Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sandy Pandy

Yesterday my parents were faced with a hard decision to put our long lived dog, Sandy, down.  My parents are the biggest animal lovers I know.  (Although, Lauren & John Thompson..and their 5 dogs.. are right up there with them!)  I wish I had some of the oldest pictures of Sandy on my computer, but unfortunately she was a little ahead of the social media world and majority of them are printed off back at my parents house.  If you are an animal lover yourself, you will completely understand the story to come.  If not, go get a dog.  Unless you are crazy, you will quickly become an animal lover as well.

Sandy was a fighter from the beginning.
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You see, we already had a cat, a bird, some fish and 2 dogs...we didn't 'need' another animal.
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But we found a young Sandy howling outside our house during a rain storm.  She was cold and wet and my dad big talked "We are absolutely NOT keeping this dog."
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  Too bad she was already in the back yard before he got home from work.  My dad wanted her to find a new home but he could never do that...and never tried.  (Remember, mom and dad are animal lovers!)
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Well after the lack of effort to run Sandy off, my mom and dad decided to keep her.  Boy were they in for it!  We used to call her wild stallion because she would run like crazy in the backyard.  Dad worked with her day and night training her.
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It took quite a while...she had that fighter in her.
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Once we moved to the new house, there was no fence so my dad built one out back to keep the dogs outside.  Sandy never liked going into that fence.
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Mom would drag her by the collar to get to the fence and Sandy would buck like the wild stallion she was resisting to go in.
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When my dad would get home she would run back and forth on the fence and jump high enough that her head would reach just over the 6 ft fence.  I remember playing 'tug of war' with her chew toys and she would throw me on the ground with her fighting strength.
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And she loved to lay right in the way at all times.  Notice her in the background (right in the path of the doorway).  Don't worry, we never made her move.  Just walked right on around her.  ;)
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She was 'Clint's dog' and she definitely favored him.
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Every time he came back home from college she would go nuts.
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Much in the same way mine and Jared's dogs had done in the past.
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But it was my dad Sandy had been attached to from day 1.
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She followed him around constantly and he was her world.  Sandy was around for 16+ years.
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The longest we'd ever had a dog live.
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My parents loved to sit out on the porch in the mornings and afternoons with her and she loved that too.
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She was some good entertainment in her younger years showing off and running circles around the yard.
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She lived the longest of any dogs we've ever had in our family.  She saw graduations, kids grow up, weddings, the adoption of 'cousin dogs' and more!
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But her long life was to be expected...she was a fighter.
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In the past year and especially in the last few months fighting had gotten harder for Sandy.  She had developed some health issues but the main problem was that her back legs had given out and she was having a hard time getting around.  She would fall over and mom and dad would have to help her back up.  But they knew she was starting to get embarrassed and wanted to be able to keep up.  You remember one of her favorite things to do was follow my dad around and that was getting harder for her until it was almost impossible.
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My mom and dad have never made the decision to put a dog down.  They've let them pass naturally.  But, they've never had a dog that was going to fight until the very end.
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She was hurting and in pain but I'm 100% positive my parents made the best decision for them and her.
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They made sure to feed her chicken fresh off the grill for her last meal and they sat with her on the patio all Sunday day & night.  And I know she is peaceful now.
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There are some things you just understand when you are a dog lover yourself too.  And because I always saw my parents take such good care of their dogs...
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...I now understand that sometimes you have to make that choice to help ease the pain of your animal.
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Especially for those fighters...
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22 comments:

  1. I know what it's like to lose a family pet. To have them so long they no longer felt like a pet, but truly a member of the family. Putting down a beloved friend is a hard decision, But one decision that is made in the best interest of our pet. I hope you and your family will find comfort from the images that you have saved of Sandy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know what it's like to lose a family pet. To have them so long they no longer felt like a pet, but truly a member of the family. Putting down a beloved friend is a hard decision, But one decision that is made in the best interest of our pet. I hope you and your family will find comfort from the images that you have saved of Sandy.

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