It's a hard thing to loose a family member and dear friend, my condolences.Our 8 1/2 year old Newfoundland "child" suffered a stroke over the weekend and mostly lost his back half mobility. With all of his other health issues we reluctantly decided it was time for him to stop suffering.
We got him just a couple of weeks after I had knee surgery and when we were at the breeder's place I climbed into the pen leg brace and all with the 2 pups left, and he was the one that came over to me. Came home that day!
Over the years he grew to be the "guard dog" barking at anyone coming into the yard, tractors passing by, squirrels, wind, or something only he could hear. We played fetch from time to time and he was free with his "kisses" licking my face until I had to stop him. As he got older those things went away and he was the old dog that wanted petting or head scratching.
Tuesday I left work early to prepare for the vet to come out. Much easier for her to come here than to get a 175 pound dog that couldn't really walk to her! Spent some time in the kennel with him and then we picked out a spot for me to start digging a grave. Once that was done we managed to get him on his feet and moving out across the yard. 3 excruciating tries later he was next to his final resting place and we laid down waiting for the vet to arrive. The wife and I both petted, scratched and rubbed him constantly. He seemed to enjoy being out of his pen and in the wind. All of a sudden he started licking my face just like the old days and I just let him have at it. Not once, but twice. It was like he knew what was going on and was saying goodbye.
Once the vet showed up someone new was in the yard and he tried to get up to confront the stranger. We held him down and he began whining from the pain and not being able to go anywhere. That hurt us more than anything. He calmed down when she came over and offered her hand for him to smell. More petting and scratching while the drugs were given, and final parting words given. Quite a bit of dust must have been in the air, my eyes needed repeated wiping.
Afterward, I got him laid out in his grave and filled it in over him. Plans are to make a couple things to mark it and do something special. It's been pretty tough, especially for my wife. She's spent way more time with him and with me being gone at work all day he was the only company she had all day long. I've finally decided to post this and get it off my chest, so to speak. Hope I didn't ramble too much.
Have a good rest, Mountie! You were the best dog ever! Love ya', buddy!
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