Bysterstorff's Beam me up Schröder - DRC            (Schröder *08.07.2011 †25.04.2017, tvd)

08 July 2017

Goodbye, my love!

I release you.

The circle of life can close

and now you are part of the elements again.

Gone through fire,

and handed over to air and water by me,

in tiny raindrops

you will nourish earth one day.

And so I know,

that I haven't lost you.

Because there is you.



Goodbye, my love!

05 May 2017

I really don’t know, how to start this text today... It was such a huge shock and pulled the rug out from under our feet, that it is difficult to bear, writing anything at all. After this first lines you surely fear what I sadly have to tell you today.


Our beloved heartdog Schröder passed away on Tuesday last week, on 25th April, at the age of 5 years, 9 month and 17 days.


It came so unexpectedly and really out of the blue. We never ever would have expected this currently. Schröder was doing great the last weeks! The phytotherapy made him revive and he was the same ‚little bastard’ again, that received the name „Arschmade“ in 2012. Our dogwalker Jacqui was cursing every week, full of joy and love, because Schröder again was the old stubborn pighead and restarted discussing with her. I remember one voice mail from Jacqui letting me know, that it would be very easy finding out whether Schröder was in good or bad condition. „Arschmaden-Schröder is back again! In full strength! Slacking around, just not listening, pawing the ground like a maniac, roaring like a lion...“. On days, when Schröder was meek as a lamb and just follows quiet obedient... these days were the bad ones. On days, when he was stubborn, taking endless time sniffing aroung and you had to discuss every little thing with him... these days were the good ones! For me there were no more beautiful ‚Your dog’s absolutely exhausting’-messages...


Tuesday last week actually was a very normal day. Whereby... for a ‚during the week-everyday life-day’ it rather was unusually good day for any reason. Normally, because of time pressure, the food was given quiet uneventful from the bowl – on Tuesday I  scattered it in the garden and let the boys search for it. On Tuesday afternoon the swimming course of our daughter actually was scheduled. But it was cancelled and so I called Martin in the morning and asked him for taking a walk with Hannah and the boys instead.


After his work Martin therefore picked up the boys from home and then Hannah from kindergarden and drove to the Müggeltower to take a walk there. Schrödi although was a bit slowly, but he happily tags along... Around 19:30 o’clock they returned to the car. Schröder jumped into the trunk with his front paws – Martin lifted up his bottom (but that happened every now and then and really was nothing out of the ordinary) – and laid down to rest immediately. Martin later told me, that Schröder was rather tired on the way back to the car. Martin also remembers a sound, like a very deep breathing out, shortly after he started the engine. It takes approx. 5 to maximum 10 minutes from the Müggeltower to our home. And when Martin arrived there and wanted to let the boys out of the trunk, Schröder already was dead.


At this time I was in our kitchen putting away the purchase I had done after my work. I heard my daughter calling for me and walked to the door. As I opened the door, she told me that I quickly should go to Martin. I asked „Why?“ and she only explained that „daddy just said so“. Not expecting anything bad I left the house, walked along the way to the garden gate where Martin already was walking halfway towards me... carrying Schröder in his arms. Even then I still not expected anything bad. For a moment I thought, Schröder maybe was injured and couldn’t walk – we had already experienced a lot with our little Punch. But then I saw Schröders tongue... His tongue hung out of his mouth, without any body tension... all blue. I’m sure that my head, from this moment on, exactely knew, what was going on. But like I was standing beside myself, I nevertheless asked Martin, why Schröders tongue was hanging out like this. Martin just answered „I fear, it has happened.“


We went into the house and Martin laid Schröder down on the dog sofa. I still was completely dazed. Actually it was obvious, I could see and feel – his blue, cold tongue and his cold paws really left no doubt. But I refused to believe this happened, so I – probably as a last rescue attempt – called the animal emergency number while Martin was rubbing Schröders chest and desperately searched for a heartbeat. Just at the moment when I explained what happened, I already knew what answer would be given to me. Schröder was dead. My hand laid on his chest and the buzzing, which meanwhile felt so normal after almost 6 years, was no longer there.

This brave little heart, I every now and then had whispered „You’re doing a great job. Stay strong, please hang in there a little longer!“ to, had stopped beating.


This moment was so unreal. How many times had I explained, that there is no reliable forecast...  that Schröder could become very old, just as well as every second could be the last... Countless times I myself had explained that before. Nevertheless, I never thought this would happen anyway. And now we were sitting there... on the ground in front of the dog sofa – where Schröder only was delightfully nibbling his stale bun in the morning – and had to face the terrible truth...


