You guys are the best.
I was actually thinking this morning that since I have more time now, maybe I CAN visit here more often than before. Zipper took up so much of my time... not to mention every other little thing that needs doing around a farm. It didn't leave me a whole lot of time for myself, that's for sure.
I feel so funky, though. I haven't been without at least one Dobe since 1984 when I got my first one as a tiny pup. He was with me for 15 years, and then all the others were rescues I got as adults. Thor was 2 when I got him, then Shogie was 6 or 7 (I got him from my ex when he was moving and "couldn't take the dog"), Cody, bless his sweet little heart, was 10 when we got him, so we only had him for 3 years, and Zipper, the Dog Show Dropout, was 4. Everyone died of complications of old age, except Zipper, and Shogie, who evidently had DCM (I didn't know), who dropped dead in his tracks one day when he went out to potty. I think that one hit me harder than the others because he wasn't THAT old, and he was in fine condition, until he wasn't. Talk about a shock to the system.
Shogie and Cody are buried here on the farm, in the garden. Zipper died two hours away, and I couldn't bear the thought of tossing her in the back of the pickup to bring her home, and then trying to dig a hole in this heat, so I went against everything I believe in and told the vet to take care of it. I know what happens, but my consolation is that she's not in that shell anymore, so I can justify it that way. I feel awful for not giving her a decent burial here, though.
But really, think of all the dogs she'll have to play with now! It's going to be great for her! All of mine, and all of yours, there's TONS of them up there waiting to greet her, and you'd better believe her stub is a blur from wagging.
And she can eat anything she wants and not have to worry about getting a blockage, or having me put horrible things down her throat to "fix" her afterward. Or the dreaded intestinal surgery and hospital stay - she HATED being at the hospital, but she did have a fan club there.
The vet and her techs were really broken up about her going, too. I can't remember if I mentioned it, but they sent me a sympathy card, which was thoughtful, but also a little pewter pin of a puppy with gold wings and a halo. I burst into tears when I saw it, it was so sweet of them to do that, but they loved her, too. The vet told me once that she was such a good patient, and never disagreed with anything she had to do to her, and that she wished all her patients were so congenial and cooperative.
Some of the good things about Zipper being gone, although I didn't mind doing most of it, are not having to stand in the kitchen with her after she tanked up on too much water to make sure it didn't bounce back. Like every other dog, if she had to barf, she always wanted to do it on the carpet. And not having to cook her food every few days. This past year, she'd been on a cooked rice and chicken diet (in consideration of her sensitive stomach, per the vet), so I'd cook up a batch of chicken legs and thighs, then de-bone them and shred the meat and bag it. Then make a big batch of rice using the chicken stock (so she'd get the goodness from the marrow and gelatin), and then doling that out in meal portions twice a day. She would always spin in circles when she heard me get her food bowl down. She did love her food!
And of course, going outside with her to monitor her behavior outside, making sure she didn't eat grass and sticks or dead animals (and monitoring the quantity and quality of every poop that ever fell out of her behind, OMG). I have to say, I will NOT miss having to pry a dead mouse or half rotted bird out of her jaws. Sometimes, if they looked fresh, I didn't bother, I just let her eat them, but sticks and dried weeds were a definite no-no.
Her nemesis, Kiara (she was one of our livestock dogs, a Pyrenees) just passed away in May of old age, bless her. She went to sleep one night and just didn't wake up. That was hard, too, believe me, but she was VERY old for a Pyr, and we knew the day was near. But Zipper always thought she was an invader, because she lived on the outside of Zipper's fence, so therefore, she must be a stranger and should be menaced until she left the area. Which she always did
but for all the years Zipper was here (6 years), she never figured out that Kiara and her mate Jasper actually lived here and were members of the pack. Zipper didn't have any brain cells dedicated to manners, so she was a big galoot when it came to meeting other dogs. She was OK with Missy in the house, but any other dog, she was so rude to that they'd reprimand her and then there'd be an altercation. She was covered in little white bite scars from her previous home. She got into SO many scraps with the other dogs there, but I don't think she realized SHE was the one starting the fights. So that was something else I had to monitor.
One morning I brought Zip outside and Kiara was lying in the comfrey patch just outside the fence, and Zipper just shoved her head through one of the squares (woven wire fence) and BIT Kiara right on the butt! She didn't even bark first, LOL! I don't think Kiara even felt it through all that hair, but OMG, Zipper had no manners whatsoever.
She did give great hugs, though.
So that was some more stories, or rambling, whatever you want to call it.
It does feel good to share this with other people who know what I'm talking about. Thank you.