Eric was born on April 21st 2000 in North Wales.
My name is Andrew and I live in Manchester in England, but lived for a period of my time in North Wales. When I was looking for a companion to share my home with I knew that he was the one coming from the place that I spent some of my best times when I was younger.
The years flew by, we had lots of great times together and when they say that a dog is a mans best friend, I know what they mean! Even my girlfriend who came to live with me fell in love with this big male Doberman who used to cuddle up with her on the sofa every night, two humans and a 6 stone Doberman can be a tight squeeze on a sofa!
Three years later we eventually gave in to him, and decided to get him a friend (a female Doberman called Yaris).
They played like never before and became inseparable over the next four years going everywhere together and sleeping together.
In September of 2007, Eric started to suddenly go off his food altogether. Anyone with dogs will tell you that they have their good days and their bad days, so we thought very little of it at the time, putting it down to something that he had eaten or just some type of bug.
After two days of not eating we decided to take him to our local vets to let them have a look at him. They felt that he had a virus, so they gave him the usual antibiotic injection and wanted to see him again in a few days time.
Nothing had entered my mind at this time as to how serious this was shortly to become and how this was going to turn our world upside down.
I took him back to the vets after a few days, the vet gave him another antibiotic injection and told me to return in two more days as he had developed quite a high temperature.
Two days quickly passed and Eric was still very lethargic and would not now eat anything except for a little bit of chicken but was even turning his nose up at this.
The day of my next visit came and I turned up to the vets thinking that this time they will find a cure and that everything would be fine. After all Eric had had never had anything wrong with him in all the years that I have had him!
The look on the vets face was a look of both puzzlement and worry, they said that I had better take Eric to an emergency vets so that they could admit him for tests. The worried look of the vet played on my mind as I drove Eric to the emergency vets eight miles away. His facial expression was changing from a dog who loved life to a dog who as beginning to look quite ill, as his ears were pinned back and his eyes and become bloodshot and glazed.
For two whole weeks Eric came in and out of that vets as they took various blood-samples and gave him steroid drips to try and perk him up, but as soon as he came out every time he waned back into this lethargic state, not eating or wanting to do anything. The head vet called me in to tell me that they could not find anything wrong with him and told me Eric would have to go to a specialist referral hospital some 50 miles away for an ultrasound and further blood biopsies.
The panic really set in and as I took Eric firstly home to get all his things together for his visit tears started to well in my eyes. When I reached home I met my girlfriend who had come home from work to see Eric, we both hugged each other and I guess we both knew that there was something more seriously wrong with him that we first thought, we both broke down in tears.
This was the first time in eight years of going out with me that she had seen me cry which made it more shocking for her.
Eric went in Wednesday 18th Oct 2007 and had many further tests with nothing conclusive coming back about his condition. On Saturday 20th Oct 2007 both Sue (girlfriend) and myself went to visit him. Here follows an extract that I wrote in my diary about him:
"As soon as the door opened, in runs our Eric as he always was, full of life and delighted to see us. I think we both breathe a sigh of relief. Eric seems as though there is nothing wrong with him! We both hug and kiss him constantly and then take him for a little walk outside. Hope soon that he will be able to come home with us as I don't like him being in this alien place not knowing what is going on! As we decide to leave and let Eric rest, he suddenly surges back to us as if he is desperate to come home with us now, how we don't burst into tears I don't know as we tear ourselves away from him as we watch him sadly walk off."
The veterinary consultant tells us they have done some more blood biopsies and are going to give him an ultrasound scan on Monday.
Our weekend is hell and I cannot wait until Monday.
Monday morning comes around and we are both shattered from not sleeping. I have stayed off from work as I can't concentrate on anything.
Approximately 10am I receive a telephone call from the consultant to let me know what was wrong with Eric. She says it is histiocytosis and that it is malignant and had started in the spleen and has already traveled to all the other main organs in his body. She was so kind on the phone and so understanding as I broke down in tears while on the phone to her. I asked her of Eric's condition and she said that although he was stable, she could not say how long he would stay that way, and now we were talking HOURS!
My girlfriend Sue and myself quickly made the decision to go straight over to the hospital and see Eric.
I can say that it was the most horrible journey I have or will ever take as we both knew what we had to go and do.
When we arrived at the hospital we both felt numb. When Eric came in to the room with us he had a sudden burst of energy as if to show to us that he was determined to try and fight this horrible condition, but within a minute he had quickly gone very lethargic and his eyes were starting to glaze over as if wishing for us to hurry up and end his misery.
Oh how we hugged, kissed him and told him how much we loved him. We told him never to forget us and that we would never forget how much joy and happiness he brought into our lives.
When the time came for him to be put to rest, the vet calmly gave him the injections as both Sue and myself held him in our arms and we slowly felt his heartbeat slow and than eventually stop.
We both have still not got over the pain, some three months on, and I suppose we never will.
We were your mum and dad who will never forget you and Yaris will always be your best friend.
Hope we will see you one day. Rest in peace.
Andrew, Sue and Yaris