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Arlo Bartholomew
 By Wandie   •   24th May 2010   •   8,548 views   •   49 comments
Arlo Bartholomew

We adopted a dog from the SPCA about 7 years ago. His name is Arlo, and he's a black lab mix. Nobody wanted him, and no one could even walk him. Well, 7 years ago we had our black lab die from cancer. We brought the extra dog food that we had to the SPCA. We weren't going to look for another dog. It wasn't visiting hours, but they told us that we could go and look at the dogs. We went into the rooms and looked into each room where each dog was. Then we came to a door, and on the door it said "Arlo" and also on it said that he was a black lab mix. The lady let us go in a see him. He was outside but when she called him he came running through the door and his tail was wagging, he was jumping, and he ran to his bed and grabbed his toy. We fell in love with him. So, the dog that no one really wanted was the perfect one for us.

After a few days we went to go and pick him up and bring him home. One of the guys that worked there brought and put him in the car and said "Be a good boy Arlo." The SPCA named Arlo, and we didn't want to change his name. It fit him perfectly because Arlo means "ball of energy" and that's what Arlo was, even when he was at the age when dogs would usually calm down. I don't remember how my mom thought of it but she gave Arlo a middle name. She picked Barholomew. Arlo Bartholomew.

Arlo BartholomewYears went passed and Arlo was a big part of our life. He jumped, played, snored, went for walks, and had his own chair and coat, and lots of toys. Just about a week ago he even learned to carry recyclables downstairs.

Arlo had his own special personality. He'd roll on the floor, cover his face and make noises as he did it. Chris even taught him that if he wanted something that you had that he would put his paw up (like if you were to shake his paw). We even truly believe that he was learning English. Arlo also enjoyed picking rasberries, especially when he found out that he could eat them. He'd put his mouth over a few, and pull them off gently so that he would damage the plant.

Around Mother's Day Arlo started coughing and breathing funny. He had little episodes for about a week of breathing heavy. We didn't take him to the vet right away because he was perfectly fine on some days....jumping, playing, and fooling around. On Monday, May 17, at around 5 pm, Arlo didn't look well. We scheduled a vet appointment for the next day. We gave him a bath, and brought him inside. He just got worse, and he kept coughing and he was breathing so heavy that his whole body moved. He even tried to vomit, so that's when our mom knew that something was wrong. We put him outside on the leash, and our mom called the vet and told them that she was coming in. We got our things and some money and we went out the door. As our mom was switching the leashes Arlo just stood there without a leash on. He would never do that (he's the kind where if he wasn't on a leash he would run) He walked slowly to the car.

We drove to the vet about 20 minutes away. Our mom went in as Chris and I stayed with Arlo. He was just lying on the seat. He tried to vomit a few times and he was still breathing heavy. His nose even started to run. He cheered up a bit when he saw a dog walk by. We sat in the car for about 10 minutes. Our mom came out and we brought him right to a room. As we walked to the room a lady saw Arlo and said, “That’s a beautiful dog.” The vet came in and checked his breathing. He said that he needs to take some x-rays, because his heart beat was muffled. As we waited for the vet to come back, Arlo walked around the room, had his ears up and his tail even wagged a few times. The vet came and took Arlo to another room. After a few minutes the vet came running out of the room and said "This dog needs to be hospitalized!" He took our mom to where Arlo was. After a few minutes he walked out, and then our mom walked out....she was crying. The doctor and some assistants walked back to Arlo, and the three of us went back to. Arlo was lying on a table and he didn't look good at all. They called the hospital and told him that they may bring him in. The vet said that both of Arlo's lungs were full with fluid and that right now he's having trouble breathing. He said that we had two choices: 1. to have him be moved to the hospital, be put on an oxygen tank, be stabilized and have the fluid removed or 2. To be put down. He also said that if he was left untreated like this that he could die in 30 – 60 minutes.

