OT - Shop Dog is Gone

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We boarded our 13 year old German Shepherd early this week while we went to Table Rock for a few day. He has been going downhill during the past year; and lately he has had trouble just walking to the end of our 120' driveway and back. I weighed him on the way into the clinic/kennel and was surprised he lost about 8 pounds since April. I asked the veterinary clinic to give me an assessment while he was with them, because I have been fearing a decision we might have to make soon.
Ever-faithful, Sam saved us the pain. When I went to pick him up Thursday morning, I notice three young ladies standing at the end of the hall looking at me and I got a little uncomfortable. Soon, one of them called me into an exam room and told me he had passed the previous day.
One of my most frequent visions of this dog has been him laying in front of the dust port of my jointer and letting himself get covered with shavings. Why he did it, I don't know but he did it from time to time and would just lay there looking up at me with his head between his paws; with a pile of shavings on his back.
Occasionally he would wait until a tool was turned off and he would walk over and stare. Once his ears were scratched he would walk back to his rug and lie down for a while. Lately the act of just getting on his feet was very difficult, but he did it because he knew he could get me to stop and scratch those ears. I think he did it more during the past month than usual. Maybe he knew.
He was a big, gentle dog and he is missed.
RonB
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Very sad. Sounds like a real patient best friend.
We boarded our 13 year old German Shepherd early this week while we went to Table Rock for a few day. He has been going downhill during the past year; and lately he has had trouble just walking to the end of our 120' driveway and back. I weighed him on the way into the clinic/kennel and was surprised he lost about 8 pounds since April. I asked the veterinary clinic to give me an assessment while he was with them, because I have been fearing a decision we might have to make soon.
Ever-faithful, Sam saved us the pain. When I went to pick him up Thursday morning, I notice three young ladies standing at the end of the hall looking at me and I got a little uncomfortable. Soon, one of them called me into an exam room and told me he had passed the previous day.
One of my most frequent visions of this dog has been him laying in front of the dust port of my jointer and letting himself get covered with shavings. Why he did it, I don't know but he did it from time to time and would just lay there looking up at me with his head between his paws; with a pile of shavings on his back.
Occasionally he would wait until a tool was turned off and he would walk over and stare. Once his ears were scratched he would walk back to his rug and lie down for a while. Lately the act of just getting on his feet was very difficult, but he did it because he knew he could get me to stop and scratch those ears. I think he did it more during the past month than usual. Maybe he knew.
He was a big, gentle dog and he is missed.
RonB
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RonB wrote:

13 Years...sounds like he gave you all he could give. I'm sorry to learn of your loss.
Bill
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Yes, 13 is a long time for a dog. Still doesn't help the loss. BTDT. I've taken two on the one-way trip to the vets. Probably the hardest thing I've done.
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I had heard of Shepherds going 14 years but 10-12 seemed to be the normal life span. Several years ago a couple moved into our old neighborhood. They had a 14 year-old female that was in terrible condition. She could barley walk and probably didn't weigh more than 45-50 pounds. They were an older couple and she was their baby. I couldn't help but wonder how long they were going to keep her going before they made the tough decision. She like Sam just passed one day.
I have thought of them often lately because I knew our decision time was coming but old Sam, true to breed, helped us out in the end.
He was a tough old coot. We used to get up early and walk 3-6 miles every morning. I have thought, lately, that that exercise program might have kept him going, even later when age was beating him up.
He is in a better place now and frankly I am relieved he was able to go with dignity.
Still gonna miss him.
Thanks for all of the comments. Dog's don't get real funerals but the Group is a good place to eulogize.
RonB
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And I lost mine last month, 17.5 years.
http://www.lurndal.org/images/lucky-beach.jpg
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wrote:

My condolences. Our cat, Lucky, left us about two years ago and we still miss him. Time helps ease the pain, but as a family member you can never forget them and all the joy they brought you.
This link may give you some peace.
http://www.petloss.com/poems/maingrp/rainbowb.htm
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Sorry to hear about your loss. He did leave you with 13 years worth of memories. Cherish them and take comfort in the fact that he no longer feels pain.
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Sam is in good hands. My girls, Grammy (black lab) and Maggie (golden retriever), are taking care of him, now.
Sonny
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Condolences to you and your family. Hang on to the good times!
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RB:
And he will miss you. Here is a poem arguably attributed to Lord Byron.
Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog
When some proud son of man returns to earth, Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth, The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe And storied urns record who rest below: When all is done, upon the tomb is seen, Not what he was, but what he should have been: But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend, The first to welcome, foremost to defend, Whose honest heart is still his master's own, Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone, Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth-- Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth: While Man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven, And claims himself a sole exclusive Heaven. Oh Man! thou feeble tenant of an hour, Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power, Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust, Degraded mass of animated dust! Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat, Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit! By nature vile, ennobled but by name, Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame. Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn, Pass on--it honours none you wish to mourn: To mark a Friend's remains these stones arise; I never knew but one,--and here he lies.
Condolences,
Edward Hennessey
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RonB wrote:

I am truly sorry. We never have a better friend than our dog.
Mine - Lila - died last August. I still miss her but greatly value the time we had together.
--

dadiOH
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Sorry to hear it, Ron. Here's Jimmy Stewart's tribute to his dog Blue, that he read on the Tonight Show years ago:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUNJjIwlHk8

R
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We had Murphy (106 lbs of big yellow puppy) for 13 yrs. He passed a few days after Christmas 2008. I still step around him when I get out of bed in the dark.
My heartfelt condolences to you
-Zz
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Snip

Tough duty saying goodbye.
I had a similar Chocolate Lab that loved to lay under the end of the planer and disappear under the shavings. She never passed up a chance to be out in the the shop with me and only barked when my son's school bus drove by in the afternoon and then she watched him get off the bus and walk home from the stop. We had to put her down after 14 years. Our 3 year old Great Dane does not like the shop so much.
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I too, am so sad. You will meet Sam some day at the rainbow bridge, where all our pets are patiently waiting for us to rejoin them.
Joe G
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One of my favorite old school Twilight Zone episode's sums up the relationship between a guy and his dog perfectly. The whole thing is good, but the meat is a minute or two in.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWfnuZKzyj0

R
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RonB wrote the following:

I feel your pain. I had to put down my 13 yo Golden Retriever and my 14 yo Maine Coon cat within two months of each other. All that's left are memories and ashes.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Dear RonB,
    My deepest sympathies. Someday Sam, covered in sawdust, will greet you again. Every time I read of a great dog passing, I think of my sweet Goldie Girl and tear up. She also saved us the painful decision. I felt blessed to have spent her final hours being with her.
Peace, Roger ============================================RonB wrote:

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I am sorry to hear that. I think there is no better friend that a dog.
I am sorry for your loss.
On 7/16/2010 11:36 PM, RonB wrote:

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