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Fast-Rope Into Ronie’s Life
This is VVolt N629, my retired military working dog we adopted in February 2015. VVolt served in the US Air Force, deploying once to Kuwait, and then he returned stateside and worked as a training dog for handlers at Hurlburt Airfield in Florida. He also did detail for the POTUS and FLOTUS on two separate occasions before taking seriously his duty and responsibility of protecting our couches from disuse.
In September 2019, VVolt was scheduled for surgery to remove a large soft-tissue mass … until we learned it wasn’t. It turned out, he had two kinds of cancer, one a more benign soft-tissue sarcoma, but he also was infested with a more aggressive cancer. He underwent treatment of chemo and radiation. We thought he was in the clear, until a follow-exam in April showed this aggressive cancer had just moved to a new location–his lungs! He started treatment again, including radiation. But they determined he wasn’t responding to the chemo drug, so they went for a more aggressive drug … and VVolt ended up in a near-death spiral. In August, we almost lost him due to a very adverse reaction to the drug. It was traumatizing watching this hard-hitting war dog digging holes in the yard to attempt to bury himself. After a week in the hospital, VVolt came home armed with myriad drugs, but he really wasn’t the same after that. He had trouble walking, was in pain often, and an MRI revealed not only had he suffered a stroke-like event, but he had a herniated disc at the base of his neck.
For nearly a year, he held his own, fighting this cancer with the aid of a top-notch veterinary staff, steroids, and pain meds. On October 23, 2020, VVolt had enough and seized the Rainbow Bridge with Brian and I at his side, whispering our thanks for his service, for his love, and for allowing us to be his humans. He left a Malinois-sized crater in our hearts. Forever in our hearts. My best hello and hardest good-bye. #missinvvvoltn629.
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