Friday, November 20, 2009

Life and Loss Among the Leaves

It may have been noted that I haven’t been posting as frequently as usual during the past week or so. That is because things have been very sad here among the leaves for some time. We finally had to make the decision to have our golden retriever, Laces, euthanized this past Monday. She was 13, which is a good long life for a large dog (the human age equivalent is 80+) but it was still a very hard thing to do. I originally wrote a post describing her decline and what led up to it in some detail, but I found it long and clinical and pointless. Suffice it to say that Laces was a good dog, loving and eager-to-please up to the end, but she was sick and in pain and it was time for her to stop being sick and in pain.

Laces, five years ago, with a Bryophyllum. She really never cared for having her picture taken, hence the less-than-pleased expression.

I first met her when I was dating my husband seven years ago and it was then that I was treated to the story of how she got her somewhat unusual name. Bob took his children to the breeder’s to choose a puppy, and an adorable little fuzzball rushed right up to my future step-daughter, and immediately tugged on her shoelaces with her teeth, untying them. This thoroughly delighted the whole family. They felt, and rightly so, that this puppy had chosen them. Apparently she retained a thing for shoelaces for quite some time, although she did eventually grow out of it. But Laces didn’t grow out of being friendly, playful and interested in everything around her. When I married my husband, she became my buddy, and I felt that she had also chosen me. I had long been a cat person, and experiencing the affection of a dog was a new and wonderful experience.

Laces more recently. She had become quite gray around the eyes and muzzle.

I do have a plant-related anecdote about her. Several years ago, when I was getting into cacti and succulents, Bob had a request for me. He asked me not to add any cacti with glochids to my collection. I asked him why, and he said he was afraid that our animals might hurt themselves, particularly the dogs. Just as I was pooh-poohing the idea, saying that our pets mostly ignore my plants, Laces walked up to an Aeonium that was on a low shelf and licked it. Well, alrighty then.

Goodbye, good girl. Your Karen misses you.


Sujata said...

Hello Karen. I have always had dogs so I can completely understand the pain and the loss you must be feeling. My deepest condolences.

Diane said...

So sorry, Karen. I lost my two gardening companions recently - it's a tough thing but at least we know our pups had full and happy lives with us.

CelticRose said...

Sorry to hear about Laces. :-(

She was a lovely dog.

Ivynettle said...

Sorry to hear that. I've never had to lose a pet, butI can imagine how it must hurt. :(

Karen715 said...

Thank you so much everyone, for your kind thoughts and words.

Water Roots said...

I'm so sorry about your loss Karen. Losing a beloved pet always breaks your heart :(

gardenfrisk said...

My heart aches at the thought of putting your baby down. I went through it once and hope I never have to repeat the experience.

Excruciating. Loved the anectodote. It really hit home.

Joyoti said...

I am truly sad to read about Laces.. though I don't know you personally, I can feel your pain and grief.

Joyoti said...

Although I don't know you, I an feel your pain and grief having euthanized by own dog 13 year old Whitey -
R.I.p Laces