Rudee has been slowing down a lot lately, and so, I have been trying to let him take it easy, just let him follow me into the garden, where he can scratch his back, or snooze, or say hi to Buzz...
I went out to let him have his morning sabbatical, and he couldn't walk.
He managed, barely, to get up, then ran into the wall of the kennel. He managed to sort of move forward out, and then stood, and tipped over, partially. He yipped, then tried to right himself. I got Husband.
The whole time I was gone, he was yelping. Not in pain, that I could tell, but like he did when he was a puppy, and wanted us. Husband and I went out, and realized something was badly wrong. He wasn't really looking at us, if we spoke to him, he'd settle down, but he would want us right in front of him... And he moved as if he didn't realize he had back legs.
Husband, bless him, said I needed to decide if it was time to put him down. I promptly said yes, then completely fell apart. I asked him to call the local vets, to see if we could get in. I stayed outside, so Rudee could see me.
We took him in, and the vet said she thought he'd had a bad stroke. She wouldn't let us be in while they were shaving and setting up the shot. From what I heard, Rudee didn't know who they were, so he was NOT happy.
We went in, and said goodbye, and he is hopefully happy again.
I kept thinking of all the good times we had...
He had "knobby toys" that he would carry around like a puppy, well until he was fairly old.
He loved to help me round up chickens. I taught him right and left, so he could move the birds the direction needed. This led to a time he upped it to his A game, when a neighbor's cow got out, and he rounded that up, like it was a ginormous chicken, no sweat involved.
He was nicknamed "Fry Dog". We would take him for fries at McDonald's after he'd go to the vet, so he would relate being in a car, and going to the vet to something good... It took, and if I went to Mac's, he would be all over me, so it was not uncommon for me to buy a child size fry, just so he'd have some.
He was a stinker, occasionally, I had to keep him from chasing baby rabbits. He never, ever hurt one, but he heard them squeak, and he seemed to relate it to his knobby toy squeaker, and wanted to pick them up. He would, then realized it wasn't his knobby toy, and drop it. But he had to know that the rabbit didn't have his toy! This led to him chasing one into the blackberries, which led to much yips and yipes on the way out...
He also challenged my one big male llama, he would go up, start nipping at Lorenzo's heels, then Lorenzo would chase him. Whereupon, Rudee would run behind me and hide. This was cured by a judicious amount of llama spit, where Rudee wasn't ALLOWED to be behind me...
He protected me. He wanted to make sure that anyone that came by was okay with me. I was fine, he was fine. I had one time that he got very upset at the mail lady, and I realized, I had received some mail that had upset me, he'd picked up on it, thought I was upset with HER. He was also the reason, I still think, that I wasn't attacked by the cougar that caught my llama. He was going to walk with me, if I went on the hill, he was there.
I raised spinach one year. Husband hates spinach. So I gave a leaf to Rudee. He loved it. So he and I would sit and munch on spinach in quantity. Leading my husband to lean down, point at Rudee, and proclaim, "Traitor!"
I will miss that dog.