Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The End of the Bloodline

It is with a heavy heart that I blog tonight. I had to put my faithful friend, Duncan, to sleep today. He had cancer and was beginning to suffer. I couldn't let him suffer any longer.

It hurts because I had his grandfather and father as well. We weren't able to continue the bloodline, so this is the end of an era. His grandfather, Laddie, saved me from a rattlesnake bite as a boy. He barked and barked to get the adults' attention and got between me and the rattler. He took a bite right on the hard part of his nose. He survived and lived many years, chasing cars on the ranch. If it weren't for Laddie, Sr., neither Duncan nor I would be around!

Laddie, Sr. and me in 1983

We were able to breed Laddie before he died in a car chase incident, and named him Laddie as well.

Laddie, Jr. and I in 1989.

Laddie, Jr. was a faithful friend through Jr. High, High School and even survived through my college years. He was cool, because I taught him to shake and give High Fives! He and I also had many adventures at night when I was supposed to bring in a load of wood for the fireplace.

We were able to breed him as well, and named his son, Duncan.

Laddie, jr and Duncan

One of my most favorite photos of my lovely wife Dawn and Duncan

Laddie, jr and Duncan at our first house

Duncan had the sweetest personality of the line. He was so gentle with the kids, and always a faithful friend. He liked to snuggle and lay in your lap when he was younger. He lasted over 14 years, which if you convert dog years to human years, is a pretty good run.

Duncan and his house

He had a tough time getting out of the house the last 2 days, and was starting to dehydrate, despite having several water bowls around. His testicles were the size of softballs because of the cancer, and he was down from 75 lbs to 42 lbs. He also started yelping periodically over the last week. I can only assume he was starting to be in pain.

Saying goodbye to my friend

why is it so hard? I miss you, Duncan.

Connor says goodbye. He had a really tough time, but knew it was time.

Collin says goodbye. He was brave, like his namesake and tried to comfort us all.

Caileigh tries to be brave. She wanted to have a special burial for him, but we will settle for a memorial stone that we will make.

Holly says goodbye. Not sure what she'll do without her companion.

Caileigh says goodbye. It tears me up just looking at the picture, because I feel the same way.

We took him at 3:30pm today. Thankfully, it had clouded up and was cooler, so he was not too hot or uncomfortable. We all needed the rain on our face afterwards to accompany our tears. Collin fed him treats in my lap right up until he fell asleep. He passed quickly and gently, just like his personality. We all miss him terribly.

Caileigh makes it all better with Caileigh's Smiley Face Pancakes! Caileigh made dinner for everyone to cheer us all up.

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