Perhaps you remember about 2 years ago I wrote about our dog Bingo who had suffered a stroke. He made a remarkable recovery but he continued to get weaker and weaker. Today we had to have him put to sleep. He suffered hip displasia which means that his hind legs were no longer in their sockets and it was painful for him to even move. I gave him two doses of canine glucosamine a day but he gradually declined to the point our vet asked us how long we were going to let him suffer.
Bingo came into our family before 1997. I know this because the oldest dog license tag he wore was dated 1997. Both kids grew up with him but he was really my dog. He followed me everywhere. He used to run so fast it was incredible. You see he was golden retriever mixed with greyhound. To this day I can't stomach the way the Humane Society insists on neutering every dog because Bingo deserved to father an entire breed.
Earlier this summer, we embarked on a reconstruction project where we ripped up the badly laid pavers in the dog pen and put down 8 inches of gravel and 3 inches of sand to make sure it was nice and level so when he fell over he wouldn't land in a deep puddle of mess. I had hoped this would be enough to get him through another messy winter but when he came in and fell over and knocked over all the house plants like dominoes I knew he couldn't last much longer. The fact he had lost total control over his bowels these last few months wasn't helping either.
This morning he woke us up at 5am barking. While I need my rest, it was nice to hear him bark as he had lost his voice for the better part of a year. Our other 2 dogs and cat are a bit confused and distracted. They all suffer some degree separation anxiety despite our best efforts to "train" them and Bingo's absence promises to make for an interesting next few weeks. He was a gentle dog who couldn't possibly bite even when he was in pain. Sometimes I think God lets us have pets to teach us a thing or two about unconditional love. I will miss Bingo a lot.