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Our Dying Dog

December 24, 2007 Sadie and Sheba were born. In March of 2008, we made the trip to Northern California to pick up the two of them. We read so much material on Cane Corso. We talked on the phone several times, and emailed the breeder. We were looking for a dog that would be a family friendly dog, and one that would live at the ranch we had in escrow. (We didn’t get that one)

We thought, we would have everything all ready, the truck to haul things and two villa dogs. We used the truck to go pick up the dogs, and we brought our little dogs, a Maltese and Yorkie with us to meet the big dogs. We met the dogs, but just as the breeder told us, they needed time to adjust. We brought them home, and they were so great. We loved them so much. The kids played with them, and they slept in the same house for at least a month. They just didn’t want to sleep in the bigger houses we got them. We also didn’t have the heart to make them stay outside. At the time, we were living in Oakland. We would take them for a walk around the neighborhood, but anytime we were going to San Luis Obispo, we loaded them in the truck, in their crates and took them with us. The whole system was pretty elaborate!!

Sadie and Sheba were always with the family. The two dogs were opposites, and we would talk about what they imagined. They went to bed in their own room, at ten. We would make up stories about them…Sadie always looked like she had something on her mind, and we imagined she had her own blog, and would reedit the pages over and over. Sheba, is more carefree, and we would joke that she probably did not know how to type, but used a blue crayon to draw pictures.

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When we finally purchased our property the dogs transitioned from city to country dogs very well. Sadie and Sheba loved running around the 41 acres. It was like freedom they need imagined. When they would finally stop, Sadie looked like she had a smile on her face, which was different since she always had a grimace look naturally.

Earlier this year, Sadie was limping, and at first we were thinking that maybe she just sprained her leg running. About a week later she started lifting that leg up, and not using it at times. At night she was crying while she was trying to get comfortable. We decided we better take her to the vet. The vet told us that her leg was most likely cancer. The only way they could be 100% certain was to take her leg off, and have it biopsied.

He told us we had some tough decisions to make about her, especially since her quality of life would be an issue. We decided to give her the best life we could. She loved running, and for her to lose her leg at her age with the cancer growing would be unfair to her. She took morphine, and an anti-inflammatory. She still went outside, but had a hard time catching her breath after running. She was like a greyhound when she would run. I’ve never seen a big dog run as fast as she could.

A couple of weeks ago, she came inside and panting really hard. I turned on the over head fan, and she caught her breath. Last week, she was eating less, and not drinking as much water. My son took her outside, and when she came back inside, she could not catch her breath again. I got down on the floor, and started petting her. I asked my son to turn on the fan, and I opened the french door. She was lying there on the floor, and I could see in her eyes that she was worried, and more than usual. She walked into her room, and I followed her into her room. I was petting her, and told her…Don’t worry Sadie, we love you, and want you to let go if you feel this is your time”.  She came back into the family room, and she was very restless, just as humans that are dying. I went to wake up my husband and daughter to tell them to make sure they said good bye to Sadie.

Our whole family was gathered in the family room. Everyone petted her, and she went around and put her head on the shoulder of my daughter. She gave Sadie a big hug, and then she put her head in the lap of my husband. Sheba came over to sniff Sadie, and put her head on her for a minute, then moved away from her. Sadie went to the middle of the sofa, and turned her head away from us. My husband and I continued to pet her. Her heart stopped beating, and her four legs went up in the air at the same time. Her nerves were still allowing some breathes of air release from her body. My husband and I carried her to her room, wrapped up her body until we could give her a service the next morning.

Its been a little over a week that we had to say goodbye to Sadie, and Sheba is still healthy. I believe it did a world of good to have Sadie say goodbye on her own terms, and her sister knew what happened instead of having her just missing one day. Sadie was a blessing, and I am grateful for everyday we had with her! Here are some more photos of Sadie….IMG_0110

 

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