A longtime family member of ours had to go yesterday. He is in a much better place and is no longer in pain; for that I am glad. But I am still sad.
I have had Amos as a member of my family since he was eight weeks old. I originally got him because I told my parents that since my sister left for college, I would be lonely and we should get a dog. My mom was okay with the idea as long as the dog left when I left for college too. This presented a bit of a challenge since it would be unlikely that I would be able to take a dog with me to college. I did some looking around and decided to try to become a puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence. Puppy raisers keep the puppy from eight weeks old until about a year to a year and a half when they head off to puppy college. Puppy raisers train the dog and teach it many commands as well as socialization. Amos went EVERYWHERE with us. Church, grocery shopping, the mall, my mom’s school, my dad’s work, EVERYWHERE.
It was a sad day when Amos had to leave to go to puppy college but we all knew it was the plan for him. Hopefully he would make it and end up helping a person to live a better life. My mom decided after Amos left and my sister and I both went to college, that she needed another dog! My parents went on to raise three more dogs for CCI. Sadly, only one of the four dogs we raised actually went on to be a service dog. (Although this is the normal percentage of dogs that make it all the way through the program.)
Amos ended up getting kicked out of puppy college. They said he was too aggressive. We couldn’t believe this because he was never aggressive. The puppy raiser gets the first option to take the dog back as a pet if they can’t be turned into a different type of service dog. My parents said yes! So Amos got to come back home and live a life of luxury as a pet. My parents taught him many tricks and let him go swimming in the pool! When Big Monkey and I got married, we took Amos with us.
Little Monkey has loved having Amos around. I think he liked it best when we let Amos in the pool with us to chase toys. About a month ago, Amos had a hard time getting out of the pool and we were worried about his legs. A day or two after that incident, Big Monkey had tapped Amos on his hind legs and Amos yelped and ran off. Poor guy. We had planned to take him in to the vet to get x-rayed but it didn’t happen right away.
We had family come into town, so Amos went to stay with my mother-in-law and her dog. She gave him some medicine but then the other night he yelped and cried when he had to go up and down the stairs to go outside to use the bathroom. When he came back in, he wouldn’t even sit, only laid down. When his food was poured out, he didn’t even move to go get it. (This is VERY odd for him…he would run across the room for a crumb if he thought he saw one drop!) Saturday, my mother-in-law took Amos in to a vet. They did not want to even do x-rays. The vet said that they could do x-rays but that it would simply show that he had leg/hip problems. Amos yelped when the vet even tried to touch his legs. The vet also said that we could give him some medicine/steroids to help with the pain but that we would not be able to improve his life. He is an old dog and he has lived a good life. We made the difficult decision to have the vet put Amos down on Saturday morning. I was very sad that I didn’t get to say good bye to him, but I think it was probably best for Little Monkey and myself. A big thanks to my mother-in-law for taking care of him and handling the situation. I know I would have been a mess trying to handle it, especially if I had to take care of Little Monkey at the same time.
We will miss you buddy! Sorry you had to be in any pain at all, but we are glad that you are now running and playing happily.