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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to be pretty heavily involved in this forum some years ago. Many great people here. My absence due to just life being busy as I get older.

Cruze is not the first GSD we have had the pleasure of joining our family. He would be turning 11 years this coming Jan. Cruze was a very wild and crazy pup when we got him. The last of his litter to be sold, we were glad to have him. Unknown to us, we have always had pet line type GSD's. This would be our first adventure into a working line type dog. We had many issues as he got older. Really wasn't all him, it was just the fact that we were not mentally or physically or educationally prepared for such a dog. It got so bad for us, we were almost to the point we were considering surrendering him to a GSD rescue. But we talked and told ourselves, by bringing Cruze into our family, we made a commitment to him. We were not going to surrender him to anyone. So, started our long road of learning. Mainly what brought me to this forum. To learn. We hired a trainer to come to the house. Other training classes were not suitable. Cruze was not what you would call a "dog friendly" young man. He was also on his own agenda, not ours. But we found a local trainer that helped us through behavioral issues and to help us understand what we needed to cope with him and vice versa. It took a while, but it worked. We settled into life with each other very well once boundaries were in place and understood. We adjusted to the type of dog he was. It wasn't perfect all the time, but it was better than it was before. I guess several years down the road, he started developing allergy issues. We tried different diets, different meds, all would work for a time but many many vet visits later he seemed to be suffering from an autoimmune type disorder. He would have oozing sores pop out in random places,. He would go through flares where he would lose a lot of hair at times. My wife and I would wash and doctor his sores and get them healed only to later have more pop out. So it was a rinse and repeat for several years involving bandages, socks on his feet to stop the licking, a Comfy cone all the time. We all fought a good fight to give him a life and try to give him quality time. Well, I noticed him losing weight even as he still would eat. But within the last week, I noticed massive weight loss, I could feel a few cysts along his back area. I have been down this road before and have a good idea what this is. He will not eat. I had my wife put some scrambled eggs in his food to get him to eat, but he looked at the bowl and then gave me that straight look and I knew. He wanted none of it. So my wife and I have had that talk, and have decided that we have done all we can, and that he seems to have just gotten tired of the fight. So Monday, tomorrow, she will call the vet and we'll take that last trip. We don't look forward to this point with our family members. But it's time, and he needs the relief. It's never easy. But this will be the only place I will post this because of the respect I have for this community as a whole. For those that remember Cruze or myself, thanks for all the advice along the way.

If I may, I would like to post the lyrics to a song called "Blackbird" for Cruze.

Blackbird by Alter Bridge

The willow it weeps today
A breeze from the distance is calling your name
Unfurl your black wings and wait
Across the horizons coming to sweep you away
It's coming to sweep you away
Let the wind carry you home
Blackbird fly away
May you never be broken again
The fragile can not endure
The wrecked and jaded
A place so impure
The static of this cruel world
'Cause some birds to fly long before they've seen their day
Long before they've seen their day
Let the wind carry you home
Blackbird fly away
May you never be broken again
Beyond the suffering you've known
I hope you find your way
May you never be broken again
Ascend, may you find no resistance
Know that you've made such a difference
And all you leave behind
Will live till the end
The cycle of suffering goes on
But the memories of you stay strong
Someday I too will fly and find you again
Let the wind carry you home
Blackbird fly away
May you never be broken again
Beyond the suffering you've known
I hope you find your way
May you never be broken again
May you never be broken again
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks both of you. It's never easy. They are so individualistic. No one to me has been the same. They have their own personalities.

Well my oldest daughter came over today. He loved her, probably his favorite. She brought him a McDonalds cheese burger and he had some more peanut butter ice cream today. After I got home we went out and walked around the yard a little before we left. When we got to the veterinarian, his favorite vet and tech were there. They had a blanket set out in his usual room for him. He got plenty of treats from the tech as usual. She loved him and always looked for him. That girl on normal visits would just stuff him with treats. I couldn't ask for a better vet and tech. They were so great. So his last day was probably one of his best. He's going to leave a large hole, very large. He was our everyday world and we were his.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have one last update. We had Cruze cremated like our other GSD's in the past. We brought him home today. I can say, my wife and I were totally taken back and impressed once again by our Vet. As I said, we have had our others cremated in the past through other vets. The first one basically came back to us in a container and a cardboard box. The next one was a bit better and he was returned to us in a nice sealed plastic display container with a little prayer on the front. It was nice. This time though, I have to say I was totally impressed. She brought Cruze out to us in a nice gift like bag. Inside the bag was a very nice velvet looking bag that contained a very nice quality large wooden stained box. After the wife exchanged hugs with the vet tech, this was Cruze's favorite and she loved Cruze when he came to see them. We loaded up into the car and headed home. My wife has been kind of lost a little bit without her boy being at home. I am the same way. The passing wasn't as bad on me as leaving him behind at the vets. That was harder on me than anything. But, we arrived home, my wife already had a place on the mantel for him next to the others. She began to take him out when she pulls out this small box with a hard plastic slide out. The crematory services had taken his last paw print and preserved it in clay inside this plastic box with a clear window on it to see the paw print. It was over the top. I just couldn't have imagined a better memorial for him. The amount of gratitude we have towards our vet and the services rendered really are beyond words at this point. Every once in a while, you run across special people. These are very special people to us.
 

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Ilita and Rusty
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I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I wasn't on the forums when you were active so did not have the opportunity to get acquainted. The rending hole our pets leave behind when they pass are immense. They only fill in a little at a time leaving room for the wonderful memories they gave us.

IMHO, time does not heal the wounds, it gives us the resources to tolerate them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, just when you think things have settled down a little into life without your pup. My wife and I received a little surprise from our vet Saturday in the mail. You have to understand my wife is what you would coin a social butterfly. She could walk into a room of strangers and get along quite well. She takes people to heart literally. She in herself is a unique human being. Myself, well I am what you might call a loner in my day. I think they have a different term now. But the point is, when we had to put Cruze down, she wanted to ease the loss of someone else instead and that happened to be our vet and staff. So we stopped in and bought them a batch of cookies and a thank you card. I might have mentioned all this somewhere before. But anyways, that's just how my wife is. Well Saturday, we got a piece of mail from the vet. My heart sank when I pulled it out of the mail box. There could be only one thing it would be about. So I took it inside and gave it to my wife to open. She almost came to tears. Well, as if our vet couldn't do anymore for us, inside the envelope was a card, inside the card were hand written messages from the staff including the vet about Cruze. Oh but wait there's more. The messages were enough of a gift for us but to top that, our vet and staff made a contribution in Cruze's name to a non profit that helps animals in emergency situations when their owners can't afford the procedures. Behind that card was a piece of paper with our boys paw print. Um, I felt like I swallowed a softball. I really have no words to express the complete admiration my wife and I have for these people. They have pretty much blitzed right past any pre conceived ideas of how all this would have played out. But, that was Cruze in a nutshell. Besides being this crazy aloof happy go lucky dog, he was the exception not the rule. Like I know there are dogs here in the group, when they enter a room or space, you know it, they will let you know it. I believe they recognized this when he not us, picked this vet and her tech out of everyone there to take care of him. He wouldn't deal with anyone else, believe me, we tried a couple other vets there. Anyway, I'm babbling now. But another update to the last update. Maybe someday, we'll introduce another new member.

Thank you everyone who has stopped by to say something. It all means a lot. So thanks.
 
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