My big baby boy Armani

by Jasmine
(Henderson, NV)

Me, Armani, and my sis Christmas 2003, Armani was 8

Me, Armani, and my sis Christmas 2003, Armani was 8

My baby boy dalmation Armani died yesterday morning, April 6th, 2009 at 5am, in my arms. He was 14 years young and had twisted his stomach. Since he was so old, we did not want to take him to the emergency room so they could operate and he possibly not make it on the table, or have them suggest putting him to sleep. So my family and I decided to wait for our family vet to open at 8am.

My Armani was a fighter, this was not his first brush with death...

I adopted Armani when he was a puppy of 4 months. I played with him and he was the cutest, most loving thing I had ever seen. A few days later, he stopped eating and drinking. Everything he tried to put down came right back up. One morning I woke up and he was laying motionless in my arms, sweating. I made my daddy take him to the vet. I skipped school that day. They called me and told me he had parvo and suggested we put him to sleep, because the odds of him living were slim. I refused and told them to do whatever it took to make him better. He came home the next day cured and very very hyper. That's how he remained the rest of his days.

He was a gentle giant, weighing in at 85lbs, pretty large for a dalmation. He jumped into your arms like he weighed 15lbs. He never grew up. He always thought he was still that little pup. He used to sleep in the bed with me, and for awhile was the same size as me! I remember when I came home from ballet camp I left him a puppy and returned to a full size muscular dalmation.

Armani was a pleaser and the sweetest thing. He was a little clumsy, since he never thought himself bigger than a pup. He had this signature bark, somewhere between a whining howl and a roar! He used to shake uncontrollably when anyone he recognized came home and as soon as you came to see him, he would dash off and grab anything. A toy, a big doggie bed, or even paper towels put on the floor for easy accident clean up, and present them to you as your special present.

I moved out of my parents house and every time I came home, he never forgot. I was always his best friend. He was the BEST hugger and gave me kisses until my face was soaking. I didn't mind, I loved him and his slobber!

He loved food! Oh, did he love food! He was the first one out to use the bathroom and the first one in for his food.

Towards the end, my parents were telling me he was having hip problems. He was having a really hard time going up and down the stairs. It also didn't help he as going blind. He was scared of those stairs, pulling back in his infamous sphynx pose if he didn't want to go. I've been home for a month because I was supposed to get back surgery and it was postponed. It has been the longest time I've spent with him since I left home 11 years ago. We played and wrestled and hugged and kissed like we did many years ago.

On April 5th, I took my little beagle Dolce out to Petsmart to get Armani a bone (he had a nervous tendency of tearing apart bedding or any fabric really). My little baby had bad separation anxiety. While I was there I bought him a harness leash since the other dogs had one, and I didn't want him to be left out.

We played when I got home and my dad fed them and put them upstairs while we watched a movie. Halfway through the movie I heard him whining and we went up to check. He had been throwing up everywhere. I stayed with him and he was so tense. His stomach started bloating. My parents wanted him to rest and relax so they tried to make him sleep. He was too uncomfortable standing hunched over. I knew he had twisted his tummy...

He was too weak to walk and too much in pain to lay so my dad carried him down so he could use the bathroom. After, my dad set up a bed in my living room and I stayed with him so he had company until we could see the vet. He finally laid down with me. I pulled the blankets up over him and we lay in each other's arms like we did when I was a kid. I told him he was a fighter and I loved him and he was gonna make it! We reminisced about the good times and I kissed him every second.

He wasn't drinking and was breathing sooo hard so I force fed him water while he was laying down. Finally, after my sister talked to him over the phone, he sat up for the first time in 3 hours and wagged his tail. I was sure he was gonna make it. I hugged him harder and bigger than I ever had and he kissed me on the lips like he always did.

I looked in his big black eyes and I knew. He loved me very very much and he was telling me it was ok, he was sleepy now. I kissed and hugged him and he put his head down on my leg and I leaned over and put my head on him and told him over and over and over again how much I loved him. He stopped breathing at 5am. I lost my baby boy and my best friend...

I miss him soo much!!! It's pretty unbearable right now. My parents said he waited for me. He wasn't feeling well the past year, but was fighting for the time I would be there to be with him. It was like he knew I was going to be delayed for surgery. He spent his final hours at home in his beloved best friend's arms. He had the most loved life and the best home.

Armani, my big boy, Mani-

You are missed in tremendous ways! It is hard to walk these hallways and not see you there. I know you are finally pain-free and flying with the angels. I hope they have lots of beds and treats (especially carrots, you love carrots!) in heaven.

I wish you were here with me, but I know you will never leave me in my heart! I am so happy for you my love! You are playing and laughing and smiling in the golden sun for eternity! I will always love you! I can't wait for you to rush and jump on me when we meet at the golden gate! I love you my ani... FOREVER!!!

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