The Downside to Dogs

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Moses at rescue intake

There are quotes all over the internet about it. It is the biggest drawback to giving your heart to dogs. They all, eventually, leave us.  Yesterday, I said goodbye to one of the best dogs I’ve had come into my life. The departure was a year late according to some, and way, way too early for me. Moses was a rescue who came to us through our friends at Northwest German Shepherd Rescue.

He was picked up as a stray weighing in at less than fifty pounds on a frame built for ninety to one hundred. He had several health issues aside from near starvation; bad teeth, skin and coat issues, an auto-immune syndrome, and worst of all a terrible case of hip dysplasia. He spent three months in the care of one of the rescue’s vets, living in a small crate where they tried to help him beat the worst of his issues. He was originally to come live with us for a week or so, to have a last place where he was loved and cared for other than a vet or shelter before going back to the vet for the final solution.

We fell in love. He was an easy going guy who loved nothing more than curling up by the wood stove and napping. Or eating. At the end of the week, he was coming out of his shell and looking better. At the end of two weeks, he was playing with our other dogs. Moses & Pixie

We decided to wait for his last vet visit until he showed a few more signs of being in discomfort. Instead, he began putting some weight on. He began playing. He showed us that he was an engaging and loving dog.  His one or two weeks became one or two months. He put on weight. He became the best behaved dog in our pack. He spent his days in daycare as our un-official first greeter of new dogs to the facility.

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Then, one day, he started showing more issues with his hips. He got mad at dogs who played too close. He spent his days on a bed and struggled to get up. It broke our hearts. We talked about surgical options and talked to the good people at WSU’s Veterinary Hospital about our options and his chances. He was young, but not that young at six years old. His chances were not good and the rehab would take away most of the things he enjoyed doing for months.  Eventually, seeing him in pain and struggling, we made the horribly hard decision to let him go.

This is exactly the type of situation which makes me hate backyard breeders with such a passion. Had the people who owned his parents taken more care and thought of more than just the profit of selling puppies prior to his breeding, had they done hip screenings, all this could have been avoided. We may not have met Moses, but he would not have spent years managing a painful, debilitating, and eventually fatal condition.

We loved you Moses. We still do. We did the best we could for you and hope you know we made every decision with your best interests in mind. Goodbye my dear sweet boy. I miss you terribly.

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The last car ride.

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Moses the Werewolf (2008(?)-Nov. 13, 2014)

2 Replies to “The Downside to Dogs”

  1. Oh, I’m so sorry to read of the loss of your sweet boy. It’s so hard to help them at the end, but it’s the last, great gift we can give them – to be unselfish and help end their pain. I still miss our girl that we lost almost 3 years ago. 😦 Sending virtual hugs. He’ll always be with you in your heart.

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