Thursday, March 14, 2024

Numb, I am Numb

Today I put to sleep my best friend (after my spouse) - My dog King.

King's birthday was the day after mine, and I got him in '11. He would have been 13 in two months. Which is old for large German Shepherd. Our last one I don't think made 12.

King was my first (and now last) dog. The dogs I've lived with throughout my life were never mine. They typically were either family dogs or someone else in the family. Now this isn't to say I've never had pets, I've had several domestic cats and about a half dozen 'wild' or 'exotic cats. Four of which were big cats. So I'm used to animals.

But King was very much my dog. German Shepherds are one person animals. Sure they'll get on with everyone in the family, but the are very much one person's. I'd never had a dog before that was truly 'mine' and so I decided I was going to get a 'large' old school square-back GSD. I got him at 8 weeks of age, so he and I were together for 12 years and 8 months.

The last two years started getting hard. Mostly little problems. The last year his hindquarters started giving him issues - this is a sign of age in all quadrupeds. It has nothing to do with breeding. He lost a lot of weight in the last six months and started having appetite issues about a year ago. We'd resorted to a series of 'bribes' to get him to eat. For about the last month I was hand feeding him his meals, because he just couldn't eat standing up.

Through all of this he was happy, he was alert, he was engaged. He could get around, though not well. As long as he was happy, I was fine with things.

Yesterday he lost the ability to walk. It wasn't 100 percent, just 99. Trying to get up and failing would make him so tired he wouldn't try again. Now he'd been having problems for the last two weeks, but only rarely and if I grabbed him and steadied him or lifted his rump, he'd recover and be fine. But yesterday you had to hold his hindquarters off the ground and 'wheel-barrow' him. Which for a 100 lb dog, isn't easy.

He'd also been waking me up at night for weeks now. The last couple of nights I was up with him most of the night. Last night, I was up with him all night long. Not being able to get up was hard on him, and he was no longer happy and I think he was starting to hurt as well. So today I took him to the vet and said goodbye.

We buried him when we got home. His grave is next to that of my cat that died about 3 years ago. He's in pretty deep, and there are heavy stones on top of the grave. But it's also inside the fence, so the coyotes shouldn't cause any issues.

But still, it's been a rough few weeks and a very rough day. I started my independent writing career in March of '11. I got King (Full name: King of Rancho Cordova - yes he was a registered pure breed) in July of '11. He was there when I decided to go full time and he's been there throughout my entire career.

And now he's gone.

I will miss him.


  1. You have my utmost sympathy.

    It hurts. I still get occasional pangs remembering pets I've loved and lost over the years. Yes, over time it gets easier to remember the good times you had with them, but those memories are always bittersweet.

    I know that the pangs of loss are the price we pay for the joy they give us. And they joy is worth the price we pay. But it still hurts.

  2. I sorry to hear about the loss of your family member.

    That is who he was to you and I fully understand what you mean about some pets being family pets and some being something akin to a soulmate.

    I've buried my wife's cocker a few years ago and Bailey was her dog through and through. I'm not looking forward to when Odin and Mischa go as they are mine.

    I'm only 40 but my pet memorial plot out here in rural Oklahoma is way to full already.


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