And then there were two.
This afternoon I said goodbye to my Border Collie/Lab mix, Domino.
At 14, he was in late-stage dementia and was having serious spinal issues. We tried medication for the dementia, and had been using Adaquon to try to help with his orthopedic issues. Neither was able to overcome the effects of old age.
Domino came to me just over twelve years ago. He had wandered away from his previous two homes, and from the animal shelter in a neighboring county twice. The woman who pulled him from the shelter was told that if he showed up again, he was done. That woman talked me into fostering him and getting him vetted. I kept him for a few months while we looked for a good home for him. When we thought we had found that home, and I drove him to the halfway point, I promised him that if he ever needed me, I would be there.
A few months later, my vet’s office called to see whether I had a working number for his new owners. That was when I found out that there had been almost a dozen times my vet had gotten calls – and I couldn’t reach the new owners by phone or email. With the help of the wonderful people who had driven Domino the second half of his trip, we got him to a 24-hour vet, and as soon as I had gotten my dogs settled in for the night, I drove the four hours to get him.
He came home.
He never asked for much beyond food and a yard to play in and his buddies to play with. He got along with all of my dogs and all of the fosters over the years. He suddenly went deaf a couple of years ago, but his joy in the sunshine and green grass never wavered. Until this spring.
He started looking feeble and showing more and more signs of confusion. We tried to fix it, to help him, to let him enjoy his days, his moments. They say dogs live in the moment, the here and now. He just wasn’t enjoying his here and now at all any more.
Even knowing that it is the right thing to do doesn’t make it easier. I miss that sweet boy. He packed a lot into his 14 years, and the twelve we had together. It just wasn’t long enough.
Run free, sweet Domino. Sophia and Faith and Minco are waiting for you.