Asa’s Death
Asa’s Death

Asa’s Death

Asa died Feb. 17, 2010. He was being treated for fight wounds and died under anesthesia. I’m pretty sure it was a reaction to the anesthesia, but who knows.  Here’s what happened:

Asa is a very difficult dog to catch, so we’ve been leaving him free to roam in the dog yard. Monday the 16th, I went for a short 7 mile mush and Asa followed us, sometimes running behind us, sometimes in lead; he was having a great time. On our last stretch before home we encountered a neighbor who is known for having “alligator” dogs. An alligator dog is a dog who attacks a passing team.

As soon as we encountered the team, they pounced Asa. My neighbor managed to get his dogs off of Asa, I passed with my team and saw that Asa looked okay (no blood, he was running) and then stopped to see if his team was okay.  His responded, “your dogs passed on the wrong side! That’s why this happened.” I immediately took off and thought, “What a jerk! His dogs attacked mine, I stopped to help, and he’s yelling at me.”

When we got home, I couldn’t catch Asa to check him out, but he appeared to be happy and healthy. He may have had a slight limp.

The next night I took the “A” team out for a 12 mile run. I didn’t want to take Asa as a free runner because I wanted Chester to go, and I didn’t want to have two loose dogs. At the last moment, right before I was ready to leave the yard, I caught Asa. Greg put him on his chain.

I told Greg he should go ahead and have a party (meaning let the remaining dogs off), and I’d catch the ones he can’t catch (Simba and Rattles) when I came home. When I got home  and brought my team into the yard, I saw Simba and Rattles running around. Simba had a scratch on his snout and there was some blood in the snow.  I found Asa hiding in a private section of the dog yard and he had been beaten up quite badly, but not as bad as we have seen. We brought him inside, and decided that he didn’t have to go to the ER vet and we’d bring him for stitches in the morning.

The next morning, we dropped Asa off at our vet. I mentioned that Asa was Higgs’ brother, and it would be interesting to see if Asa had the same heart condition as his Higgs. One of the docs listened to his heart and said, “Nope. Asa’s heart is steady and strong. It’s nothing like Higgs’ rhythm.”

Around 1pm I got a call from the vet. “Hi, this is Dr. xxxxxx.”
I said, “Hi. How’s Asa?”
He said, “We lost him.”
I responded, “Okay.”
He said, “No, it’s not okay.”
He started to explain what happened and I was in too much shock to listen, so I told him I’d call him back. I tracked Greg down at work, and we drove to the vet’s office.

None of us know what really happened. The vet himself was surprised. They had given Asa some anesthesia. He began to wake up. They gave him a different type of anesethia…the gas kind. He was on a heart monitor. Everything was fine and the doc was almost finished, “two stitches from being done,” and Asa’s heart stopped. They couldn’t revive him.

Asa, we miss and love you!

Asa (left) and his brother Higgs

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