Our daughter asked for Schrödi and we explained it to her as good as we were able to. Concerning Schröders disease and the death in general we always have been very honest to her, so that his death didn’t hit her totally unprepared at least. I gathered all my strength and positive thoughts together and told her, that this really was ok because Schröder really had been very sick, but now had the great good fortune to pass away in peace, without pain and fear, right after a walk with his family. I told her, that this really was a good thing and that we can be pleased of having spent so much time with Schröder although he was that sick. She really understood quite good, but of cause she was just awfully sad at first, crying on Martins shoulder.


I set back next to Schröder, stroked him and kissed his face. There still was so many life in his body... he was so soft, his coat was so cuddly... It almost seemed as if he just was in a deep sleep. But he wasn’t breathing. His chest didn’t shiver. And somehow the whole room was filled with awfully suffocating silence. I couldn’t bear this silence. I couldn’t bear this feeling of powerlessness. And I couldn’t bear to do nothing. That’s why I took my phone. I immediately knew, what person I had to inform first. So I called Alina... I called Alina, then my parents, then Silvia and Jacqui. And my call hits every one of them like a punch. For each one of them I could notice the same disbelief that I felt. My parents immediately went on the way to us, to bid farewell to Schrödi. And while we were waiting for them to arrive, I only wrote some short messages to my closest friends. I think I just had to speak it out or write it down ...again and again... to be able to understand, what was happening to some extend at all. After my parents had bid farewell to Schrödi, I once had to put aside my emotions and take care of my daughter, that needed me to put her to sleep. So we laid down on the couch together and I caressed her until she was fallen asleep.


Afterwards I went back to Schrödi and – for the first time – totally broke. I didn’t wanted this to be the truth. I wanted Schröder to wake up again. I wanted this to only be a bad dream. I was holding Schröder in my arms, with my head in his coat and I cried. Martin was sitting next to me, catching all my grief and helplessness. My head knew, Schröder was dead. But my heart not only loved his beautiful soul but also his wonderful body. I buried myself in his coat, I tried to hold him as much and as strong as possible burning this feeling indelibly into the memory of my hands. I didn’t want to let him go. I already lost his soul, I didn’t want to let go his body, not yet. These incomparable soft ears... this thick, cuddly bear collar... his tiny, rough nose... It broke my heart not to be able to look in his wonderful deep eyes anymore. I just wanted to bury myself in his coat and let time stand still.


I couldn’t bear to leave him alone on the dog sofa when going to bed. And so I begged Martin if we all could sleep together on the big sofa in the living room for one very last time. I know, that he himself finds this idea some kind of strange. But he didn’t hesitate a second. He knew, how important this very last night together was for me and so he arranged the sofa – on which Hannah already was sleeping – for us five. Afterwards we both carried Schröders body over to the living room and laid him down on the sofa, on the opposite side to Hannah. I made myself ready for bed and then laid next to Schrödi. Martin laid himself between me and Hannah, and Artus rotatory curls up on my and Hannahs feet.

That’s how we all slept together for our very last time. I snuggelt into Schröders back as close as I could be and buried my face into his coat. It felt so good being that close to him for one last time. And with every hour passing by, I could bid farewell a little more. With every hour passing by, his essence and the live of his body disappeared piece by piece. And as slowly as this natural process proceeds, I was able to let him go millimeter by millimeter. These final hours together were so infinitely important to me, lest I perish altogether.

Martin, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, that you were aware of it’s importance for me and could understand.


As I woke up the next morning around 7:00 o’clock, I took my phone and looked at the homepage of Berlin’s only resident animal crematory ‚Portaleum’. We already knew this crematory from the time we lived in Pankow and I have only heard positive reactions so far. When I read that they also run instant cremation – which means, that you can take the ashes of your animal home right after the cremation – I knew, that I wanted it exactly this way. In general I am a person that wants to retain full control and that’s why it would have been really difficult to endure giving Schröders body away for cremation and waiting for the return of his ashes. Because you need to make an appointment fort his instant cremation, I immediately called the ‚Portaleum’. A very friendly man explained to me, that we could come the next or – if it would be possible to arrive around 9:30 o’clock – even the same day. At the time of the call it already was 7:30 o’clock and so I woke Martin and asked him, whether this even was feasible. He agreed. We woke Hannah and we dressed up in no time at all. While Martin packed in breakfast to go, I made a last paw print on paper and cut off some of his hair. Around 8:30 o’clock we hit the road to Pankow...


The ‚Portaleum’ really is a wonderful place and even the weather took great care to ensure a all in all beautiful farewell from Schröder. For safety reasons it is not allowed to take living animals inside the crematory. So Artus was not allowed in, but could wait in the beautifully arranged garden.

