|Sketch in progress for the next Thoughts & Sketches journal:|
Music & Motion
My every weekend blog posts were going along swimmingly and then ... stuff happened. So I'm late. Two weeks late. Ah well, everyone has other things to do and I don't imagine anyone noticed too much.
Last weekend it was a nasty virus. Now, I generally work through viruses. I'd hardly get anything done if I didn't. But this one even knocked hardy hubby off his feet for a couple of days, so it's no surprise I'm on Day 11 of this thing or that my knocked off my feet days were last weekend and I didn't even think about a blog post. Couldn't get my head together that much. What's past is past. We just keep moving along.
And I'm rambling because I don't have a valid topic for this weekend's post, either.
The weekend before ... well, we had to put my puppy down to stop his suffering. Not actually a puppy, Axel was about 10 years old. It's hard to know for sure since he was a shelter dog. They said he was two years old when I contacted them about wanting an easy-going lab mix good with kids, partly as a companion for our then two-year-old female lab that hates to be alone. He was pretty puppy-ish, so he was likely about the age they said. They'd also said he hadn't been abused, because I'm wary of bringing an abused animal into a household with children. I know that's not true by the way he used to duck when we picked up a stick for fetch. He didn't fetch. He ducked. At first.
It took him some time to realize he was quite safe and he stopped being so guardian about his food after a while, also. He'd known too much starvation before the shelter took him in, so much so he'd lost most of his hair. It had come back in fairly well under their care. Sadly, they were just about to put him down at the time I called because they couldn't house train him at all and no one wanted him.
I wanted him the moment I saw him, but they hesitated about letting him be an outside dog (although he already had been) until they came to see the shelter we had up and the big fenced yard where he could run. It was either let us have him or put him down. Easy option once she came over and met our other puppy and saw the accommodations.
We added glucosamine to his diet to fix a limp and his hair was very soon bright and shiny and thick again. He learned not to duck when a man approached or when someone picked up a stick or when we threw a rock for our lab. His favorite trick was to raise his front paw as though shaking hands when trying to get my attention. He was my puppy; he firmly attached himself to me, although that hadn't really been the plan. He never did fetch. He looked at us like, Really? Why? Our lab, on the other hand, only fetches rocks. Why? I have no idea.
I always expected because of his rough start, his wouldn't be a terribly long life. He developed a very fast-growing tumor on his head all of a sudden and then showed signs of pain and rapid slow-down. You know when a dog looks at you a certain way, it's time to let them go. So I let him go. When I said goodbye to him, he looked at me and raised his paw, and then turned away. He knew.
I'm sure there are plenty of people shaking their heads at the idea of having outdoor only dogs, but you know what? That's ridiculous. Full size dogs are well equipped and often much happier outside as long as they have shelter and can run. He was a happy dog, and healthy other than what someone else did. Shelters would have a better time helping animals find good homes if they would consider the circumstances, breed, and temperaments of each animal rather than sticking to a "no adoptions for outdoor dogs" rule. Is it better to make them live their lives in a shelter or to just put them down than to allow them a happy home and companionship? Not hardly.
If Axel could have answered that question, I bet he would have agreed with me.