I had to say "Goodbye" to my old friend this Monday. I've mentioned him before, and I've known for awhile that if he failed I would not let him suffer. At 15, he had lived a long long and I believe satisfying life.
He is the one I always took riding with me in his younger years. I stopped taking him on long rides a few years ago, when he started showing signs of arthritis and just general fatigue. He could no longer jump gleefully over the side of my truck's bed rails ready to go! I sometimes in the last months took him for a "Drive to town" just cuz. He LOVED feeling the wind blow in his hair and he looked so proud and strong. His last ride was about 2 weeks ago, and I'm sooo glad I did it.
With this last bit of real cold weather, he was moving pretty slowly and I actually had to carry him in to the porch one day .... but the next day he was out trotting around again much to my relief.
But during Thanksgiving break, I saw him walking pretty slow ...so I went and got him, and carried him in to the porch, where he basically never moved again. I admit I was in a bit of disbelief, since he had just been walking. But he never went outside again. He drank a bit, if I lifted his head...but he never ate. He wanted to go home.
He is now playing with Bailey and my sister and daughter's puppy Lee. He loves puppies and he missed Bailey terribly. I'm sure right now he is cleaning Bailey's eyes and ears while Bailey scolds him for taking so long.... and Lee is hopping all around wanting to play.
Rufus, I miss you already. Take care of the puppies....