Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dog Days

Another reason I was into non-blogging mode for many months was the sudden and inexplicable demise of my beloved wolf-dog, Leo, at the end of March.

The photo above was taken in early January, when we went on a long walk on the beach to go see the Iredale Shipwreck once I heard the bones of it were sticking out of the sand again.

The photo below was taken a few days before he died, when there was a wonderful snow storm at the end of March. Flowers were blooming under the snow.

He had never seen snow close-up, so I had an urge to take him out for a walk during the storm. I had a nagging feeling it was a one-time-only experience, and felt compelled to take my camera. I am so glad I did.

It was so strange seeing the blooming flowers look so alive under the snow, even as they were dying, especially since a few days later I realized that was the case with Leo, too.

When I took him to Dr. Goza, he took a sample of the fluid in Leo's chest. It was full of cancer cells, and already his breathing was labored. With great difficulty I made the decision to end it then and there before things deteriorated into a crisis state, and I stayed with Leo and held him while Dr. Goza did the deed.

To say we were devastated would be putting it mildly.

However, I've always felt the best way to honor a rescued pet (and Leo was a pound puppy) is to rescue another. So five days later, I rescued a St. Bernard mix, Clancy, from a shelter.

Clancy and I are getting used to each other. It's been about four months now, and we're taking long walks all over the place. Leo would approve.

Click here to see Elleda's photography at the Astoria Photografpix web site


Sweeti said...

Oh, so sorry about Leo. I am not looking forward to the days that the decision has to be made at our house about our dogs.

Never leave home without your camera, thats my motto. It always serves me well.

Now lets see some pics of Clancy.

Jen said...

I was so happy when I saw the recent post and then so sad when I read it. Your sweet Leo. My heart broke when I read it, and I mean that.

Both of our dogs are pound puppies as well. I wrote a lot last March about our 5-year old dog Toby, who ended up with an eye tumor (which appeared only after hitting the truck after missing the jump into it, ironically) which turned out to be malignant.

Toby is stil here (after being given a 30-day sentence), thanks to alternative vet treatments. The worry and dread never leaves and I always feel we are on borrowed time.

In any event, your precious Leo was just beautiful and I am so sorry for your sudden and highly unexpected loss. I don't know how we have the strength to get through these things other than by your beautiful sentiment--honoring your rescue pet by rescuing another.