At first we talked about the procedure with a very friendly woman. Afterwards we were picked up by a colleague, that was just as friendly as careful. He led us – somehow fateful – to the ‚lavender room’. This room immediately had a special meaning for us, because lavender also played a big role at Hannah’s birth and our wedding. From there we went into the adjacent room, where Schröder already was laid out. He laid there, completely peaceful, partly covered up by a red blanket and covered with a rose and some rose petals. We were allowed to take the time we needed to, each of us, say good-bye to Schröder. Hannah once again kissed him on his chest and buried her face into his coat for several seconds. That was such a wonderful sight, I will never forget! As we decided being ready, the friendly man led us back to the ‚lavender room’, where we were able – because we wished to – to look through the glass pane of the door and watch Schröder’s body being handed over to the fire. You maybe imagine this as terrible and scary. But for me – and I also believe for Martin and Hannah – it rather was some kind of calming to accompany Schröder until the very last second. But of cause this last moment also was such a clear and irreversible end, that we all had to cry from the bottoms of our hearts. And again we were allowed to take as many time we needed. After we all had gathered, we went for a walk with Artus and had lunch to pass the time. Around 13:30 o’clock we were back at the ‚Portaleum’. Because Hannah was fallen asleep in the car after lunch, I went in alone to pick up Schröder’s ashes. Once again I was led into a room. There they beautifully presented Schröder’s urn together with a candle, two white roses and an amulet, which they had filled with some small amount of his ashes, on a small altar. And they gave me all the time and peace I needed in this moment. They also had made a paw print on clay right before cremation. We can pick it up in about two weeks. The whole burial ceremony, the whole stay at the ‚Portaleum’ was heavily influenced by great love and deep understanding for our emotions and I am infinitely grateful to the staff members for framing this for us painful day with such wonderful, dignified and peaceful settings.


We will miss Schrödi infinitely and his absence hurts so badly every day, but I hold on to the thought that he was well of until last and that he even had a fine afternoon with his family before he was tired and indeed just fell asleep peacefully.

And Artus had been at his side at that moment. Schröder wasn’t alone, but with Artus he had somebody with him, who still is that strongly connected to nature, that fear, grief and ‚inability of letting go’ not needed to be an issue. In this way Schröder was able to pass away unhindered. And I am also grateful for Artus, because I am sure that he therefore had understood way better what happened and that this now helps him to digest the loss of Schröder.


Of cause I am a bit sad, that I couldn’t take part in Schröder’s last walk. But much more am I happy, that he still was on that walk at all, because for a ‚during the week-everyday life-day’ this tour rather was unusual. I even can imagine, that Schröder deliberately left in my absence, because he maybe didn’t want me to find him dead...


And Hannah is so unbelievable strong and brave. She cried and mourned, she asked questions, she talks about our farewell from Schröder and about her memories of him. At home, right after the burial, she came to me with Schröders urn in her hands and said „Now we don’t need to be sad anymore.“. As I asked, why she thought so, she raised the urn overhead and answered „Because of the memory!“.

Once a day she asked me „How do you feel about Schrödi?“ and comforts me, when I honestly answer, that I am very sad missing Schrödi very much. She ‚calles’ him in heaven and sometimes she takes up the role of Schröder besides (or maybe even for?) Artus, mutating into a Labrador baby even more than ever before. I am so proud of her being such a sensitive, wise and strong little person hiding in that tiny Punch’s head. She kind of reminds me very strongly of an other, equally remarkable little Punch’s head...


And although I would have wished for way more time, I am so thankful, that Schröder was allowed to leave amicably. In regards to his forecast we had great luck having had almost 6 years together at all – and that with hardly no bad days. And now he was allowed to pass away in peace without physical decay – it couldn’t have been better for him. And that’s why it even is ok, the way it is – even though it hurts infinitely bad, of cause. All in all it was harmonic, there is nothing to regret or to sorrow. In regard to his disease he really had much time, moreover almost symptom-free, and then he was allowed to just fall asleep without pains. For him it was the best way of leaving earth and that’s what finally counts and what we need to hold on to. That’s what I always wished for him.


When I informed Alina on Tuesday evening, she excused for having caused so much suffering to us.

Alinchen... you must not even think such a thing once again!!! You never caused suffering to us. Quite the contrary: On 4th of September 2011, with this perfect little dark chocolate bundle of fur, you gave the world’s greatest gift into my hands.

Schrödi was my destiny – he so to speak was the encounter, that changed my life. Without him, Martin wouldn’t be with me, Artus wouldn’t be with me, Hannah wouldn’t be with me, some of my friends wouldn’t be with me... without his disease Silvia and I for certain never ever had become friends at all, we had not launched the action group, we would not have been able to assist so many heartdog-human-teams, I would not have rediscover my passion in writing...

Schröder managed to ease people’s fear of dogs, not only once. He brought together so many people and animals, in many different ways. Schröder, in fact exactly the way he was, needed to be with me – even perhaps primarily for my sake than for himself...



