Happy Birthday, Disco Stu

In 1999 Karl worked as a technician at a Williamsburg veterinary clinic.  One of the receptionists owned a petite pug who was knocked up by a “fence-jumping terrier.”  (You won’t find that breed at Westminster.)  The pug was so small that her five not-so-small pups had to be delivered via Cesarean on February 15th.

Karl was one of the technicians on hand to help that day.  He held the largest of the five, Fat Boy, within a towel as he rubbed the skin pink and cleared the airway with a bulb syringe, allowing the tiny yellow dog his first breath of air.  An instant bond was formed.  It wasn’t long before Fat Boy came to live with us and we renamed him Disco Stu after an obscure Simpsons character.

Puppy Stu was a nuisance.  Within a few weeks he managed to chew holes through linoleum flooring, eat a corner of the kitchen cabinet, snack on several books,  and roll around in fish carcasses along the banks of the James River.

The latter was his favorite.  If he had a moment of freedom he’d be off in a flash, rooting around the river bank, looking for some rancid, scaly mess to bathe in.  He’d run back up to you when he was finished, his back coated in brown-green slime, tail wagging, looking so pleased with himself.

And he loved to run in the snow.  His little friend Boone hated the snow.  Disco would jump all around and over him, trying to get him to play.  Boone was good at ignoring Disco.

Random note.  The top of Disco Stu’s head always smelled like deli-sliced smoked turkey.  It’s true!

Last year I wrote about Disco Stu’s cancer diagnosis.  He was prescribed chemotherapy and steroid treatment and, at least over the summer, the tumors in his neck appeared to shrink in size.  During that time Disco never showed outward signs of pain.  Over the fall months the cancer became aggressive.  By the new year we had to make a very tough call.  Disco was showing signs of pain and he was having trouble eating and breathing.  We decided on a date to say our goodbyes.  Knowing you have to say goodbye, that you have a countdown of time left, was extremely hard but it was a decision that had to be made.

On Saturday morning we had some snow fall.  Karl and I took Disco out and watched him run around in the snow.  Later that day we said our goodbyes and he went quickly.  Karl was there as Disco Stu took his last breath.

Disco would have turned 13 today.  So happy birthday, Disco Stu!  You are loved.


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