticks, Nia is indifferent when it comes to toys and Lily is all about her ball. However, for Freya, it was all about the sticks and after a few times of going to the park, she had chosen a stick that she really liked and decided that it was going to be her forever stick, so it came home with us and every time we went to the park we took it with us.
After six happy months of getting to know Freya something awful happened, I was on my way home from college and my partner had decided to take Freya out to the park before I got back, like we always did each and every day. Freya always listened to what we said and the park is literally a two-minute walk away from our flat, with one small road to cross.
So my partner walked with Freya by his side off the lead as this was usual, getting to the last point before the park and the only crossing he told her to stop, so she did, but a second later something must have caught her eye and she ran across the road only to be hit by a car pulling out. My partner ran to grab her and stop the car as she was badly hurt and still under, the car had gone completely over her and she was unable to walk. She slowly dragged herself to the curb and shockingly the driver pulled away, not offering to help at all, we still do not know who this was.
My partner ran to his work which is close to our flat since we live on site and one of his colleagues gave him a lift to our local vets which is just down the road. I was unaware all of this happened until I got a phone call off my partner. I remember that phone call vividly, I was on the metro (the local public transport) and had about 15 minutes till my stop to get off, there were lots of people sitting around me and my phone rang, I answered it and I could hear the concern and panic in his voice.
Freya has been knocked over, I’m at the vet’s, my heart dropped and the people around me could certainly tell, Is she ok? What has the vet’s said? Do you think she is going to make it? My brain went into a pure panic mode and I said I would be there as quickly as possible. I had a good 15 minutes to go until my stop and also had to change metros, I cannot tell you how long that wait really felt, it was like an eternity…
Finally, my stop arrived and I got off the metro as quickly as I could, ran up the stairs and was out onto the street. I had a good walk to go but decided to just run as fast as I could till I got there, my partner’s brother was waiting for me at the top of the road that the vets are on. I was out of breath but asked how is she? He wasn’t too sure, my partner had rung his parents to ask them to come down since Freya had to be moved and we needed the car to take her to another veterinary clinic that would drive her up to an overnight clinic later on.
The vets Freya first went to is the vets that we’re currently at with the girls and he is wonderful, he did everything he could to get her as comfortable as possible for the journey ahead but also said It doesn’t look promising and we should expect the worse. My partner had Freya on his lap wrapped in a blanket, I was sitting in the back of the car and his dad drove us to the veterinary clinic.
We got there and they took her straight in the back room, got her some pain medication and told us she would be taken up to an overnight veterinary clinic where she would stay. We spent a short amount of time with her and then had to leave as she was going to be taken up to the clinic in a short while. We said our goodbyes and told her we would be with her tomorrow as we were planning on travelling up to the vets. They said that would be fine and gave us a number to call so we could check how she was doing later on that night.
We walked home from the vets as we wanted the fresh air and needed some time to clear our heads. We got home an hour later and felt awful but had each other at least and tried to pass the night best we could. We called the vets before we went to sleep and they said she had arrived and was settling in fine, so we decided to call it a night and head to bed.
The morning arrived and my partner called up straight away to see how Freya was, they said she was doing ok but wasn’t eating and is still unable to walk. We said we would be coming down to see her later on that day. The vets that Freya was staying at was quite a distance from where we lived and it took us a couple of hours to get there.
When we got there she was so excited to see us and we were too!! She was unable to wag her tail and she had to be lifted in and out of her cage as she couldn’t use her back legs at all, we knew then that some serious damage had been done to her spine.
We didn’t have many options apart from wait and see if her condition improved, get her an MRI Scan to see how bad things really were or put her to sleep (euthanize). We decided to wait a few days to see how she was as we were told that what can often happen as the swelling goes down around her spinal cord is that some use of her legs may have come back. We hoped that she would be able to at least move her tail or show some kind of movement in her back legs but unfortunately that was not the case. A few days passed and every day we went to see her hoping for the best but leaving her side feeling helpless and hopeless.
I had a search online to see how I could help raise some funds for her vet bills and hopefully future rehabilitation. I knew an MRI Scan was going to be at least a few thousand pounds to start with and we also had all the other costs to consider, it was over £100 every night she was in the overnight vets so the costs were piling up quickly and stupidly we didn’t have Freya insured.