Schrödi, my little Punch’s heart... you loved the life! You truely was a fighter from the first day on and you let not anything stop you from deciding yourself, when to leave.

I am so very sorry, that Artus and you came off badly much too often in everyday life. But from the bottom of my heart I am hoping, that you nevertheless always knew and felt, how much we love you and that we had ever fought for you with all of our hearts.


‚Don’t let them get you down, be cheeky, wild and wonderful!’


That’s how we will always keep the memory of you in our hearts! I know, you still are with us. I can feel it. Thank you for everything. We love you end-less-ly for ever and ever and ever...

22 December 2016

Once again Schröder had an appointment with Dr. Kattinger. 


Everything went well at the examination. Schröder assumes it quiet patiently. His condition is stable – that is great news!

However, the backflow velocity increases, what indicates pulmonary hypertension and that could have a negative impact on the possible right heart failure. That's why we decided to try another cardiac drug to hopefully prevent the pulmonary hypertension.


Currently Schröder gets:


  • 6,25mg Vetmedin, twice a day
  • 5mg Torasemide
  • 25mg Fortekor
  • 50mg Spironolactone
  • 100mg Karsivan, twice a day


(Sophie Lemcke, owner of Schröder)

27 September 2016

Bysterstorff's Beam me up Schröder had another appointment with Dr. Kattinger. Since his Kollapse in August he all in all was himself and then a bit slower and more quickly exhausted, but for his degree of severity the days were quiet good.


Today the ECG showed multiplied extrasystoles. Even Dr. Kattinger confirms the suspicion that the collapse with high probability was caused by these extrasystoles.  


During the heart ultrasound the massive right heart enlargement and also its influence on the left half of the heart could be seen impressively. The measurements went well: the right atrium decreases a little bit - an indication that the new diuretic is able to relieve the atrium more effective. Indeed the right ventricle  enlarged a bit.


Today Schröders heart rate is rather disturbing because with 70 to 90 bpm it is quite low. With normal excitement at the vet the heart rate is 120 to 140 pbm.

And exactly that is the new problem:

In ragend to the multiplied extrasystoles Schröder actually needs some antiarrhythmics which on the other side also can lower the heart rate. The risk would be too great that Schröder is undersupplied all the more and falls over.


Today we left it that medication remains as usual at the moment and that we will meet again for 24-hour holter ECG in next autumn. In regard to this Dr. Kattinger will decide, which risk (increased extrasystoles vs. lower heart rate) is the lesser evil and how to proceed further.



(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

06 August 2016

Today Schröder is i very bad condition...


This weekend began with a visit to veterinary clinic, because Schröder was not able to stand up this morning. The spirit was willing, but his body was weak – Schröders hind legs were pretty cold. 


We immediately packed up everything we need, but Schröder remained lying. It was only when he thought we would go without him that he follows us very slowly under heavy breathing.


First I speculated about an acute problem, but it seemed to be the extrasystoles that he struggles with. Only by auscultation the vet was able to count one extrasystole every 40 to 60 seconds. When Schröder lays calmly the extrasystoles appear more often and that leads to severe deficiency. In the back part of the body the blood arrives last, which is the cause of Schröders cold legs and his weakness...


That means the risk is highest when Schröder sleeps – such symptoms in the morning or rather after sleeping are quiet normal for his condition...

It may be possible that he just won't wake up in the morning or that his heart is going into ventricular fibrillation and he suddenly falls over one day...


Of cause I called the holiday replacement of Dr. Kattinger. Schröder is in full medication already. So unfortunately, we can do no more than a) to encourage him to slightly move to get the blood circulation going and reduce the amount of extrasystoles and b) to make sure that Schröder won't overreach himself on good days.


Of cause I sheduled a follow-up appointment right after Dr. Kattingers holidays. 


I have never seen Schröder as weak as today. We probably have to get used to the thought, that his energy decreases slowly but steady even though the good days fortunately still prevail... 


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

08 July 2016

It is unbelievable how the time is running...


Exactly 5 years ago today, 10 little brown Bears were born at Bysterstroff's. 6 little girls and 4 little boys and the smallest of the boys should be named Schröder a few weeks later.


This little guy fall into my life and I immediately knew, wollt turn it upside down. At that time I had no idea that this little guy should be the first puzzle piece for the biggest and most beautiful change in my life...


In the last 5 years this little guy has moved so much in me and my life: I laughed and cried; I made numerous new experiences; I learned how easy it is to make enemies, but also how fast great friendships are established (sometimes even with stupid cows, isn't it true Silv); I learned at first hand how easy it is to gain further knowledge if you only are incredibly interested in something (or someone); Schröder showed and fortunately still shows me, that the joy in living and the will to live will decide what some diagnosis actually means...


