Today I’m asking your indulgence as I depart somewhat from stitching subjects, and share something strictly personal. This week we made the devastating decision to put our dog to sleep, after she lost the use of her back legs in what was probably a neurological incident last weekend. Those of you who are owned by pets understand the aching loss we are experiencing right now.
Mandy was a tri-color Sheltie, born April 1, 1999. She was a unique personality, like all dogs, our funny companion who obeyed when it suited her agenda, who was always ready to go camping because it meant long walks, who loved her cookies at bedtime every night. We were never able to break her of shredding used tissues or napkins, and while she showed remorse at being caught, she was never sorry for the shredding.
She was the “heartbeat at my feet”, and followed me around throughout my day. She shared my breakfast and my lunch. For a time, until she got too big, she shared my stitching nest. She had a fascination for stitching paraphernalia: she could destroy a ball of pearl cotton very quickly, she once ate a tomato pincushion without ingesting any of the pins or needles in it, she carried my bead storage system into the back yard and scattered beads everywhere, and even ate a mostly finished Hardanger bell pull. But I quickly learned to keep my stitchy things out of reach, and the carnage stopped.
In recent years Mandy had been slowing down, struggling a bit with her back legs, losing a step or two. We stopped taking the long walks because she couldn’t go that far, got a rug for the kitchen so she could get up and down since she couldn’t get traction on the tile floor. Then last Saturday night her rear right leg quit working entirely, and her left leg was too weak to compensate. She could not walk at all, and was struggling to sit up; she couldn’t turn over, and was obviously in distress. The last ditch effort by the vet didn’t work, and we decided to let her go. We spent a few hours with her, talking to her and petting her, telling her what a good dog she was. We were with her to the end, our precious girl, as she went to sleep for the last time, her pain and struggle over.
There will be other Shelties in our life, after a time. For now, we really miss our girl in so many ways. Those who have loved and been loved by their pets will understand. Thanks for indulging me in this post. I’ll resume regular stitching topics next time.