I haven't been on GS.com for many months--good and bad reasons.
Our Chief Raisin of Acton suffered with Degenerative Myelopathy from November of 2012 until June of last year. We watched a proud, loyal, strong gentle giant lose that pride and strength, but never his loyalty or gentleness. When it was apparent that the loss of motor and bowel control was causing him great embarrassment and discomfort, we knew it was time.
Our 11-year-old granddaughter Addi went with us and helped walk Chief down the hall at our vet's office. She sat on the floor with him while my husband and I petted the Big Guy. As he was slipping away, he tried to get up again and our Addi eased him back down. I closed his eyes and held his head for a few moments, then we left. Instead of taking his ashes home with us, we donated the money to our local shelter.
To say he was the best of our dogs, well, he was. Always attuned to us, protective but not aggressive, possessed of a rich internal life (he would get that lost look occasionally then jerk back to the present) ...he is the best.
The good part...
About a month before we let him go to his rest, I happened to find a 5-month-old Black Sable female being chained outside during February and March. This is intolerable.
I borrowed money and bought her from her so-so owner, the only way I could see to save her. She suffers from acute separation anxiety, poor socialization, too-early weaning...the kind of things you'd expect. We do see, however, a great heart and dedication inside this now big girl, the kind of qualities our wonderful Chief had.
Jazz Baby will never be Chief; she is too damaged. But we do love her, we are working with her on the problems and set-backs, and she will be a good dog.
Thank you, Chief of All Dogs (his nickname) for giving us the heart to carry on and save Jazzy. We're in good hands with her and you don't need to worry about all the bad guys (mailman, passersby, the garbage truck, etc.) We'll always love you and will see you again, Big Guy.