Without Schröder my life would have been less enchanting. That's why I love him twice and triple!


I hope and cincerely wish, that this little bold guy will make us laugh for many many more years and for all I care even drive us mad. The required stubbornness he definitely has...


Alina & Micha, even at the risk of repeating myself...THANK YOU SO SO MUCH FOR THIS CHARMING, PERFECT, LITTLE GUY.


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

28 June 2016

The (hopefully) – up to the fall – last doctor's appointment is done for the moment and Schröder is tired now...


We went for Schröders routine heart checkup to Dr. Kattinger and my worries of the last weeks confirm.


Already when auscultating his heart Dr. Kattinger detects anomalies. Immediately she did an ECG. It shows both ventricular and atrial extrasystoles. Totally new for Schröder and obviously a worsening – his myocardium is weak. His faster and increasing exhaustion, which I was recognizing for some time past, can be explained this way for sure.


The heart ultrasound proceeds similar...when doing the echo on the right side Dr. Kattinger couldn't even measure the size of the right atrium because it is too big by now...

When doing the echo on the left side even I could recognize that the right atrium doesn't look like as it shows over a long period and like it had been burned in my memory. The right atrium has definitely increased. That's what the leftsided measures confirmed.


We'll be trying another diuretic now, that works for a longer period during the day. I hope, Schröder gets along with it well. For all purposes Schröder now has to wear a diaper in the daytime. I think we'll convert his body, everything else he will strip off anyway...


Dr. Kattinger seems to be sad about these bad news, too. But she underlines that Schröder – with his nearly 5 years – already reaches a proud age for the degree of his disease. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry...right now I'd tend to the latter...  



Time is precious!

Thank you for reading. And now: call for your beloved four- and/or two-legged and have a nice afternoon. 


edit: extrasystoles mean, that there are additional 'blank' heartbeats, which don't transport blood. These extrasystoles are not close to each other yet. If they will accumulate, blackouts could appear. We are mentally prepared... 


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

06 May 2016

My dog is heeling off leash...And it scares me!


Just now Artus, Schröder and I took a walk for around an hour. We were in the forest, then down to the lake and back again. The weather was very nice today: blue sky, sunshine and 23°C... really gorgeous, actually...


But after nearly half of the way Schröder was heeling off leash most of the time without needing me to request. And he was heeling off striking slowly. I had to really exert myself to throttle my speed down to his speed. Now and then he sped up a bit to catch up on Artus and then fall behind again. He just walks slowly straight ahead, rarely sniffing left and right – seems like he was thinking: "I just want to get home. Slowly, just moving ahead. Just want to get home.". From time to time we looked at eachother and I'm not sure, who of us was more confused. Me about Schröder being untypical exhausted or he because of my sceptical face and my sorrows:


"On average problems start to occur at the latest with 5 years...Dr. Kresken told me recently at the VHD seminar as I presented Schröders findings. 5 years... 5 years... You'll become 5 years in July. July... It's May already, isn't it? In July you'l be 5 years old and today you're behaving that strange... Dropsn, what's up with you? Is something wrong with you or are you just a lazy dog today? If you only could speek...".


Perhaps it's just a coincidence, maybe I am imagining things and are interpreting too much. Maybe Schröder just wanted to wander besides me... But up to know I don't know Schröder like this. And I am a great believer in Dr. Kresken. I trust in his expertise, he meanwhile is like a mentor for us. But today there is nothing I more earnestly want than Dr. Kresken being wrong. There is nothing I more earnestly want than Schröder remaining an exception and that he just wants to take a relaxed walk besides me...


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

04 December 2015

Bysterstorff's Beam me up Schröder was again today at Dr. Kattinger to control. Because our last visit in March was some time ago, Mrs. Kattinger has carried out a very detailed investigation today.


The general examination included auscultation and pulse measurement satisfied Mrs Kattinger very much and so the ultrasound could begin.

Both sides of the heart were resounded extensively, the heart rate is still very good. However, Schröder's right half of the heart has grown a considerable piece. Mrs Kattinger could not say whether this was caused by the last summer or the decreased medication by us, or both. Nor could she make a statement whether it would not have deteriorated with conventional medication too. However, she emphasized that Schröder (in relation to his illness) is now already "older" and deterioration with age is not unusual. Mrs Kattinger is amazed that he still shows no symptoms at all.

After the ultrasound examination, an ECG was written, which ran to our complete satisfaction. Subsequently even Schröder's chest was X-rayed. There were no water retention in the abdomen and lungs, which is of course the most important thing.


All in all, Dr. Kattinger was again very pleased with Schröder's overall appearance. We should use the normal medication again though, we will do so of course.


