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Old 01-21-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
Calebz
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Default Saying goodbye to my best friend

In the fall of 1996, I went to the Tacoma animal shelter looking for a small dog to keep me company in my little one bedroom condo.

One of the Kennels had just the dog I was looking for. It was cute, little and not yappy.

Unfortunately, it also had no interest in me. Instead, this big dumb puppy ran out as soon as the kennel was opened and proceeded to cower between my feet.

Not quite what I was looking for, but she had obviously chosen me.

They told me she would be 40-50 pounds when full grown. A little bigger than I wanted, but doable.

By the time she was 5, she had reached her full weight. Just under 125 pounds.

She has saved the neighbors house by scaring off burglars during a break-in.
She has scared off a would-be mugger during one of our walks.
She convinced and overzealous police officer that perhaps screwing with me in front of my own house was an unwise idea (long story).

But more important than being my protector and the protector of my daughter, she has been my best friend.

When life fell apart about 8 years ago, she was my anchor. There was a time when a 12g slug was looking pretty tasty. Having her there with me made all the difference in the world.

In 2003, she and I made the trip from Tacoma to Dallas in my beat ass old subaru. A better traveling companion than any person I have known.

When my wife and I split last year, I made a terrible decision. We agrred that for the time being it would be best to leave Nala with my wife and daughter.

6 months later, she was unkempt, in desperate need of grooming and nail trimming. She had been attacked by another dog and the wounds had grown infected. Her long fur and old age had facilitated a bladder infection that had gone untreated for an unknown period of time.

The vet recommended she be put down then, citing her age and multiple infections. I refused, noting her still pleasant demeanor and apparent happiness with life.

So we shaved her, cleaned her wounds and plied her with antibiotics.

For the past 5 months she has been back with me. She has been happy and full of life. She runs (as well as a 13 year old dog can), and spends hours everyday sparring with Bob, the minpin.


Age had taken its toll though. She no longer moved as well as she once did, Though she didn't appear to be in pain. Playing with the big dogs was no longer an option. That didn't stop her from prancing, smiling and wagging her tail. But still, she is old. She ate less, lot weight (also lost it during her illness), and made it down to a skinny 90 pounds.

Night before last, she had a stroke. Her left side doesn't work so well and walking is a real challenge that inevitably leads to at least one fall. She even sits and lays down with a lean.

She no longer has a desire to eat. She doesn't seem to be in pain. She is still the inordinately happy dog she has always been.

But she can't maintain like this for more than another day or so.

The vet again suggested putting her down. He agreed that she wasn't in pain. But he also said that even if she did recover, it would never be more than about a 25% recovery.

I have lost friends and family over the years, just like anyone else. But never can I remember felling like this about it.

She is my last daily connection with my life before Texas. It never occurred to me that that would mean so much.

Sometime today or tomorrow, she and I will take a trip. There is a nice spot waiting for her at my friend's ranch. She can chase all the squirrels and rabbits she wants, for as long as she wants.

Goodbye baby. I am sure going to miss you.




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Old 01-21-2009, 12:59 PM   #2
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RIP little buddy...
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:01 PM   #3
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my sorrows

Good looking dog
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:01 PM   #4
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May your travels be full of beggin strips.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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thanks for making me cry. I can't hardly see my keyboard right now.

sorry dude.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:02 PM   #6
TheRex
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God dammit.

I hope she goes peacefully. So sad
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledribble View Post
RIP little buddy...
Whoa, whoa, I didn't read that he was putting her to sleep - just that she's going to his friend's place.

Caleb. I wish I knew what to say to make it better, but I don't. Just remember, the love she has for you and you have for her will always be. And you can share that love with another pup, too, so that her legacy will live on.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:03 PM   #8
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I'm sorry, dude. She's a beautiful dog.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:03 PM   #9
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I'm sorry.
It's good she had these last months with you.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:03 PM   #10
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off to find a happy thread....
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:05 PM   #11
Vectors2Final
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schniz View Post


off to find a happy thread....
X2
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:05 PM   #12
impRSa
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Sorry, sir.

Everytime I read these, I am amazed by how much our dogs give back to us.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:05 PM   #13
Sideshowbob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shandra View Post
thanks for making me cry. I can't hardly see my keyboard right now.

sorry dude.
Srsly goddamn I am work trying to hold it together here.

RIP
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:06 PM   #14
blue-sun
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Sorry to hear. RIP =(
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impRSa View Post
Sorry, sir.

Everytime I read these, I am amazed by how much our dogs give back to us.
Too true...

Keep your head up knowing you sent her off happy. She will surely love you always. So sorry.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:07 PM   #16
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So sorry dude..

sadness
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:08 PM   #17
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I'm am truly sorry for your loss.
Always remember the awesome life that you gave this dog and what she has given you in return.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:09 PM   #18
Calebz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkbait View Post
Whoa, whoa, I didn't read that he was putting her to sleep - just that she's going to his friend's place.

No Andrea, he got it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideshowbob View Post
Srsly goddamn I am work trying to hold it together here.

RIP
Thank god I work from home. This would be bad if had to actually BE somewhere.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:10 PM   #19
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Damn dude.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:10 PM   #20
mat420
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Sorry to hear this, sounds like a awesome dog that lived a long happy life. This is one reason I'm scared to get my own dog, I don't want to deal with the end.

My girlfriends dog just died last week after having surgery to remove a fatty tumor, I only knew him for a couple months but it still hurt and brought back memories of my last lab.

Time helps the pain and you will never forget her.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:10 PM   #21
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if it helps at all, dogs of her age go almost instantly when put to sleep. our weiner dog died within about 15 seconds of the sedative. by that age, they're so weak, they can barely sustain themselve.

sometimes the "right" answers don't always feel like the "best" answers. the hard choice sometimes is the only choice.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:12 PM   #22
fliz
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Sad thread is sad.



Sorry to hear about your dog, at least you got her back for the last few months.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:12 PM   #23
boxered
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Sorry about your buddy Calebz.

Losing a friend who helps through a rough life patch is always very hard, I know. It will get better with time. She will be with you in spirit.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:13 PM   #24
audio_file
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very sad. sorry caleb- tough decision, but the right thing to do for your faithful friend . . .
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:15 PM   #25
doubledribble
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i need to spend more time with our dog...she's seriously lacking some attention since the baby was born.

11 year old spitz who doesn't act a day over 2.
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