Ruminations

In Which We Say Goodbye To Our Old Dog Candy


 

We had our old dog Candy for nine years. She was two when she arrived in out family. Candy had been found wondering the back roads of Tararua district having been left on the side of the road by her previous owner. He had been going through a difficult divorce and she had eaten the lounge one day and he broke. He forgot she was microchipped and had told his ex Candy had died after being hit by a car. He got a bit of a shock when Dog Control rang from Dannevirke. He surrendered Candy to dog control and in the Pound she stayed.

I was working at the Dannevirke library at the time and we received an all council staff email asking if anybody wanted her. We had recently lost our older dog Jess and were not really looking for a new large dog. However a couple of weeks and emails later one came around saying if no one took her she would be put to sleep the next day. Kylie and I decided to go see her and then took her home on trial. šŸ˜† Um yeah about that trial thing.

So she was a great dog. She had a gentle way with her and had obviously been well trained. Except to the lead. She never really mastered that. Like many Labradors she was a great doofus of a dog who was really, really motivated by food. Jess, when we had taken her into our home, was an obese Border Collie and we didn’t want to have Candy become a Ā typical fat Lab so we were really conscious of her food intake. We think, and the vets agreed, that’s why we had her till she was eleven and a half. We kept her active trim.

There are many fond memories of Candy. She loved it when we moved to the farmlet Entfarm. We would take her out into the orchard and she would chase the wind and leaves and grass and occasional rabbit or mouse. She loved the river, bounding in and out with great abandon with her great doggy smile.

She didn’t really like Wellington with the small property, and she got reactive to small dogs after a couple off their leads on walks tried to attack her. So she really appreciated coming to Carterton and the large property we bought.

It’s going to be difficult eating toast for a while as she liked to wait patiently while you ate yours hoping for toast corners. Ā She was such a dog that even the non dog people in the family loved her.

We had noticed she had started to slow down over the last months and last week took her to the vets. She was obviously uncomfortable. Her behaviour began to change, and she took to hiding in corners behind curtains. We found out she had arthritis in her paws and shoulder. We started the magic drug with a side order of pain killers, but we already knew we didn’t want to do what we did with Jess. Jess’s last months were not great and we always regretted not letting her go sooner.

The drugs seemed to work and then we gave her a pain killer. She bounded around with great joy but the next day was so much worse. She even tried to get through the fence to attack the neighbours dog which was not like her at all. She wanted to play but just sat and looked at the toys and yard sadly. We realised that we were already on that path of trying to decide which days she could be on pain relief and which days would be trying to distract her from the pain.

We decided we didn’t want that for her. She had been such a good dog for us and she didn’t understand. Her great goofy doofus doggy smile had been gone for a while and now we just had sad brown eyes. So we made the hard decision to call the vet and have them come put her to sleep for one last time.

Hopefully now she is asleep up in a great field chasing rabbits, rolling in mud, eating all she can desire and jumping in pools. We have a large Labrador sized hole in our hearts.

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