Ok, personal life post time, so if you’re looking for something TGG, SCGMC, or Gunpla related; you may want to skip this one. This is about a part of my life that has been with me for the past 15 and a half years. And he’s gone now. So this is my goodbye.
This is the very first picture I took of Hugo when I brought him home in early December 2003. He was born on October 27, 2003 and I had somehow found an ad for him by the breeder out near Lake Elsinore. THe breeder had actually kept him separate from his littermates as she was originally planning on having him become a show dog. He melted mine and Clementine’s hearts immediately and we brought him home. I did not know that 13 years later, we would get Bob from this same breeder. Once home, his first order of business was to find something and drag it along the house.
This is the very last picture I took of him late in the evening of March 23, 2019, still smiling because all his friends hes gotten to know over the years are within smell radius.
He had been suffering from early onset of arthritis in his right leg sometime in middle of December 2018; and has been on pain meds to treat that. He had fainted Friday morning on his usual morning pee routine. I took him to the vet that afternoon and after an exam and some x rays, he looked completely healthy to the doctor so he would refer me to a neurologist as the problem may be nervous system. I got the call Saturday morning with a location and called the neurologist and pleaded for an appointment and we were squeezed in. The doctor there witnessed a feinting episode and noticed that Hugo had stopped breathing, so she grabbed him and rushed him into the back room all the while screaming for her technician. Yuki and I freaked and pretty much braced for the worst. 15 long minutes later, the doctor came back and she he was now completely fine. Breathing normally, heartbeat normal, and fighting the intubation tube. He wasn’t quite ready to leave.
The dr said it wasn’t nervous system, but his heart. He wasn’t getting enough blood pumped around his body so excitement and such creates a vacuum of energy and he faints. Dr releases him to the emergency clinic across the parking lot and we head over there. The vet there highly recommends they keep him, plugged into an EKG, IVs and all sorts of other things for the next two nights so that he can see the cardologist Monday morning. Hugo is 15 and a half years old. He’s in a strange place. He’s with completely strange smells. He’s at a vet office that is 25 miles from our house. Yeah, this wasn’t going to happen. We checked him out around 3pm and hadn’t seen him since his episode at 11am. Yuki saw him being brought out in our stroller we have for him and he had the look of bewilderment and anxiousness which completely washed away when he saw/smelled Yuki and I. Yeah, he is definitely coming home with us.
We grabbed some food as we hadn’t eaten all morning and I shared some of my grilled chicken with Hugo who quickly wolfed the two pieces down. Then drove home. I tell the wife to send a message out to a small group of friends letting them know what’s kinda happened and that if they wanted to come by and visit/say goodbye; tonight was a very good time to do so. Friends popped over and some stayed longer while others had other engagements that this kinda threw a complete wrench into, but this is what family does in such times. Yuki and I are very grateful for having such loving people in our lives. Stories were shared, my usual method to deal with something of this magnitude is to just be as morbid and try to make everyone laugh. I think it was a good night; for the most part.
I made some calls to Hong Kong so that I could video chat my step dad and my mom as well. They had no idea about this until I called. This brought them to tears as he’s been a pretty big part of their lives as well.
I video chatted with Clementine too as he too was a big part of her life. Yuki and I updated her on what has been happening to Hugo. 15 is pretty damn old for a corgi.
Yuki video chatted in her parents as well since they wanted to see him as well. They were looking forward to spending some time with him later this year when they come to visit. This is pretty profound as their last visit was only a few short months, but the little fat bastard wiggled his way into their hearts as well. Especially Yuki father, whom he was never far away from, keeping one another company during their entire stay. Yuki’s mom shed some good tears too.
Our friends got some food for us and we ate and left Hugo to rest. With all the people in the room, he didn’t sleep once. He was obviously tired and fell asleep immediately once we left and turned out the lights. Yuki couldn’t stay away long and went back to keep him company, to let him know that he’s never alone. This is one of the first pictures I took of her with my boys.
Yuki was dead on her feet and wanted to take a half hour nap. So at 10:30, she headed to bed. Folks had been taking turns hanging out in the room with Hugo, sometimes a large group, other times just Yuki or I. Everyone also noticed that if I left the room, Hugo immediately realizes this and starts looking for me; so I limited my time away from him as much as possible. We had put him in this room because it was further away from potential noise of barking dogs and such as folks came and went. My step dad also slept in this room a few months ago while my parents were visiting and Hugo is by far, my step dad’s favorite. And Hugo really loves him too, so having his smell in the room should help. Yuki moved a pillow down behind Hugo to give him something to lean up against and he immediately reacted by sniffing the air and looking around.
We were in mid conversation when I noticed that the breathing pattern changed. It was about 11:30. I told one of the friends to go wake Yuki up, as I believe he was getting ready to say goodbye. Yuki came in and held his paw while I cradled him in my arms and his breathing slowed and a few minutes later, stopped. It was a very peaceful passing and I really believe that he didn’t want to go earlier so that he could be visited by all his friends. I still feel bad that some of the friends hung around to watch him pass, they really don’t need the imagery in their lives. But Yuki and I are very thankful for their presence. And we believe we made the correct decision to take him home as we truly believe that he would have rather come home with us than stay in a strange place with complete strangers. I don’t believe he would have lasted this long if we had left him there that afternoon.
I have a huge hole in my heart now because it feels like 15 years of my life has been ripped out of me. I know this is not true and I know that he had a VERY good life with us. He’s met so many other furry friends and has been a pretty big part of the lives of my friends too. Hugo has made friends and left his glitter on everyone that has ever stepped foot into my house. When I am at home, he goes where I go, and is never far away from me. He let me put him in the most ridiculous of situations.
He hangs with me while I build models and sometimes participates, willingly and unwillingly. And was part of every build gathering I had at my houses.
He had 3 younger brothers, Beanie, Kenken, and Bob.
He’s traveled to Vegas, Arizona, Sacramento, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and everywhere in between. He has been on every ski trip I went on since he was born.
And has gone out of his way just to make me laugh.
He was unconditionally loyal and loved me absolute. I could not have asked for a better furry friend for the past 15 years. He has always had my back and I would love to believe that I had his.
Through pain, joy, utter silliness, he was there for me. It will take some time to get over the real hurt and fake emptiness that I feel because 15 years of those memories do not equate to the insignificant amount of pain I feel right now. Thanks for being there for that last 15 years, it’s your little brother Beanie’s turn to hang out with you; he doesn’t have to be alone now.