Now, those of you who know me well...know that the dog and I have not always been on the best terms...in fact...sometimes he drove me just plain nuts. The non-shedding breed of puppy we picked out, turned out to shed more than any dog I've ever seen. And you could vacuum and ten minutes later find tufts of hair around. A Labradoodle, he's part retriever, and so he retrieved...constantly. Socks, laundry, towels, the bathmat in the bathroom...you get the idea. He's also the size of a small pony but clearly sees himself as one of those small lap dogs. His head was the same height as the kitchen counter...so any food on the counters was surely left for him. The mere sight of a ball would send him over the edge and render him uncontrollable. Oh and one had better look out when the doorbell rang...more than once he tried to scale the sofa to get to the door to see who was there. There were times when I think he believed himself a small child. If the grandchildren were visiting, he had to be in the midst of whatever they were doing. Their toys... were his toys...and we would constantly catch him trying to sneak off with whatever they were playing with. If they were eating, he was perched as close as could be to nab anything they might drop.
After getting the news from the vet ...we spent some time discussing our options....and trying to come up with a plan. An "end of life" plan for the dog. It's amazing how many memories and raw emotions from my Dad's death last January have come to the surface during this time. Still incredibly painful....selfishly...I don't want to experience watching another life waste away...a little bit more each day. It's gut wrenching. That same fear I feel of walking into the room and the uncertainty of what I will find is present.
Just like when I sat beside my Dad at the end of his days...and recalled the good memories...I will try to stay focused on the good things about this wild dog.
This happens naturally when you are the size of a small pony...small children, like Finn, assume that they are supposed to ride on you...and examine your eyes.
Even the smallest of children seem enthralled by the big dog. Sometimes, I think they communicate with him in a language that we adults...just don't understand.
Oakley loved a good game of "chase" just as much as the kids.
I am thankful... that although a bit unruly at times...he loved those babies.
This past week, we let him eat whatever he was willing to try...bananas...occasionally toast...cherry tomatoes...Cheetos. It is obvious...his time has come.
Once again..we're saying Good-Bye.