We lost our sweet big goofy oaf of a German shepherd yesterday. He would have celebrated his 9th birthday this week. Kahn came to us at about 16 weeks old. His previous family took him in to be neutered and when they came to pick him up decided he couldn't live with them anymore. They walked next door to the grooming shop where I worked and asked if anyone could take him. If not he was going to the pound. Having also worked at the pound I decided that couldn't happen. It was a holiday weekend so I figured Kahn could come home with us for the weekend and we'd find him a suitable home. Tim agreed. At the time I wasn't sure how old Kahn was and hadn't even seen him yet. I was expecting a full grown shepherd but was pleasantly surprised when I went ot grab him after work and here was a tiny big eared little boy. When Tim got home from work that night I opened the door to the garage. Lainey went bounding to see her favorite person. Kahn just strolled around the car sat next to Tim and looked up at him. We decided a few hours later that he was home and named him Kahn.
Like so many unfortunate dogs, Kahn was the product of a random backyard breeder. No genetic testing on his parents or proven health lines to try and maximize his chances of a long healthy life. He suffered from pano as a puppy, had allergies, and at a very young age was diagnosed with arthritis in his back. Through it all we tried to keep him happy and feeling well. Kahn brought about our trial into raw feeding. Being a deep chested breed we knew his chance of suffering from bloat was high. As soon as I learned about shepherds, I purchased a pack of phazyme (gasX) and had it on hand. I knew at the first sign of bloat to give it to him. We didn't let him exercise after eating and restricted large amounts of water too. Unfortunately in the end Kahn did bloat and it all just wasn't enough.
Friday night around 10pm Kahn started whining. We came out to see what was wrong with him and he was panting with his tongue out and pacing around the kitchen. He was trying to vomit but nothing came up. We let him outside and watched him. He would lay down then whine and get right back up. After a few minutes i grabbed the phaZyme and we gave him the first dose. Some of it came back up but some of the pills managed to stay down. Over the next hour he started to calm down and stopped panting. We also gave a dose of pepto bismol now wondering if he just had an upset stomach. About 20 minutes after that dose, he was calm enough to lay down and had stopped panting. We watched him throughout the night and he seemed better. He did vomit a few more times int he night and was very thirsty in the morning. I gave him water and within second it came back up. At that point it was morning and we called the vet and took him right in. Xrays confirmed that he had indeed bloated and they were hoping it was a simple case that would simply take him being tubed and the excess gas relieved. A few hours later we got the call that it wasn't that simple and he had experienced torsion. His stomach/intestines had twisted likely as soon as the bloating started. There was a good chance portions of the tissue had died and his organs were also affected. His blood pressure was falling and they did not think he would survive the surgery. The doctor gave low odds of the surgery working if he did make it through. In the end we decided not to put our old boy through that trauma. We went in and held him until the end. Sadly, when he left for the vet that morning we did not think it would be his last time at our house. Lainey and Kaya didn't get to say goodbye. Poor Kaya was Kahn's buddy and tag-a-long partner. She's pretty lost without him. Even with 150lbs of dog still in our house it's amazing how empty it seems.
So now that I've shared our sad news, I want to show what a wonderful dog he was. Kahn was 90lbs of of gentle goofiness. Unless you were a strange dog or a cat he wouldn't even dare play rough with you. Kahn didn't understand play fighting with a person and would let the boys do anything to him. He'd lay there while being loved on and climbed on.
|Kahn with baby Nolan.|
We found out early on that Kahn was allergic to corn. I came home form work one day and Tim was making cornbread for dinner. I ran in our room and changed, walked back out and exclaimed "What happened to Kahn?" Tim had let him lick the cornbread bowl and within seconds this happened.
Kahn loved chips and crackers. Most dogs come running for meat and don't get me wrong he liked that too but if you opened a box of crackers or chips his giant nose would be in your way. Even in his old age he loved chasing frisbees and squeaky tennis balls. He even annoyed the heck out of me by trying to steal all of Carter's finished babyfood pouches and destroying them (yep, they are supposed to be reuseable).
Kahn loved to swim and until we got a second fence around the pool at our old house he would get in the dang thing every day cold or not and regardless of if I was about to leave and only letting him out to potty. We couldn't swim without him getting in and tried to leave him in the house while swimming once. He got up on top of our kitchen table and sat staring out the window until we let him outside. Even as big as he was, he was a total pushover when it came to his ladies Lainey and Kaya. We had to stop the girls from taking his food because he'd just walk away and give it to them.
Thanks for being such a great dog Kahn. We miss you!!
|Kahn's second birthday 12/10/2006|
|Kahn's second birthday 12/10/2006|