Thursday, May 6, 2010


Today is full of sadness, tears, and heartache. We had to put Jomo down this morning. It was unexpected and there is a gaping hole in our lives that simply can not be replaced.

You may know Jomo from previous posts such as 'Bark, Growl, Runaway' or 'The Fridge of Death' (which was the previous blog).
He was our 2 year old American Bulldog/Bandogge Mastiff mix. He was beautiful. He was the baby. He was scared of EVERYTHING. And that was his undoing.

We got Jomo when he was 8 weeks old, and have always treated him right. Still, he was always scared of everything. We did everything we could to try to assuage his fears, but to no avail. He would get used to people if they made enough visits to the house, but still he was scared of everything. Hence the two other blogs.

Jomo was close to 80 pounds, was slightly on the skinny side, and was pure muscle. He followed me around, wrapping himself under whatever chair I might be sitting in, farting, snoring, and just wanting to be loved.
But lately, something was off. We don't know what. The last two weeks he just wasn't himself. He wasn't as playful, he was more inclined to just lay around. He was more aggressive with Whiskey, snapping at her if he thought she was near food.
Last night, Shannon was in front of him and was trying to love on him. I told Shannon to get out of his face and apparently just in time. Jomo snapped at him, without warning, without a growl or anything. It was a nip of a snap, it didn't touch Shannon at all, but if it had it would've gotten him between the eyes, on his nose, and his mouth. Dead center on his face.
He had nipped at Shannon once before, just barely scratching his face. That week Shannon had been nipped at by both dogs. Boys ages 5-9 are several times more likely than any other age group to get bitten, and so we worked hard to try and teach Shannon better behavior around dogs. But there aren't many second chances given, we can't risk the welfare of our children and we won't keep a dog that bites.

So, our initial reaction after last night's nip attempt was that he had to go. We talked to people who could help us, but we worried about Jomo still. He was scared of everyone, so anyone who took him he would be terrified of. To bounce him around would be to undo him. We looked into what could we do to rehabilitate him. This morning I called the vet and made and appointment for the first appointment they had.

I had a doctor's appointment of my own so I had to meet Justin, the boys, and Jomo at the vet. Even getting him into the car was an awful experience for both Justin and Jomo because the contractor was in the driveway.
When I walked into the vet room Jomo was in a muzzle. The vet had tried without one and not felt comfortable around Jomo, not sure he wouldn't bite. Our vet is one of, if not the best vet in Salem. I knew what he was going to say as soon as I stepped into the room saw Jomo, and saw the vet's face.

He said that Jomo had a mild fever. That he could run tests but with a dog that young he doubted he would find anything. That some dogs are just anxious dogs and while some grow out of it, some just get worse as they get older. That anything else we could try would be like pouring gasoline on a fire.

So, Justin and the boys said there goodbyes to sweet Jomo. We told the boys he was sick and wasn't capable of getting any better. Justin took them home and I stayed with Jomo.
The vet came in and gave him a tranquilizer to put him under. He said after he gave it to him that Jomo wouldn't know anything that went on. As he got sleepy I petted him and loved on him, removing the muzzle and telling him what a good dog he was. Every time I told him I loved him and that he was "the baby" he would lick his nose. I petted him till he was asleep and then as they shaved a small patch on his leg and gave him the final shot. I kept telling him what a good dog he had been, how sorry I was, and how much we all loved him as he drifted off.
I stayed in there with him for a bit, then went back up front to pay. I paid but still couldn't bring myself to leave and had to go back in and talk to him some more. It was with great difficulty that I pulled myself away, knowing he was gone.

They are taking care of his body. Simple logistics of his size made it unrealistic to bring him home. I brought home his collar and leash though. His beloved shirt is still here. I haven't brought myself to look at it just yet, but I have decided to bury it along with his collar.

Goodbye sweet Jomo. You were the baby. We loved you so much and we are so grateful to have had you in our lives these past two years. You will be forever missed.


Carole and Chewy said...

Oh Carrie! I'm so sorry - he looked like such a big sweetie! I know *exactly* how you feel - we lost one of our litle mini schnauzers yesterday -in 4 days he went from fine to losing almost all his body weight -turned out to be massive tumors on an almost nonoexistent liver. We took him in yesterday morning. I completely understand the decision you had to make -poor Jomo. He probably knew he was not suppose to snap, but just felt so bad that he couldn't help himself. Poor baby. Now he can go play with our Lucky-they'll have a blast.

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry Carrie. I can't imagine how difficult this must be for all of you.

Brendan said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I'm sure it was hard for everyone but I hope that your family can find some peace one day with the decision to put Jomo down.

My mother had to put down a dog with awful anxiety a couple of years ago. It was a difficult decision but there seemed to be no way to calm her. It only got worse as she got older. Her fear became so intense and reckless that she became a risk to herself(not to mention the damage she did to the house).

Take comfort that Jomo got to live the good life for awhile at the Cox house. His fate in the hands of someone that didn't care as much as you, might not have been as kind and loving.

Knitterwockey said...

Carrie, I'm so sorry to hear about Jomo. Kevin told me about it yesterday and it just broke my heart to hear about it. He was so sweet and I know he would've never meant to hurt the boys. I know how hard it hurts to put down a pet you love. I still haven't really gotten over losing Frodo. If you need to talk at all just let me know!