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  #31  
Old 06-21-2012, 05:18 PM
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Toller_08 Toller_08 is offline
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I think about it all the time too although I try not to. Especially having already lost dogs young... and one particularly special dog was just suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, gone. At least when we lost Echo (Rottweiler) she'd shown signs of illness and we did everything we could to try and help her and figure out what it was. That didn't make it easy by any means. But playing with a perfectly healthy, happy dog one night and waking up the next morning to that dog in severe pain and unable to walk or move... that eats at my mind constantly. I wouldn't wish that upon anybody. Both dogs were young; Echo was 5 and Tango was 4 1/2, and while both were devastating, the sudden loss was even more so. If that's possible.

Now I have three very special dogs that are 5, 4 and 3 years old. Two of them do not have good health going for them if you look at their family and there are days when I look at Ripley and think "I might only have between 2 and 4 years left with you" and can't even imagine life without him. Keira too. I hope with all my heart that's not the case. That's why I went with a breeder with good longevity. But what happens, happens I suppose and nobody could have guessed that dogs would suddenly start dropping dead. Especially when more than a few had just been holtered not long prior and all appeared fine. And then there's Dance, who realistically based on her breed should make it at least to 10, but I could've said the same for Tango. You just never know. But I try not to dwell on it and just appreciate and enjoy them while I have them. Losing them is going to be so hard, though. Especially Dance.
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  #32  
Old 06-21-2012, 05:22 PM
Catsi Catsi is offline
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Our gorgeous Grace Stafford girl is 11 this year, starting to grey around the muzzle and sleep a bit more during the day.

She is still as playful as a puppy and as sweet-natured as she always was. She plays with Abby the same way that she played when she was five and she tolerates a lot of crap from her but she is absolutely enjoying herself. We go for lovely long walks to all her favourite places and she gets a bit more tired a bit more easily but she still keeps going. (Truly, she is the only dog I know who seems to say, 'Goodness, I'm tired' and responses by completely up the pace again. )

She is one of those dogs that never gets irritated. Abby gets irritated with us, with Gracie, with the cat. And that's ok. But strangely, I have never seen Grace even give a hint of irritation. How can one dog be so bloody happy? She really lifts my spirits every day and when somethings goes wrong or I'm just having a general crappy day, all I have to do is sit with Grace. She'll sit on me with her tail going non-stop and her head kneading into my chest while I hug her (yes, this dog truly likes hugs). She makes soft grunting noises of contentment and my heart just fills with... joy. Sorry to be so sappy, but it's true.

Because she has been so fit and healthy, it's easy to forget they are aging. This winter has been a sombre reminder that she is getting older. She has some arthritis in her back legs as a result of some cruciate ligament surgery she had when she was much younger. It hardly ever bothered her except for a couple of flare ups as a result of too much tight turning and rough play in the backyard. This year it's a bit different. The cold effects her more, and what didn't have an effect last year, is leaving her sore this year. She does have painkillers if necessary. We've been much more diligent about keeping her warm if she is out and about. We have comparatively mild winters here, but she needs to be kept very warm now if we head out in the car at night.

She is still very good and going well, but I guess it did hit home that she is aging...

What am I going to do when my happy, sweet girl leaves us?

As Abby's only real friend, I fret for Abby as well...

But those big, grunty, wiggly stafford hugs are something that I truly cherish every single day.
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