Hi, I don't know if there's any point to me doing this. I've been crying me eyes out again so I searched around the web and found this site and felt like I should tell this story. This goes on for a bit, sorry When I lived at home I would take my parents three dogs down to Tollymore Forest Park at the weekends for a good 2-3 hour walk. I really enjoyed doing it and the dogs loved it. The 'three' comprised 'Emma', a Red-Setter cross who loved to grab huge big fallen tree branches and drag them around the forest, 'Tess' a German Shephard cross who would try to take every branch that Emma lifted off her, and 'Fred', a Springer Spaniel who loved nothing more than jumping in the river and swimming round and round. He was the only one who swam, the other two wouldn't jump in unless they really want the stick that Fred had. I took them to t he forest as often as I could, at least twice a month, it was an hours drive to get there. After I moved out and got my own place I tried to keep the routine up and though not as often, I would take them out when i could. Eventually Tess' hips got bad and the big walks weren't good for her so I had to stop taking her. It felt different her not being there so I went less often. The trips became less regular as all the dogs were getting older and the long walks would take its toll on them the next day. One day in March last year I took Emma and Fred to the forest with the plan of meeting my girlfriend there with her dog, a big German Shephard. I arrived a bit before she did so while I waited I walked Fred and Emma around the forest arboretum. It wasn't that big and in all the times I'd visited the forest I'd never walked round it. While we walked I had the dogs chasing sticks and jumping about, there was a small stream that wasn't that clean and had a foamy scum on it, of course Fred had jumped in and started to drink before I could stop him. I shouted at him to get out of the water and out he came covered in muck. We walked back towards the car park to wait and there were some stone seats in a grassy field so I sat down there. Emma went off to inspect everything she could find and Fred came over to me so I patted him and scratched his ears. It was a prefectly tranquil moment. Then, without any visible cause, Fred got up and walked away from me and lay down on the grass behind me. I remember looking around at him and saying 'whats up with you' as he would never pass up the opportunity for some attention. But he seemed okay and shortly there after my girlfriend arrived. I got up and walked down to the carpark to meet her, the dogs tagging along behind me. When i got to the car I chatted to her about this and that and her dog jumped out and was getting all excited to see other dogs. Fred had sat down next to me and wasn't moving which was odd for him, he looked out of breath. He paid no attention to the other dogs and looked slightly dazed. I noticed it and tried to get his attention. Even waving a dog biscuit (which he loves) under his nose had no affect. Then he lay down and it started to dawn on me that something was seriously wrong. That horrible sinking feeling in your stomach were you wish against all reason that this wasn't happening but it is. I knew i had to get him to a vet as he was becoming unresponsive and looked dazed. My only thought was the dirty water he drank, he must have been poisoned. I ran over towards the rangers office to find out where the nearest veterinary clinic was but the ranger wasn't there. I left Fred with my girlfriend looking after him while I jumped in the car and raced off to the camp site where I was sure the ranger would be. Sure enough there was his van and after a bit of frantic searching i found him and told him I had to get my dog to the vet because he's been poisoned. He gave me directions, it wasn't that far luckily, so I raced back to the carpark. I had real difficulty in getting Fred up and into the boot of my car as he made no effort and seemed completely out of it. When I got him in the boot he just stood there and I had to force him to lie down so I could close the boot. I left Emma with my girlfriend and without much though for speed limits I took off as fast as I could go for the vets. This was a journey down windey country roads but I drove flat out all the while shouting over the engine roar to Fred in the boot to stay awake and stay with me. When I got there I overshot the vets and laid down god knows how much rubber on the road when I hit the brakes. I got into the vets carpark and hauled Fred up into my arms (he was a bit tubby but not overweight that it was bad for him). I bashed in through the doors and pretty much demanded that someone see him right now. There was no other dogs there so I was in luck. The vet came out to see him in the reception where I had laid him down, I told her what happened and about the water but she kept asking me about his health and his stomach etc. I couldn't figure what the hell she was on about, he's been poisoned I kept thinking, listen to what I'm telling you. After a quick check of his gums and heart she got him carefully lifted in to treat him. She said it would take a while, there would be scans and drips etc and that I should leave a number. I gave her my mobile number and not knowing what else to do I went back to the forest park for Emma and to let my girlfriend know what had happened. I felt a bit better at this stage because I figured the vet would be able to get him on the mend and he would be okay. When I got back to the forest we decided that we might as well walk the other two while we were there rather than sit and wait and worry. About an hour and a half later, in the middle of the forest, my phone went, it was the vet. She told me that Fred had a tumour on his heart and that there had been a fluid sack around his heart caused by the tumour which had burst and this was what had put him into shock. I couldn't believe it as Fred was, or had seemed to be, in perfect health. Only a few weeks before, our own vet had given him a check up and said he was fine and as strong as a bull. The vet told me he was in stable condition but very weak. I asked about taking him home and she said he could be moved but she wasn't recommending it. I then had to phone my mum and tell her what the vet told me, I had previously phoned her from the vets office to let her know what was happening. She was very upset and couldn't talk when I told her about the tumour, I had to tell the rest to my sister who was there. We decided on bringing him home as it felt really wrong to leave him at the vets. My girlfriend and I headed back to the car, she packed up her dog and left for home and I drove to the vets to get Fred. When I got there I had to wait in the reception for 5 minutes then the vet appeared and asked me to come into one of the examination rooms. Fred wasn't there. She apologised to me and said that Fred had 'breathed his last' just as I had arrived. They tried to revive him but couldn't , the shock was too much for him. I didn't know what to do or say and strangely felt disconnected from all of it. She asked if I would like to see him and I said yes, we walked down the corridor into another room and as I walked in there was Fred wrapped up in a blanket on the floor, his head sticking out looking like he was asleep. I knelt down and patted him and expected him to wake but he never would. The vet asked me if I wanted some time with him but I said no, I was okay. I had to call my mum and tell her the bad news, not a pleasant task. All I managed was "Hi its me, I'm at the vets.....he's gone" She sounded near hysterical with grief on the phone and my sister had to take the call again. The wasn't much else to do but bring him home now. The vet carried him out to the car for me though I wish I had done it now. I drove home with Fred wrapped up in the boot and Emma curled up in passenger seat foot area next to me. I got back to my parents house and carried him in. My mum was crying but I wasn't, and hadn't done. I went over the the whole thing again and after a while I headed back to my own house. I still felt numb and detached like it hadn't sunk in. This didn't last. In the next few days it began to eat away at me. I had abandon my dog, the friendliest, happiest dog little dog I knew. I dumped him at the vets and he died, after being examined and prodded by strangers, he died in a strange place alone. I should have stayed with him, I should have recognised what was happening to him when he walked away from me to lie down, he was dying. It could have been perfect for him, he could have died in a green field on a sunny day with me there with him, but I f**ked it all up and adandon him when he needed me the most. I cry my eyes out when i think of him. It hurts me in a way I've never known. I would give up my life in a heart beat for the chance to go back and do it differently, but I can't and it kills me. I'm not a christian, I don't believe in god or heaven but I hope against all that I know that someday I will see him again and tell him how sorry i am for what I did. I thought I was trying to help him but I was condeming him to a lonely death. I hate myself for that. Despite all this I should like to point out that the veterinary staff were very nice and considerate and thoughtful. In the days after his death they even sent a condolence card out to me. Sorry, this had gone for ages, if you read it all, thankyou. In some stupid way I felt like I should share it, as if it might make everything better. It won't. I miss you Fred.