I also just saw this. That is so sad, also sad that you couldn't stay in touch with him. I'm sure he missed you. He is in a better place and you will meet up with him again..my thoughts are with you..I can only imagine how you are feeling.
Thanks everyone. I did here from a source (not exactly reliable but it's all I got) that they put Mater in his crate for the night and woke up the next morning and he was dead. So it sounds as if he might have been poisoned... I just know that he is no longer suffering and waiting at the Bridge for me when I get there.