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About jakodai

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  • Birthday 12/06/1983

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  1. Sandy

    And one more... BTW, I'm posting this on behalf of Occy, because she knows there's people on here who knew & cared for Sandy.
  2. Sandy

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  3. Sandy

    I need to write this now, not after the fact because I won’t be able to coherently think let alone type tomorrow. As it is tears are pouring down my face. At 8.20am tomorrow I will say my final good to Sandy, a dog who has been my constant companion for 12 years. The dog who started me in dog training. The dog who taught so many other dogs how to behave properly. The dog who took everything in her stride. The dog whose very nature was dignity. The dog who taught me more about animal behaviour than any human or book ever could. My dog in a million. It’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t been with us from the start how special our bond is. It is different from the bond I have with Cappy but it’s been nonetheless strong. She is laying next to me right now eating a pig’s trotter none the wiser. In fact, she is none the wiser about most things these days. Although we won’t know for sure, the vet and I think that Sandy has possibly had another vestibular incident OR a brain tumour has grown to critical size. Although she is still eating well (I always said when she stopped eating I would know) she gave me the look yesterday. I’ve seen the look before but it’s been 11 years since I had to make this decision. The look that says ‘I’ve had enough’. In the past she has given me the look to say – either fix this or let me go – but yesterday was different. Yesterday my heart broke in two. Sandy has always played second fiddle, first to Barack and then to Cappy but she never complained. She always knew her place in the pack – at the head of it. When I couldn’t be the leader, she was. She taught me how to be the leader. She taught me how to use kindness in my tone while all the while tolerating the teenage angst and BS that is being a teenager. She knew from the start that my last partner was a bastard and left him with a scar to prove it. When the rescues came Sandy sorted them out – stamped her authority. After her first V.I. Sandy couldn’t do it anymore. I wasn’t living at home at the time but as soon as she was with me she improved – not because I gave her better care, but because I took the burden of leadership and allowed her to simply be my ‘old dog’. She has enjoyed herself the last two years – moving house hasn’t bothered her so long as I have been with her. But now life isn’t fun. The colours have faded and while there is still some joy in taking a simple walk the effort of taking the walk is enormous on her battered old body. When Flash came along he and Sandy didn’t see eye to eye – he was ready to assume the position as top dog. That didn’t happen – I didn’t let it – and Flash learned to leave Sandy alone (stop humping the 90 year old! Is not a phrase you want your neighbours to hear too often). When Billie came along a few weeks ago it was almost as if Sandy gave herself permission to start winding down. Another bitch in the house – so like herself as a young dog, but again so different. Only 5 years difference in age but a lifetime difference in experience. I worry for Cappy – he hasn’t known life without Sandy but he has two others (this will be the emptiest full house tomorrow) and he has me. I don’t want him to be here while it is done so a friend will walk him. He will view the body and then we will grieve together, for as long as it takes for us to move forward and take her memory with us. It’s strange but the last two nights I’ve had a movie reel running through my head. Sandy when we got her. Sandy with that awful red fake leather collar. Sandy finding Cappy when he went missing at training (he had followed mum into the toilets), Sandy jumping on the couch and growling in the ear of a man who was the lowest scum of the earth (she never touched him but by god we never saw him again), Sandy biting the neighbour for getting to close to Cappy when he was a puppy, Sandy biting the gardener because he got too close to mum with his lawnmower and let’s not start with the vet (Sandy liked biting stuff when she could get away with it, but really John, you did deserve it!!), Sandy subduing the toughest dog with a look, Sandy mothering Cappy – cleaning his face especially. There have been tough times; times where I’ve wanted to tear my hair out – times when I have done the laundry 4 or 5 times a day because I fed her the wrong food or because, she was starting to forget the process of toileting herself. Times when I have wondered how long I could keep it up. Times when I have wondered if I am doing the right thing. Tonight, for one last time, Sandy will ease her painful old body into the dog bed next to my bed. One last time she will sniff and lick my hand to let me know she is there. One last time she will sigh and begin to snore. So many nights in recent weeks I have almost wished she would just go to sleep and be at peace, but so rarely does that happen and it as not meant to be. I haven’t always been kind to you old dog, but I have loved you since the moment your former owner said ‘Take her and dump her, or I will’. He missed out on a wonderful life with a wonderful animal. He did me the biggest favour anyone could. He gave me you. It seems unfair that you have given me your life and my best gift to you is death but I don’t regret one moment of having you in my life. There are no wonder drugs left. No miracles. You deserve to go out with dignity. Although it will break my heart tomorrow, I will hold your vein out and I will hold you as you pass, as I have done with every other of my dogs. It will be my privilege, my honour. I will say goodbye to the union of your body and your spirit but I know you will always be with me. I love you old dog. Sandy – my dog in a million Early 1995 - 5, July, 2008