Schröder was a real lvoe again and showed his best side. However, he was also glad when we could go. With ground contact of the car kennels he had fallen asleep immediately, this excitement he had to process in the first place. At home, Schröder and Arthur welcomed each other as if they hadn't seen each other for three months and now they sleep again extensively.

On the whole, I am therefore very pleased with today's control and very proud of our little heart trouble.


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)  

08 July 2015

Today Bysterstorff's Beam me up Schröder celebrated his 4th birthday!


And take a look at him: this impish grin still is the same.


I remember as if it was yesterday, when I heard that 'puppy dark-blue' is my Schröder. 'Puppy dark-blue' – the smallest male puppy... the second smallest bundle of fur from the whole litter...this tiny dozy guy.

Always a bit slower, but all the more tougher! And in the meantime he catched up. In the meantime he always is well in the forefront...


Schröder...a dog with so many faces...Schrotte, Dropsn, little dirtbag (*excuse me*), the heart-clown...and all these names describe him very well...


This dog truely is a phenomenon. The personification of good spirits and easiness...with a large dose of willpower!


Yes, he is quiet imperfect...but he is perfect just like that! We love him just like that! And I owe him so much.


Schröder was the initiation for the most beautiful and most important moments in my life and his presence made them a bit more precious. 


That's why we fight... for that we will be able to witness coming great moments together with our heartdog. And for that other families do not have to go through this fight.


Schröder, you little twerp! You are a true inspiration and a role model – for so many reasons.


How good, that you are there! Thank you for being such a tough and stubborn little dirtbag! We love you from the bottom of our hearts!


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

12 March 2015

Schrödi went to his 14th ultra sound check at Dr. Kattinger.


Strangely, he gets more and more nervous the more often he went, although he never made any bad experiences and Dr. Kattinger is super sensitive. Again, she managed to calm him down with her enormous cautious way.


First, Dr. Kattinger made an overall check and auscultated him. She was again happy about his heart beating 80 times a minute, which is perfectly normal. But she emphasized as well that it is frightening how easy one can feel his heart failure from the outside.


After that, Schröder got onto the examination table and they made the ultra sound. Dr. Kattinger found his right half of the heart a smaller than the last time. Of course, these are super good news! However, his left half of the heart got pushed even further. It is obvious that Schröders supply of oxygen will worsen in the future. But it is a good sign that Schröder hadn´t had another dizzy spell since November. She is and stays positive concerning this.


All in all, Dr. Kattinger was very satisfied with Schröders condition and will keep the medication as it is right now. We now have to watch over him during the summer months and get back on her if anything unusual happens. Should nothing special happen, then we will be back in 3 months for the next check up.


Schröder was again absolutely lovely. So sweet and patient! Dr. Kattinger is always so thrilled about him!


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

19 February 2015

I assume that everyone who knows me would say that I am an optimist. And I think I am. In general I am a very positive thinking person.


Of course, the diagnosis from Schröder shocked me at the beginning. Of course, I cried a lot back then. It did not matter if it went good or bad, it was always sad somehow. When Schröder walked around the flat, couching and gasping, I cried, only because I was afraid he could not do it much longer. When he was happily playing at the beach on vacation I cried as well, only because I was afraid such wonderful moments will soon be gone. It was terrible!


But Schröder helped me to get over this diagnosis by the time. He developed incredibly good. The medication worked very well for him and soon there was nothing to see from his severe heart disease. Quite the opposite: one has to stop him when he is fully into playing football. By the time this disease went out of our heads. We accepted it and do not let it get in our way anymore. Especially Schröder seemed totally unimpressed. This is why I found my positive attitude again. I think it does not matter how much time one can spend together, what is important is how intensive this time is. I am ok with the disease. We try to make the best out of it and I am not afraid of it any longer. So I thought, until...


Especially within the last one and a half years there were these special moments when something just felt quite weird. Like a little girl with a backpack. In this backpack are all my fears I thought I had left behind.


When I was pregnant I often thought how great it would be if our baby could grow up together with Arti and Schröder. In the same moment this weird feeling appeared. I questioned if Schröder will then still be around. When our daughter was born I often imaged her making the first steps, outside in the garden, together with Arti and Schrödi. Again those feelings came back. I wondered if Schröder could experience the first steps of his little sister. Or when I sometimes think about my marriage... I am sure I need them both to be around. Again I question Schröders existence... I guess that's how it always will be...

During the last time Schröder starts to behave a bit odd. Then he goes alone into the dog room, lies on the couch and looks at me with this knowing expression. I don´t know how to describe that. He looks at me as if he wants to tell me "I am exhausted. It is not bad. I am ok, but I am soon too tired...".


