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 Craigslist...free 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.