Because of the past of Berta (breast tumor) we suspected some metastases so we took her to a doctor, who could x-ray her before an operation. Just as we had thought, she had millions of tiny metastases in her lungs. Erzsi and her husband fostered Berta, took care of and petted her for one and a half weeks. Then they took her to the vet and went away for a walk to wait for the operation to finish so they weren’t there to hear the result. The doctors called me because I had taken care of all the administration beforehand. It was quite a short conversation. They told me that there was a problem, a real big one. They didn’t offer any alternatives; they knew I would understand and say: “Put her to sleep!” She was put to sleep on the operating table at half past four for good. They didn’t even start the operation because the x-ray had shown everything before. It was the best decision we could make. If we had waited for a while, a week, a month or a bit later her lungs would have given up the fight and she would have degenerated, and suffered; but wouldn’t have survived. That way she passed away as a happy dog, she didn’t feel that strange thing around her that everyone knows something is wrong but she doesn’t know what. She went to sleep silently and peacefully.

Berta served a breeder for 11 years. She had a lot of litters, but the owner didn’t even know how many, since not all of them had a pedigree. We have never seen her pedigree either; her tattoo in her ear was merely a green blob. She had had a Cesarean section before her last pregnancy. No one knows when her last puppies were born. When we saw her for the first time we knew we wouldn’t give her back to the owner although we didn’t know she would be with us for just one and a half weeks. She was an old dog, but we didn’t think her life would end so soon. We wanted to give her a chance to recover from her illness, to have a kind and loving family. But we were wrong. We are sorry dear Berta. Goodbye!

After the conversation with the doctors, I went walking with my own dogs as I was very sad. We headed for one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen; to a hill near us, where I can cry and have some rest. Then I received a phone call… Someone was searching for the black dog with a red collar that I had found 4 days before. It turned out she was a 16 year old, pedigree, tattooed, trained dog that got lost 4 days before. How on earth can a 16 year old dog get lost? That is how: she is absolutely deaf, and she walked out the gate not hearing the owner’s call. Lassie, that is her name, went home today. I was really happy about that, but I was much more upset about Berta. Though I smile and I’m happy about Lassie, it isn’t true joy.

It is a frightening feeling to make decisions about lives, but I am convinced that I made the right decision. I and two doctors, who like me and acted according to the best of their knowledge, thought the same. I didn’t regret my decision and I never will.

Finally I got to the hill nearby, where I wanted to cry. And there I was crying for half an hour, counting the clouds and the ripples of the Danube while my own three dogs were running around me. They understood something was not okay and they came to me either one after the other or together to comfort me. They did everything they could; they put their paws around my neck, just sat down or lay beside me. They are 3 wonderful dogs, with souls beyond description. I promised them that in case I am in the same situation with any of them, I wouldn’t let them suffer.

On behalf of Berta I would like to thank everyone who helped us. That was all we could do… We solve the impossible, Lassie is at home, but unfortunately you have to wait for the miracle. But life goes on and we want to achieve that there are no retrievers in need of our help. But there are. We try to regain strength, help dogs, and give them a chance as we gave Berta and we hope that such failure will avoid us for a while.

Fruzsina Bagi
Trainee Veterinarian/> The leader of Retriever Rescue Hungary

Contact : , T: Márti Zsarnóczay +36 70 366 9575
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