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At 4 weeks old your prospective owner backed out and, by the grace of God, we were called to take their place.  Paralyzed with pain now, looking back, I thought we had so much time. 

Rest In Peace, Jadem’s Bigger Bang: 10/15/16 - 5/13/24 At 4 weeks old your prospective owner backed out and, by the grace of God, we were called to take their place.  Paralyzed with pain now, looking back, I thought we had so much time. 
© 2024 Big Dog Mom, LLC

For 7 years and 6 months, I loved you more than any dog I’ve ever known.  So much love at times, it hurt.  

The kind of pain only a mother or loving father knows.  Pain from nightmares depicting accidents and abductions that is relieved only by the waking realization they were only dreams. 

No words describe how much I love you, Junior, and how much I will miss you.  My life will never be the same and my heart is incomplete without you here. 

I took time for granted.  I thought we had more.  There was no reason to believe otherwise.  

On Sunday, you were clumsily bounding up the driveway after a ball, playing with your boy in the special, silly way only you and he shared, and getting a bath from your girl for the first time.

But life is never so carefree for long. 

The concerning lump on your knee was growing.  With surgery scheduled for Monday, I kept your food and treats to a minimum and made sure we were all well-rested to manage your after-care. 

I dropped you off at 8:00 am and at 10:24 am your veterinarian expressed how sorry he was.  

After removing the lump on your knee your breathing became shallow and your heart rate started its descent.  Medications and assisted breathing were attempted before your heart rate became undetectable.  CPR and medications were given and for 10 minutes he said they tried to bring you back. 

He explained that cardiac arrest is rare, but a possible risk anytime a dog is put under anesthesia.  

My futile attempt to argue that you had been under anesthesia before, so why did this happen?  What went wrong?  Why Junior?  Why now? 

In the back of my mind maybe I thought those arguments would bring you back. 

As he attempted to provide context and understanding, I could almost hear the veterinary staff in the background exclaiming, “Dr., WAIT!  We got him back!! JUNIOR IS BACK!!”

What I actually heard was your doctor’s apology and sorrow for your tragic and untimely death. 

I hung up the phone and hugged your kids harder than I’ve ever hugged them. 

Rest In Peace, Jadem’s Bigger Bang: 10/15/16 - 5/13/24 At 4 weeks old your prospective owner backed out and, by the grace of God, we were called to take their place.  Paralyzed with pain now, looking back, I thought we had so much time. 
©️ 2024 Big Dog Mom, LLC

Within 30 minutes we came to say goodbye.  With a flood of tears, I accepted the truth.  You had crossed over the bridge taking my heart with you. 

I’m left now heartbroken.  Wondering if there was something I could have done to prevent it. 

According to several Mastiff owners and breeders, Mastiffs are very sensitive to anesthesia medications, with even low doses able to cause a drop in heart rate.  

I didn’t know.  Had I known I would have stepped in to advocate for you.  I’m so sorry, Junie. 

You were my love, my life.  You were perfect in my eyes and even at your naughtiest, could do no wrong. 

Yesterday when I got home from the vet your Blue Dino was in the pantry where you left him.  I know it was you and not Sulley, because you were the dog always at my feet in the kitchen. 

Rest In Peace, Jadem’s Bigger Bang: 10/15/16 - 5/13/24 At 4 weeks old your prospective owner backed out and, by the grace of God, we were called to take their place.  Paralyzed with pain now, looking back, I thought we had so much time. 

I swept the house sobbing another tearful goodbye to your dog hair on the floor.  I left Blue Dino and the dog hair where you placed them in the pantry.  I needed you in there.

Last night we missed you under the table at dinner pushing the chairs out to make room for yourself and Sulley.  The void under the table took my appetite with it.  

I grabbed two dog bowls out of habit and burst into tears alone in the closet before feeding Sulley.  He was happy with his food, but it took him twice as long to eat without the friendly competition next to him. 

What I wouldn’t give for just one more day with you.  One more cuddle.  One more moment of you gazing with your big brown eyes into mine.  

One more night listening to the roar of your soothing snoring.  I called it white noise and relaxing.  My husband said it kept him awake, thus you were gated from one of your favorite places – next to my bed.  

With tears I removed the gate for Sulley last night, filled with regret and remorse for not fighting harder to allow you in there the last 7 years.  

All you ever wanted was to be close to your people.  And yet, your last breaths were among strangers.  

Since your Wobblers diagnosis in 2018 and hip dysplasia after that, I anticipated a slow degeneration of your mobility.  But even into what is considered senior age for a Mastiff, your mobility never held you back.  

Just two days ago you were bounding after Jolly balls, pouncing for squeaky toys, and catching treats in the air.  You defied Wobblers and said to hell with hip dysplasia.  I’ve got some playin’ to do! 

Rest In Peace, Jadem’s Bigger Bang: 10/15/16 - 5/13/24 At 4 weeks old your prospective owner backed out and, by the grace of God, we were called to take their place.  Paralyzed with pain now, looking back, I thought we had so much time. 
©️ 2024 Big Dog Mom, LLC

Valley Fever never stood a chance even when it also tried to take you down. 

