We let go of Achilles Saturday. He quite abruptly became lethargic. Had difficulty standing, refused food, so we went to the emergency vet.
The exam revealed that his pulse was thready, she was unable to clearly his heartbeat, his paws were cold. Something sinister (the vets’ exact word) was happening. it would have taken extensive testing and diagnosis to find out what was going on. Considering his age (14? 16? More?), aggressive action was problematic. We made the hard decision to let him go as gracefully as possible.
When we adopt a dog we implicitly make a bargain that we will be a responsible owner, which includes making difficult decisions.
This is the part of that bargain that really sucks.
Nonetheless I would not have it otherwise. As my brother wrote this morning, ‘It really sucks that our dear four legged friends will almost certainly die before we do. Even knowing that I would not give up the love, affection, friendship and fun they give us.’
The Bentley is a forehead blaze common to Australian Cattle Dogs and ACD crosses. When an ACD goes on ahead, the ACD world says ‘His (her) Bentley is glowing brightly.’
Chili’s glows brightly now.
My treasured Achilles, asleep.
I thought it good to revisit a photo taken one year ago today. Handsome, treasured Achilles.
Achilles patiently watches and waits while I take a few photos.
. . . Achilles is pondering life, the universe, and everything. Actually he is juuuust beginning a head shake.
On the other hand, perhaps . . .
Despite this blurry and out of focus image shot in low light, it is easy to see relaxed and at ease Achilles’ tongue simply hanging. I do think he either does not know or care whether his tongue is out. Whichever (or for another reason), it is most amusing and endearing.
Achilles, dozing on the deck of a pet friendly cottage we recently visited. We took only him, leaving Fitzi and Lucy at home in the care of a trusted sitter.
Achilles waits behind the gate while I work in the front yard.
While I’d like to have him out front with me – he is very unlikely to race off after some attraction – it’s better having him in the back yard. He is an old guy and I prefer having him there. He is safe from the stray or loose dog which might take advantage of his vulnerability while my back is turned or I’m otherwise unable to defend him.
Our most special senior Achilles takes his ease, and continues to cut a very dignified profile.
Achilles’ Bentley (the white blaze on his forehead) glows brightly, sending calming and healing wishes to all in need.