Arlo Bartholomew

We didn’t understand, he was perfectly fine yesterday. The vet told us that Arlo probably masked how he was feeling, and for the past week he was too tired to hide it any longer. We didn't know what to do. Our mom told the vet that Arlo wouldn't make it if he was moved. The vet had us spend time with Arlo until we made a decision. We stayed with him petting and hugging him...crying in the meantime. We were deciding what to do. I told my mom that “We have to do what’s best for him, even if it’s not the best thing for us.” Usually our dad made these decisions but he was working and we wouldn’t have been able to get a hold of him. Arlo started to get calmer, and the vet came in and we told him that we made our decision. We said our goodbyes and the vet went and got the euthanasia papers that had to be filled out. As our mom filled out the papers Arlo laid there quietly. Then Arlo looked over at me. He looked at me as I was crying for about 2 minutes. His ears were back and his eyes were wide. He stared me straight in the eye. I think he knew what was going on and how hard it was for us. Our mom did notice that Arlo’s eyes started to look funny. It’s hard to describe. She said that they looked like they were changing color. When he stared at me they looked like they were glowing, like how a dog or cats eyes glow in the dark if light was shining on them, but it wasn’t dark in the room and there was no light shining in his eyes. We didn’t want to stay as Arlo fell asleep. We asked if we could have his collar, so the vet took Arlo’s collar off and we walked out of the room. We went to the main desk, paid the bill, and walked out. As we walked out a lady saw the three of us crying. She was the same lady that saw us bring Arlo in. We heard her ask the lady at the desk, “Why are they crying?” The lady at the desk answered “They had to put their dog down.” “You mean that cute little black one?” Everyone there including the ones that worked there were upset about what had happened.

We drove home, crying along the way, and trying to pull ourselves together. Chris called our cousin. He answered the phone in his usual happy way. When he heard Chris’ voice his tone changed. He asked “What’s wrong?”, and Chris told him. He was shocked. He had just saw Arlo two days before, lying outside watching the cars go by, wagging his tail and jumping. We got home to tell our brother. When we saw our brother Chris handed him Arlo’s collar and our brother just thought that we just decided to take his collar off. Then when we walked away crying, he said, “Where’s Arlo?!” We told him and he was really upset. He couldn’t understand it, he just saw Arlo a few hours before sitting outside and walking around.

Arlo Bartholomew

The four us started to dig a grave for Arlo, because we were bringing him home in the morning. It took us 3 hours to dig a very deep hole. When we finished our dad just pulled in the driveway. We had our brother tell our dad, because if we did we’d start to cry again. Our brother told him and our dad was shocked, angry, and upset. When the three of us walked to where he and our brother were he said “Why did you let them put him down! Why didn’t you call me? Arlo was fine on Sunday. He went for his walk and he was running and jumping around.” He thought that the vet told us to put him down. We told him the whole story. It was dark out, but I think he was crying as well. An hour later as we all were inside I walked downstairs and saw our dad sitting and staring at Arlo’s basket of toys and his food and water bowls, which still had food and water in them. I think what made him more upset was that he never got see Arlo before he died. He only saw him for a few minutes early that morning.

The next day Chris and our dad went to pick up Arlo, and me and our mom stayed home and went through Arlo’s things. We got the blanket that he used, 10 chewy bones that he never finished and some old toys of his, and put them in a basket. Those were going to be put in the grave with him. We kept his bed, coat and some of the toys that he liked and put them in the washer to be washed. Then was emptied his food and water bowls and washed them. We also kept his collar and tags. Chris and our dad came home. Our dad put him in the grave, rapped him in the blanket, and we put his toys and bones in. Then we filled the grave. While digging the grave we found two big stones. We are going to use those to put his name and dates on them.

Our dad told us that while they were at the vet, the same vet that saw Arlo last night said that we made the right decision. You see after Arlo had died, the vet was curious about what caused the fluid in the lungs. He opened up Arlo’s chest and saw that there was a tumor wrapped around Arlo’s heart, and that it had ruptured, causing blood to fill his lungs. That makes us feel a little better about the decision we made.

Everyone that we have told about what happened was shocked. It all happened so quickly. Here was a dog that was fooling around, smiling, wagging his tail one day and gone the next. We are going to get another dog, but we are not sure when. We aren’t just looking for any dog we are looking for one that just stands out to us, just like when we saw Arlo. We knew that he was the perfect one for us when we saw him. We aren’t going to have another dog like Arlo, Arlo was a special dog, one that is impossible to replace. We aren’t rushing to find another dog, the perfect one will come to us in time. As we look for another dog we just have to remember what a friend of ours said, “Just remember that no dog can fill that void in your heart that Arlo left.”

RIP Arlo
September 17, 2001 - May 17, 2010

Chris made a video about Arlo with videos or more photos. If you would like to see it it will be on our barn pages on morgan or you can message us.
Arlo Bartholomew
Arlo Bartholomew
Arlo Bartholomew
Arlo Bartholomew
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