I came across a site called gofundme and started a campaign called help save Freya’s life. We received some donations from generous people and we were so grateful for every penny. However, it was enough for an MRI scan and we didn’t have the money even if we sold everything we had at that point. We had already accumulated over £1000 worth of vets bills and it had been a week of agony for us and Freya.
After about a week the vet started talking about putting her to sleep as maybe the best option, we were completely unwilling to this idea and left that day feeling helpless in every way possible. We didn’t want to lose our baby, I only knew Freya for a short amount of time but loved her dearly and I could see how much this was killing my partner inside. We went home that night and talked about our options, thought about what the vet had said and thought about how much of a chance Freya had of living a normal life if her back legs didn’t work.
We went back for another three days and on the tenth day Freya still hadn’t got any better and there was no sign of her back legs improving and on top of this, she was passing blood in her urine. We knew what we had to do, no matter how much we didn’t want that outcome, it was the outcome that had to happen. Going to the vets for the last time was hard, knowing we were going to leave with Freya but not how we had hoped was truly awful.
We went in and I stayed with Freya while my partner talked to the vet and said that we had decided it was time for Freya to stop suffering. She said that they would be starting a surgery in an hour so we would have to do it before then, which meant we had just under an hour left to spend with her.
On the way down to the vets we popped into a little corner shop and got her a tiny bar of chocolate, I know it’s pretty bad but she deserved every bit of it!!
She was the last pooch in the small room at the vet’s, all the others had thankfully gotten better and had now gone back home. We went into the little room got her out of her cage and put a throw down on the floor, snuggled up with her and gave her the tiny chocolate bar and she gladly ate every bit. That hour went past far to quickly and it was sickly sweet, but the time finally came to say goodbye and my partner carried her downstairs to another small room and laid her on the table.
The vet got everything ready and asked us if we were ready to start, we said yes, hugged her and told her we loved her dearly and whispered we’re going home. She was a strong pooch and had to have a second dose to stop her heart, but after a minute or so she was still and it was all over. We wrapped her up and my partner’s parents had come to pick us up to take Freya to their house, as we wanted to bury her in the back garden.
We got in the car, it was deadly silent and again time dragged, we got to our destination and said our final goodbyes to Freya. She is now safe, in no more pain and can run free. Having to make the decision to put any pet down is the hardest thing ever, you never get over the pain of doing so, it just slowly gets easier to deal with.
We did take some valuable lessons from this awful experience though and I would say how we care for the girls now is completely different because of what happened. All our girls are insured, all fed a raw diet and Nia and Lily are never ever off the lead next to the road. This is the biggest take away from it all, my heart drops when I see dog owners with their pooches off the lead so close to the main road and unfortunately, I see it all the time!!
It really doesn’t matter how much your pet listens to you, Freya listened every single day but for some reason that day she didn’t and one day that might be your pet, so why take the chance?
Keep your dog on the lead at all times next to the road, no matter how obedient they are, it’s not worth the risk or heartbreak you will feel if the unimaginable does happen!!
Writing this post was quite upsetting considering it has been so long since we lost Freya and we now have Nia, Lily and the Pooss. It is insane to think how many things we did differently back then and how uneducated we were on how to properly provide for a pooch. We try to do our very best for our girls now and they are the silver lining to this awful experience.
We still have Freya’s harness which is far too big for Nia as she was a beast and also her favourite stick as a reminder of her. Never forget how special your pooch is and always have them on the lead next to any road or where cars are, as it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Thanks for reading this post everyone, this week marks just over four years that we said goodbye to Free, which was her nickname we used to call her. I hope you all liked learning about how amazing she really was, she was such a good girl and I hope you can all take one important lesson away from this tragic story and that is to keep your dog on the lead at all times next to any road regardless of how obedient they are, it just takes one thing to excite them and then the worse could happen.
If you enjoyed today’s post then let me know by hitting that like button and giving it a share so other pet parents can learn about how important it is to keep your canine on the lead next to the road. Losing Freya was heartbreaking and I would hate for any other pet owner to have to go through the pain we did when all you need to do is keep your pet on the lead until it is safe for them to be let off.
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