It's been almost a year since I saw the light go out in his eyes. . . gone forever! A year of heartache, guilt, and "what ifs." His name was Asproolee (it's a Greek nickname meaning "little white cute thing."), a male, toy poodle, very intelligent, with a heart of pure gold. He was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on December 10, 1994, and he joined the Hale family on January 2, 1995. It was love at first sight! We brought him home in a woven basket, and I kept and treasured that basket ! (he didn't know at the time, but I had plans for it. . . ) I buried him in this woven basket on February 21, 2008. Your departure broke my heart, my Asproolee, into thousands of pieces. I am still trying to put the pieces back together, but it's so hard. . .Grief counseling has helped me, but I've got long ways to go, bud!|
He filled the gap in our life when my only child had just moved out--He was our new child, and we were his parents. We worked then, and are still working for, the Department of Defense both in the military and civil service. The government assigned us to a lot of overseas assignments.
We moved from Florida to Europe in 1998--he was 3 years old and we had a lot of fun overseas. We met a lot of veterinarians in Europe. These vets took very good care of my Asproolee. They really didn't become vets to make money because vets in Europe don't often have the same number of clientele that their US counterparts have. They entered the field because they either genuinely loved animals, or they were farmers, with lots of animals to take care of, and they gravitated to the field.
We spent the last 5 years in Germany. Asproolee really enjoyed that as he got to take long walks with us through vineyards and along beautiful rivers. As he got older and couldn't walk the long distances, we modified a stroller for him and he could ride in that part of the time on these long walks. This was great fun and he still got to go! He was the patient of US Army vets and German vets. Establishing a permanent vet was impossible--because the US Army vets were deployed for 6 months to a year at a time. That's the reason we had to see German vets, but of course there was a communication problem, so we all were looking forward to returning to the U.S. to place his health care into U.S. vets' hands.
When he was 13 years old, the Government sent us to Madison, Alabama, and everyone was so happy, especially Asproolee! We could finally establish a permanent veterinarian to take care of his minor health problems.
We took him to a veterinary hospital in September 2007. We were brand new in Madison, and this hospital was only a couple of blocks from our temporary living quarters.
As an elderly pet, Asproolee had some problems, and we told the vets what the symptoms were. They diagnosed arthritis in his hind legs and gave him lots of medication for pain, all of it Metacam. Then his problems got worse. . .They asked us to leave him with them for 3 days for tests and observation so they could diagnose his problems. They took a lot of X-rays, including a barium series test. They still could not give us a diagnosis, and they referred us to an internist in Birmingham. The internist performed an ultrasound, and his interpretation of it was that Asproolee had an intestinal obstruction. The referring vets concurred with the internist, and they all recommended exploratory surgery. They told us that obstructions are life-threatening and that Asproolee had to have the surgery to remove the obstruction ASAP! The surgeon, also in Birmingham and collocated with the internist, performed the surgery on February 14, 2008, but he found NO OBSTRUCTION! The internist, the referring vets, and the surgeon all misinterpreted the radiographs and ultrasound.
He was released from the surgeon of the referral hospital on February 18, 2008. At home he was immobile, continuing having anorexia just as he had anorexia and was not eating at the hospital as the surgeon had told us. He had asked me to make sure that Asproolee ate at home because he was not eating under his care. We tried to force feed him with a syringe, but Asproolee would lock his teeth and didn't let us feed him. We also carried him to go to the bathroom because he could not walk--he would collapse every time he attempted to walk. He also continued with diarrhea. On the second day at home, he had a seizure, and we rushed him to the local emergency hospital. No tests were performed there. The veterinarian there just put him in an oxygen cage for an hour. We picked him up the next day February 21, 2008 and brought him home. Before we had a chance to take him to the regular vets who never called or followed up on Asproolee, he became lifeless and we again rushed him to a local vet hospital. Unfortunately for my little bud, he was in a coma and although the vet (not his referring vet) tried to revive him, it was too late--all his organs had collapsed! He died an agonizing death after a seizure/shock and coma on February 21, 2008 just 3 days after his release from the surgical hospital and 3 months after we came back to the US.
Our life has been turned upside down since we lost him--nothing seems to be the same anymore without him around! We loved him and always will just like we love our only child.
WE MISS YOU terribly, ASPROOLEE--we never knew how much you meant to us until we lost you!
