If this means giving up my man card, then you can have it....
My "Three Legged Hound" that I named my brewery after was put down yesterday, and this is my eulogy for her.
As many of you may know, My wife and I decided years ago that we were not going to have children, maybe that's why we became so attached to our dog, or maybe it was just her quiet, adoring disposition, I cannot be certain.
What I can be certain of is that she was amazingly loving, and amazingly loved. She was the closest thing to a child we will ever have, and I believe we were just as excited to see her when we got home as she was to see us!
No one that met Jazzy could help but fall in love with her, and without fail, complete strangers would walk up to her and bend over to pet her and tell My Wife and I what a beautiful dog she was. Those beautiful brown eyes of hers just sucked people in.
From time to time in her earlier years, she would run away from home. Every time she did, we would get a phone call, and when we arrived 2, 5 or 10 blocks away, she would be there, "smiling" at us, having made new friends and been fed, watered, pampered, hugged and loved for the short time she was there.
Jazzy never barked, she would YELP or whimper if she was distressed, but a simple "NO!" would quiet her. I have seen better trained dogs, but never a dog that listened and reacted, without any training like Jazzy. She always aimed to please.
My family has owned dogs in the past, and I considered them all "Pets" but this hound was much more of a loving companion than a pet. I always insisted to My Wife that "Jazzy is not a dog, she is a human wrapped in fur" I pointed this out on the way to the vet today. We laughed in between our tears, because it always seemed so true. She would play with our emotions, sometimes pretending to have a sore foot so she could get into the house, or even worse, ignoring one or both of us for a full DAY after we left her home on the weekend and had someone pop in to feed her and let her out for a quick walk on the reserve. She would actually play mind games with us and pretend she didn't see us because she was upset that she had been left alone for 48 hours... or just left behind while we were obviously having fun without her.
About 4 1/2 years ago, Jazzy started to chew on one of her rear legs, and the local vet in Narooma diagnosed it as a blood clot. We thought long and hard over whether to spend money on a 12 year old crossbreed hound, but we made the right decision. $1000 later we had a 3 legged hound that loved us just as much as before. I removed the stitches myself, and Jazzy got along very well on three legs. She was the object of much interest when we took her out, I remember one time in Bateman's Bay, when she was trotting along, and 3 little boys got down on hands and knees a few metres away to try to figure out where her other leg was as she trotted past.
Unfortunately, she was getting older, and slower. about 2 years ago she pretty much lost her hearing. She also started to grow fatty cysts that I repeatedly removed, but they kept coming back. Then about 4 months ago she started to become incontinent, and this continually worsened, causing great stress to My wife, myself and the carpeting.
Jazzy spent her last weekend down the coast with us in Narooma, she made it to the beach for one last (Very Slow, very stressful) Romp and tried so hard to be young again (like many of us)
But, time marches on, and Jazzy woke up today disoriented, unable to get out of her basket without help and looking as beaten down and tired as a nearly 18 year old (126 in human years) dog can look, she SO didn't want to go outside as it was raining, but could not be left in the house. My Wife rang me at work and said "It's time.. we have waited too long already" I agreed, and an appointment was made at the vet. I came home from work, gave her her last bath, fed her a meal of braised chops and when my wife got home we took her for her last trip to the vet. She definitely seemed to know what was happening, and walked under my desk, but came out when I called her. She was scared on the way to the vet, but once we were there, she just lay down, stared lovingly at my wife and I and didn't even jump when the needle pricked her skin.
I know this is long winded, and sappy, and I would never have imagined that I would get this attached to a dog.. but then Jazzy wasn't a dog, she was a loving companion...wrapped in fur.
God Bless you my faithful hound, I'm sure your leg is waiting for you on the other side, have fun chasing the Wallabies, and we will meet you again one day on the other side.
I need a Scotch.....