summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Thursday, August 10, 2017

sad sad day....

Sam feels really bad...Duke was his friend.

Jonny too...he was with me when we went to pick Duke up, back four summers ago...Duke jumped right into the van, hopped onto that back seat next to Jon, and Jon called him, "Friend".

Paul was in Germany when we got Duke. I found him on to good home, it said. He was lovely, so I called. Yes, they said, he's excellent with kids. He's friendly and good, but they had moved into a small apartment from their big farm, and weren't allowed to keep him. He was seven then, and already a bit hobbly. The owner told us, as we stood in the doorway of that small apartment, that three people had already come to see him and declined to take him, because he was too old. Well, that sold me immediately.

So we took him, his bling chain collar, his sturdy orange leash, his next dose of K-9 Advantage, and the rest of his 20 pound bag of Old Roy. We took him home. Paul called that evening, and asked, "What's new?" "A chocolate Lab!", I said.

After he settled in, and fathered one puppy, after which we got Suri spayed (the puppy didn't make it, but that's a whole 'nother story)...Duke belonged here. Suri wouldn't go outside without him, he wouldn't go outside without her. They would stand there on the deck and wait for each other. They barked at company together, and they shared the couch. They were companions and friends. Then we got Sunny last summer, just a wee baby pup, because Duke's days were numbered...but he lived and lived, with us watching and speculating and knowing, his time was running out.

It was pretty clear lately that he was seriously ready to go...his muscle mass was dwindling, he was barely eating, getting thinner and more wobbly....

So today we brought him to the vet. He settled right down on the green blanket on the floor, and that was the end of his story. Mostly. Can I tell the rest? Is it okay? Okay. So Duke was kind of an old man of a dog. He had this disgusting habit of clearing his throat, kind of gag-like coughing. It was so loud and gross, and we would all be like, "Duke, yuck!". Anyway, the vet explained that after he passed away, his body would perhaps give some involuntary shudders, ect. So he died...the vet checked for a heartbeat, and gently told us that he was gone. Then he did that yucky barfy sounding throat clearing thing. Once. Twice. We left that room, and walked through the waiting room crying our eyes out, Sonja and I...then we laughed our heads off at Duke being so rude, even in death. It was comic relief. We kept laughing about it, and kept crying for him. Off and on, all day.

I am sad. I am really sad. I have his collar here. I am thankful we have Little Miss Sunshine, so Suri doesn't worry about where Duke is.

We did go to the beach...we sat in the sun, we talked about things, we talked about Duke....and life goes on.


Anonymous said...

That was a really beautiful story.

Natalie said...

Awe. I am so sorry. I have been following your blog for years and years (since my five year old was a newborn I think), I'm just terrible about commenting. But I feel like Duke is my buddy too after reading about him so many times. My heart breaks for all of you over the lost of your family member. Because dogs, especially the ones like Duke, are our family and I know he will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Very sad indeed. Just went through the same thing. Even though you know it was right, it is heartbreaking.


16 blessings'mom said...

Thank you. And Natalie, thank you.

Marilyn Reid said...

Oh Della 😢 I'm crying too ........ I'm such a sucker for dogs in general, but especially labs. It brings back memories for me too. He is in Doggy Heaven and he's like a puppy again. You were wonderful people to take an older dog and what a wonderful family for him to have 💗💕

Marilyn from Canada

Michelle in Florida said...

Aw....this is the hardest part of having pets. So sorry about Duke.

Susan R said...

I love that you took Duke because he was "too old". You made his last years full of fun and happiness!

Rose Sperlonga said...

And now I'm crying. I've read your blog for so long that I can feel all your pain.

Isn't it odd that we can react to someone we don't know at all except through words... amazes me the power that has on me.

Thinking of you all.. .and love that he left you guys with one last "clear" out on his way out!


Cheryl Stryker said...

Really so so sad!! Why are my eyes wet?

Fatcat said...

sorry for your loss. We lost our Lucy last year after 18 1/2 years. It never seems like enough time.