This is my little bud's sad story. Please visit his website:
Till we meet again, my Asproolee,
Your "parents" Tina and Ray
FEB 21, 2012
My love Asproolee,
Today marks your fourth-year passing anniversary, and the pain for your loss has subsided, but the scar is too deep and we will always be reminded of tragedy!
As we promised, we have filed a lawsuit against the vets who caused your horrific death. This is our complaint case number:
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF
FEB 21, 2013
Our sweet Asproole, it's been 5 long years since your horrific passing, but our nightmare of your suffering, pain and agony is just as intense as the day you crossed the Rainbow Bridge. You know you weren't just a "pet," but a companion and a family member! The scar of your loss to greedy vets is too deep to fade away--it will always be there. . .You know, we had designed a webpage (www.alabamavetboardwatch.110mb.com) to honor your memory and tell the world your sad story. Well, the host or the vets decided to take it down. . .we are in the process of recreating it, and it will be up and running very soon!
Love you as much as we love our only child.
Tina and Ray
PS. All vets deposed, the case was dismissed without prejudice as we couldn't fly back to Alabama from Europe for the trial. However, when we get back, we will reopen your/our case.
Six years ago, on 21 February 2008, you breathed your last breath at a Veterinary Hospital in Huntsville, AL. Our shock, pain and anger for your unexpected loss haven't subsided--it seems like just yesterday when I carried your lifeless, adorable little body home. You died in the hands of vets without scruples who had misdiagnosed/mistreated your ailment (or did they really misdiagnose?). Misdiagnosis and mistreatment meant healthy $$$ to the vets!! We filed a lawsuit against these vets and deposed them under oath. Unfortunately, we had to move overseas and going back for the trial was not feasible. . .but your case hasn't closed in our hearts. . not YET
Unfortunately, on December 28, 2013 your little sister, PEPPER, also passed away at the age of 19 years. It is so unfortunate that your death taught me a very good lesson regarding health and food issues. I did a lot of reading and researching after your loss and learned so much about vets, food, vaccines and other related issues. . .it is a lack of knowledge by owners which kills so many fur babies. However, Pepper developed an oral melanoma, a killer disease. At her age, there was nothing we could do for her. She would have had to undergo a radical oral surgery to remove not just the melanoma but most of her jaw. She wouldn't even have survived the anesthesia, as her weakening heart and trachea collapse had made her a poor candidate for the surgery. She began to suffer pain towards the end, and I tried to ease it with pain killers which I mixed with her homemade food. But after a while, she wouldn't/couldn't even eat or drink, so she was not able to take her pain medication. She passed away in her sleep two days after she quit eating/drinking. It broke my heart to see her suffering, so we had decided to take her to the vet the next day. . on her last trip. . .I guess God had different plans. . .and he took her while she slept at home the night before the dreadful trip. Again, along with Pepper, I had to bury another part of my life!
We hope, darling Asproolee, that you will protect her and take care of her the way you always did when you were both alive. You were so protective and loving. . .just like a father to her. Please continue doing this. .and I know you will. And we know that although you have a lot of loving friends on the Rainbow Bridge, you will be now even happier with Pepper around you again! You will both live in our hearts and thoughts FOREVER--you were FAMILY! We love you both so much!
Tina and Ray
February 21, 2016
Our precious, sweet Asproolee: Today is the 8th anniversary of your horrific passing. Not one day goes by without us thinking of and talking to you. Wish we knew then what we know now about vets' greed! You paid very dearly for that, but I learned my lesson, and your buddies Sonya and Lefkoolee are as healthy and vet free as they can be.
Hug Pepper for us, we miss her too, but at least she lived to be almost 20! She suffered and was in pain due to oral cancer, but we took care of her and lessened her pain with medication, but towards the end, the medication was not helping at all. When she reached the point when she couldn't even eat, we made that dreadful appointment with the vet. God though had other plans for her, and she passed away the night before the appointment!
We love you and miss you terribly, Asproolee!
Our Dearest "little white ball" Asproolee,
Can't believe how time flies. Tomorrow marks your 9th year of passing to the Rainbow Bridge, but it feels like it was yesterday that you left your last breath in the veterinary hospital. When the vet came out and told me that you didn't make it, the world started spinning around me and I wanted so bad to scream as loud as I could. Instead, I believe I went into shock, refusing to face reality. Not you, not you, I kept thinking. . .we had done everything the "vets" told us to do and had spent too much money to have you gone!