7 years and 6 months feel like it was a blink of an eye.  You deserved more time.  More of me.  

I regret all the times I skipped a walk with you to get work done or sweep the floor, blocking you out of our bedrooms to save the dumb carpet, and the many road trips I took without you to save myself time.  

Save time?  Are you kidding me? What is time good for if you do not spend it with those who mean the most to you?!

Time with you by my side was not work.  It was a blessing from God that I will cherish forever. 

I’m sorry I couldn’t do more.  I’m sorry I didn’t do more. 

Run free without pain in heaven, June Bug.  My broken heart will be healed when I join you. 

With love forever and ever, 

BDM

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12 Comments

  1. I’m so very sorry for your and your families loss. Junior will be greatly missed. I’m sure my Daisy was there at the bridge to show him around and just how grand life is there. They’ll both be waiting for us when we get there. They are never with us long enough.

  2. Stephanie,
    I am so, so sorry to hear this news. There are no words that can heal your broken heart. RIP Junior. You were so loved.

  3. My heart aches for you that you lost your beloved Junior.
    I know the feeling of such a great loss myself when in the midst of Covid shutdown my Beloved Bull mastiff succumbed to cancer after only having her for 9 years.
    She was undoubtedly the love of my life. It shattered my world.
    It takes everything you have to go on, but go on you must, I pray for you to have the strength to overcome the immense sadness.
    To have better days ahead. And to know that Junior will always be with you.

  4. My Deepest Sympathy to you, Stefanie, and your family.
    There are no words of comfort at this time of your loss.
    We all learn from our most “Precious” dogs for when the next dog comes along.
    I too have walked down this road many times.
    The pain of my loss is unbearable.
    The LOVE and TRUST my Beloved Dog Bestowed upon me was an Honor.
    I feel your loss and your pain.
    Theresa

  5. Stephanie, I’m so very sorry. I’ve enjoyed and appreciated following your amazing journey with Junior (and Sulley). He’s helped bring so much good to the world through your documented time and experiences together. Your content will still be great but forever changed without him. I enjoyed his snoring in the background too! No words truly express the deep pain but your genuineness is clear. I know you’ll use Junior’s experience to educate others now just as you’ve done for the past several years. You’ve probably already come across these resources now but I wanted to share them just in case. Rest in peace Junior; well done good and faithful servant. Prayers are with your family for comfort and peace.

    Dr. Robin Smith’s original article https://www.mastiffhealth.org/Anesthesia_Mastiff.pdf
    2023 Information Update by Lisa Edwards (MCOA member) https://www.mastiffhealth.org/anesthesia.html

  6. Oh I am literally crying.. I am so so sorry for you. Max and Ruby send big dog kisses and my Gloria the Great Dane I’m sure welcomed him at rainbow bridge.

    xxoo
    Nora

  7. Stephanie and family, the tears and heartache may not end but will fade, as you know. The saving grace is Sully and everyone who comes after because there is no love like that of the dogs who think we are the best thing in the world, as you already know that also.

  8. we are vey sorry for you loss. your words were so touching and brought me to tears. i think all of us dog lovers have felt those exact things after the loss of our beloved babies. I have no doubt he knew he was loved and what can be better than that? our family will be praying for you and your family in the coming weeks.

    big hugs
    monica

  9. My heart breaks for you. As the proud owner of a Mastiff boy (I’ve commented on many of your IG posts) of 6 yr 11 mos and previously of an girl that passed at 8 yrs from cancer, I completely understand the enormous void that our big babies leave behind. While I do not personally know you Stephanie anyone can tell from your blog how much you loved and cared for Junior. You are a wonderful Big Dog Mom. I wish I could say the pain goes away but, at least for me, it never does. We just learn to live with it. Bless you.

  10. Stephanie We all loved and enjoyed Junior on the blog. As mastiff people, we spoke his language. And he spoke ours. He (and you) provided much needed education about Wobbler’s, Valley Fever, hip dysplasia and how to travel with big dogs. Most people don’t understand why we choose these big guys who drool, pass gas that can clear a room, bump beds that move mattresses and snore loud enough to make the walls rattle. All of these things we love about our mastiffs. We can’t understand why the world doesn’t agree. Maybe that is a good thing. Mastiffs were meant to share their love with special people. I am honored to be one of them.

    Nothing can break through the numbness of your grief from losing your best friend. I think Junior is experiencing something similar. He is not in pain anymore but there is a hole in his heart which he does not understand. He is wondering where his family has gone. It is easy to forget how our best friends may feel about being taken away from us. I am sure there is an adjustment period for them too. And I know with all my heart he will be waiting patiently at the bridge for you to join him. All will be well on that day.

  11. I’m truly sorry for your loss and as many, know that pain all too well. You and your family are in my prayers.

  12. I am so Sorry to hear of your loss. I was Crying as I was reading about Junior. I would be absolutely destroyed to lose one of my boys. I am grateful that you shared your story with us because My Vet never told me about Mastiff struggling coming out of Anastasia. Frim.now on I will not let them put them under for anything. I pray that in time you can find comfort.

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