Of course we are all afraid of the day our loved ones have to leave us. Naturally this day will always appear  too early. These feelings are pretty normal. But my dog is only three and a half years old. I should not be afraid of this day x, not even thinking about it. But I had to confess to myself that deep down inside me I am carrying it around with me every day. The fear that my beloved heart dog will leave us way too soon.


Ok, then I am afraid! Who cares?! I will accept this and still decide to keep the optimism. Schröder will still have these seldom quite moments... but at the moment he is the old very bold and stubborn pighead which we love so much! This stupid TVD will wonder with whom it took it on! I will simply change my fear and try to enjoy every little moment with Schröder even more. One should always do that – enjoying the here and now. And that's what we do now.


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

27 November 2014

Bysterstorff's Beam me up Schröder had a small dizzy spell yesterday.


Typical for a Labbi, he was way too happy to see my parents. He then started to couch a lot – he does that quite often during the last days when he is very happy or excited. He did not care of course, so he ran coughing to catch his ball. While he had the ball in his mouth, couching, his left foreleg broke off to one side. I thought he simply slipped and when I helped him up his hind legs also slipped away. I caressed him until he became quite. The whole scenario lasted only a minute, then everything seemed alright again. But the shock was heavy inside myself.


Today I called the cardiologist Dr. Kattinger. She said that he did not get enough oxygen due to the great excitement and the couching. The hind legs are affected first because they get supplied last.

Dr. Kattinger wants us to enhance the medication against the water aggregation from one and a fourth pill (Dimazon 40mg) to one and a fourth pill in the morning plus one pill in the afternoon.


We have to contact her again in a week and report how Schröder is doing with that.


We really hope that the increased medication works and Schröder will be free of symptoms again.


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

20 November 2014

Today we visited again Dr. Kattinger to get a check-up.


Schrödi was unusually excited and his whole body trembled a lot. Dr. Kattinger was able to calm him quite good with her professional and very sensitive way.


Schröders pulse is a bit slowed down, as usual. His breath is normal and Dr. Kattinger could not hear any weird breathing sounds. His heart beat and even the power of contracts are still very good.


The right part of the heart is again a bit widened. The vet explained that this is to be expected due to his age, and especially the summer months worsened it. Since the winter is coming now, which is always less wearing, she likes to keep the medication. The next examination will be in 3-4 months.


The left half of the heard became again a bit smaller due to the increased right half. Considering the severity of the disease this is pretty ok still.


To confirm the increase of the heart Dr. Kattinger counted the interspinal spaces using a x-ray picture we brought to her. She counted 5, whereas 3 are normal. Even this cannot shock us anymore.


All in all Dr. Kattinger was quite satisfied with our little dog. He is always very sweet and patient with her. I think we have to invite her to our home, just to show her what a roughneck he can be.

We are very happy that nothing worse was found and hope that Schrödi will use the cold time of the year to his advantage.


We stay positive! Schrödi will do it! We are very proud of him.


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

05 August 2014

Schrödi was again very patient while they made a thorax x-ray and took a blood sample.


Before Schrödis insurance is finally gone at the end of August we wanted a good check-up about his condition.


We wanted especially the lungs and the stomach area examined to see if there are any impacts from the TVD, like water aggregations or heart-coughs. The blood should be examined to check if there are any impacts from all the medication he needs to take.


The x-ray was completely fine. There are no signs of water in lungs nor the stomach. Only the increased heart is more than visible, but we are used to that by now.


We get informed about the results from the blood sample as soon as possible. We really hope that is will be fine.


Schrödi deserves a really big goody now!


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

03 July 2014

We come from Dr. Kattinger and have only good news to tell.


She is very satisfied with Schröders general state of health. His heart beat is normal, the pulse minimal weaker as it should be. The ultrasound did not show an increased right half of the heart. Actually the opposite: it got a bit smaller. It could not be better!


Schröder was very calm and nice as usual, especially because of our good friend Mareike, who cared for him during the examination.


We are very happy and immensely proud of our heart-dog!


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

24 March 2014

Again Schröder had a date with Dr. Kattinger.


Again, we cannot complain. He was patient, like he is a pro now.


Dr. Kattinger is very satisfied with all the results. The right chamber of the heart is a little bit bigger than before, but the right vestibule actually is smaller. This is a sign that more blood is transported to the left side, probably due to the increased power of contraction by the medication Vetmedin.


Dr. Kattinger is very happy about Schröders development and she is positive that he will get along like that much longer. Until now, she hadn´t had a TVD patient which grew older than three years. Our heart-dog with surely change that! We are very optimistic that he will surprise us all! Because he simply did not play enough football yet...


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

18 November 2013

Today Schröder had another date with Dr. Kattinger to get his 10th ultrasound!