I believe the vets who killed you hacked your website. They didn't want ignorant pet guardians to know how they knowingly killed you. Well, we are preparing a new site in your memory which THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO HACK, I PROMISE. I owe it to the thousands of guardians who love their animals and spend an enormous amount of money for their pets' well being.
20 Feb 2018
Another year has come and gone since you went to the Rainbow Bridge. . we hope you are having a great time there now that your friend Pepper has come to join you. We remember how the two of you used to play together when you were young and it brings a tear. . .of joy and of sorrow. We are thinking your other close friend, Sonya will join you in the near future as she is now 18 years old herself . .boy, won't the three of you have fun!!
A lot has happened my darling Asproolee since last year's memorial. . .all I know is that we are a year closer to meeting you again. A feeling of emptiness when we lose loved ones, close family members and companions like you. We have loved you so much and always will!!
Tina & Ray
22 Feb 2019
It has now been 11 years since your passing and we miss you every day. We have Lefkoolee, who came into our lives to fill the void left by your passing, but he is not a replacement, just a reminder of all the unique things we loved about you. You were one of a kind! Your sister, Sonya, who is now 19, will be joining you at the Rainbow Bridge soon as she is weak and frail and her health is failing fast. Then the three of you, Asproolee, Pepper and Sonya, can all play and romp together again as you used to. Hope you think of us and miss us as we continue to miss you. We would give anything to see you running towards us with the ball in your mouth, demanding to play "toss and fetch" again. All our love!
Tina and Ray
It has been 12 years now since we lost you. The good news for this year is that "the Three Amigos" are together again at Rainbow Bridge. We lost Sonya in May of 2019. She was fortunate enough to pass quietly of old age rather than at the hands of an inept veterinarian. So now you, Pepper and Sonya are all together again and we know you are happy to have your dog family together again. It makes us so very happy for you even though we miss you all terribly. Your reincarnation, Lefkoolee, takes on more of your habits and mannerisms every week. The only thing he hasn't adopted was your intense, never-ending desire to chase the ball 24 hours a day! I'm sure you are keeping someone there busy tossing the ball for you. We watched a Christmas video the other day with you in it and you were carrying the ball to everyone in the family to play. .never mind that they were opening Christmas presents. Well, enjoy your re-constituted family and we will talk to/about you again next year. We love you!!
Tina and Ray
February 21, 2021
My dearest Asproolee,
Today marks your 13-year memorial, and it seems it was only yesterday when you left us in such pain, breaking our hearts in thousands of pieces. We believed we could never find any other sweet toy poodle to fill the void you left.
Eight months after your passing, another sweet toy poodle crossed our paths and my heart jumped out of joy. We adopted Lefkoolee, at one year of age. That is the name we gave him and although no one could/can replace you, Lefkoolee filled the void. He was such a sweetheart. Yes, HE WAS, he is not anymore, as he had the same fate you had! He died on July 30, 2020, after misdiagnosis/failure to definitely diagnose and killer medications. He was under the care of "Board-Certified Internists and Critical Care" veterinarians (what a joke they are!) for three weeks and multiple trips to "Blue Pearl" hospital with more than $10,000 in medical expenses. I thought he was in good and knowledgeable hands, but your misdiagnosis and mistreatment was not a complete lesson that I learned. Lefkoolee died in my arms while all his organs were failing. He looked at me trying to tell me "That's OK, let me go. . .I am in your arms." Yes, he died in my arms and I "died" for a second time, losing him too. I buried him in our back yard next to Sonya so they keep each other company.
Please welcome him in Heaven. He is such a friendly creature! During our walks, he wanted to go "meet" big dogs, without any fear of being hurt. I know you are going to be BEST FRIENDS, your personalities are so much alike. WE LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!
Sad news Asproolee. .since last year when we posted to you we have lost another dog and he is now on the Rainbow Bridge with you "Three Amigos".
Lefkoolee was only 12 when he died. He developed liver problems and we could not find any veterinarians competent enough to solve his problem (same problem you had). .he was gone in less than 3 weeks. He went before his time just like you. . seems like males don't have the same longevity as females. We are hoping that you two guys are fast friends and enjoy reflecting on your lives with us as we do you. We love all four of you and miss you daily.
We will continue to recognize you and them each year on the anniversary of your passing. It has been 13 years now which has special meaning this year as you were 13 years old when you died. Hang in there and have fun with your newly arrived buddy!