Gable is a 40 pound Portuguese Water Dog.

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Before Gable came into our lives, we didn't even know what a Portuguese Water Dog was. In fact, for a long time after Gable came into our lives we still didn't know about PWD's.

In June 1993, my wife, Kitty, and I were at my family's farm in Rensselaer, Indiana. I was mowing a field most of the day, but when I returned, Kitty told me that I needed to go retrieve a puppy she'd found. She had seen a small black bundle of fur sitting in the middle of our barn lot. She took our other two (recently adopted) dogs out to investigate and the bundle quickly disappeared behind some tires in a barn.

Fortunately, upon reaching into those tires (duh!), I pulled out the most wonderful puppy we could have imagined. Gable was 8.5 lbs. with wavy black hair (full of burrs) and a white "bib." He was the dog of Kitty's dreams (unlike the other two that I brought home who had to win her over).

Although we were told by our vet that Gable was a three month old Cockapoo who would grow to 20-25 lbs., we were told by several groomers and enthusiasts that he was definitely a PWD. I started looking into PWD's when he passed 25 lbs. and the idea seemed plausible, so eventually I got in contact with Scott and Rachel Marshall. They encouraged us to go to the 1995 Louisville show where Gable was declared a PWD by Kathryn Braund., by pure chance we have a dog of recognized breed in our motley group. He is a great companion for Kitty and often travels with her when I'm unable, or when I take the other (easily-cleaned) dogs to the farm. He likes to cuddle on the bed and defend his bones, but he also enjoys rough play and leading the other dogs when we go sledding and Rollerblading.

Gable has been a delight and he has convinced us that we should always have a PWD in our lives.


On Sunday, October 21, 2001, during a break between walks with Kitty and Garbo, Gable apparently suffered a stroke and lost control of his front and rear left legs. (It wasn't really a "stroke," it was an "FCE" - similar, though.)

After spending a week at Purdue's hospital with some very caring people, Gable returned home and was able to hobble a bit. He quickly recovered to the point where he could even run! His left side is still obviously damaged, but we are thrilled to have him mobile.


After needing quite a bit of therapy, Gable switched to providing it. On December 9, 2001, with no preparation, Gable and Kitty received a perfect score (a first for that evaluator) during a Delta Society evaluation sponsored by Caring Paws. (He also passed with me, but there were shortcomings on my end of the leash.)

Another injury (facial scratch) kept him from working until January 18, 2002. He joined us at Wabash Valley Kids' Connection, where he provided a slower, fluffier alternative to Garbo. He was an immediate hit with a little girl who had been fearful with bigger dogs (including Garbo).

On January 19, 2002, Gable earned his AKC Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dogs International certifications.


During 2005 harvest Kitty noticed blood when Gable urinated in the field. She immediately got him to the vet where antibiotics were initially prescribed (for a bladder infection). Weeks later an ultrasound was used to locate masses on his spleen, liver and bladder.

Gable underwent surgery in November to remove his spleen and 2/3 of his bladder. The small mass on his liver was benign. In January regrowth was discovered in his bladder, blocking his ureter. Two attemps were made to place a stent without surgery before placing it surgically.

An experimental drug, MCC, is injected into Gable's bladder five consecutive days, once a month. This seems to be controlling the cancer.

We entered a trial using cisplatin. Gable's health rapidly deteriorated following his first treatment. After three weeks in the hospital and a couple days at home we ended his life at Purdue on July 31, 2006. Although we've become accustomed to not having him at home, it's hard knowing that's permanent now. Gable was loved by many.

owned by: kyler


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