His blood pressure is fine, the heart frequency is pretty good with 81 beats a minute! Dr. Kattinger is very glad that the heart still does not try to compensate by increasing the frequency. This might be a good sign!


The size of his right half of the heart is still unchanged! This is incredibly great and a sign that the medication works perfectly for him.


Even better, his left half of heart even increased! This shows that due to the increased power of contraction the blood is pumped from the right half to the left and was transported before to the lung.


Dr. Kattinger is always astonished how great Schröder is dealing with this disease and how well the medication works for him.


We are very happy with these results are immensely proud of him! He is dealing very bravely and we now understand even better that this is all a question of attitude.


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

16 August 2013

Today we went with Schrödi to Dr. Kattinger to look at possible effects from the new medication Vetmedin. The size of the right atrium is unchanged, the size of the right ventricle got reduced a little! We’re going to give him the full dose now (6,25mg, 2x day).


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

08 July 2013

We went –like every 3 month– to see Dr. Kattinger to get Schröders heart echoed. This time we did the official breeding examination for the Collegium Cardiologicum e.V. to finally have solid findings for us and for the DRC. Dr. Kattinger is still very satisfied, the disease stagnated (since January 2013). She would like to carefully attempt and give Schröder additionally to the medicine he already takes the medicine Vetmedin. We’re going to give it to him very slowly starting with a small dose. As soon as he’ll get the full dose the effects are going to be examined by another ultrasound after approximately 4 weeks. We’re looking forward to it…


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)

May 2013

Schröder was born on July 8th 2011 together with his nine siblings by caesarean section. All puppies were healthy and so no defects were found in all examinations and the litter check. Everything seemed to be just fine. Although Schröder always has been a little smaller and slower than his siblings this doesn’t have to mean anything.

In the end of January 2012 Schröder’s puppy tooth had to be pulled. Before the planned operation his heart was examined as well. The cardiologist canceled the operation right away and arranged (because of heart murmurs) a heart ultrasound as well as a ECG and a X-ray.


On February 1st 2012 Schröder got a cardiological examination (since then quarterly) and was diagnosed with highly tricuspid valve dysplasia. Septal leaflet was just a thickened stumb. Right atrium and right ventricle extremely enlarged, left side of the heart rather small than normal.

And that, even though he was always examined as normal (besides his low sprinter qualities) and also didn’t have any signs in his appearance.


What means all this particular in Schröder’s case?

First Schröder’s tricuspid valve is applied too deep and second their leaflets are just thickened stumbs which means that the valve can’t close to even some degree. The blood that comes from the body flows in the right atrium and from there through the tricuspid valve to his ventricle. Since the valve can’t close the majority of the blood can’t (as planned) be pumped through the pulmonary artery to the lung but gets stowed back to the right atrium. That’s why Schröder’s right side of the heart is six times as big as it should be (normally the right side of the heart is 1/3 of the left side of the heart but Schröder’s right side is twice as big as the left side of the heart).


We don’t know much about Schröder’s life expectancy. He could die any minute or he could also grow old. “Everything can happen, nothing has to!” so the doctors. He has to take the following medicine for a lifetime:


  • Fortekor/Benazepril 25mg, 1x day (high blood pressure medicine, improvement of the clinical symptoms)
  • Dimazon/Furosemid 50mg, 1-2x day depending on the weather (water sets increased to dehydrate the right atrium and to prevent water from accumulating in the body)
  • Prilactone/Spironolacton 50mg, 1x day (water sets increased to dehydrate the right atrium and to prevent water from accumulating in the body)
  • Vetmedin 6,25mg, 2x day (increases the force of the contraction of the heart muscle)
  • Hawthron juice if necessary (to relieve the symptoms and to improve the performance)
  • Mixed herbs 'Euro Zoo Body Circle' if necessary (for general heart-support)


Especially Schröders unbelievable great appearance astonishes the cardiologists. From the ultrasound picture he should be totally lethargic and pant the whole time. However Schröder is full of joy! He’s running, jumping, raging, he is a real “heart-clown”! Schröder loves to play soccer and just has to stop when he doesn’t have anybody to play with anymore. And even then he’s always searching for some other fun activity…


Schröder is a firecracker and a very nervous one, which makes it even more unbelievable that he has highly tricuspid valve dysplasia (since today confirmed by three independently cardiologists).


Schröder is a great example that the diagnosis highly tricuspid valve dysplasia doesn’t have to be the end of the world!


Of course Schröder is still young and he could die any time from the consequences of his heart disease but – and that is in my opinion the most important thing – he is doing well with the disease! He is acting age-appropriate, he is happy, busy, plays and rages and runs and jumps and if you wouldn’t know that he has such a severe heart disease you would never guessed it!


(Sophie Prasser, owner of Schröder)