Good bye Is Always Implied

23 Dec 2021

I borrowed the title from one of the series of Longmire where the sheriff and his deputy are discussing the potential of losing each other in their dangerous line of work.

This Christmas I am forced to put my service dog down due to an aggressive oral cancer. We have been together for 4 years and it will be hard but perhaps not as hard as watching him suffer with pain. Angelo-angel with a halo, has been a loyal, best friend to me. A Border Collie-Rotweiller mix, he slept in my bed and graciously ate part of my supper for me many times. 

He was a joyful character, with full-bodied tail wagging even as he holds up a paw now affected by pain. His playful "mute bark" asks for a treat or to go outside. It used to request 3 walks a day complete with an audible snort and up until recently, he wanted to circle the town on each walk on three legs. His vocals still operate well if he sees fit to notify me if anything is amiss with our environment.


When I worked security, people would try to enter a food store passing their odd pets off as "a service bearded dragon." Nice try-only dogs make service animals. I was wise to the wacky.

I will miss my cuddly, fluffy, 100 pound teddy bear a lot but like I told the veterinarian, I don't want to see him go downhill any further. Also with dogs, one knows from the start they won't last longer than 12 years on average. 

It stinks to have to put him down exactly four years after I brought him home from his previous owner... an epileptic leaving the province.  It was Christmas then also and upon arrival at my house he immediately popped a poo under my tree. 

Someone once raised their arms and voice to tell me the punchline of a joke and Angelo swung into action, growling, showing his teeth, and placing himself between me and the jokes term. He thought I was about to be attacked and he was not going to stand idly by. 

I often say: the more I deal with people the more I enjoy animals. And although Angelo was a big black dog, (with some white markings) he drew attention from all kinds of individuals rather than being seen as a scary guard dog. "I could swear he is smiling," my neighbor commented recently.


I won't run out and get another dog right away. Maybe never again. I will take my time to grieve and be grateful to have had such a delightful friend who faithfully walked with me. Literally. Some angels have paws. I know mine did. 


A Moodscope member.

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