Very Great Dane.
Many readers no doubt know that our darling Great Dane Penelope, unfortunately developed bone cancer in September of 2012. As a result of seeing a clear lung x-ray, Stephanie and I elected to have the affected leg removed completely.
The transformation was remarkable. She went from a limping and listless dog, who was obviously in a great deal of discomfort, to a three-legged dog who rediscovered the urge to play and run around with other canines once more.
It's not easy to put into words, just how attached one can be to a sweet creature like a dog. For those of you in the know, it needs no explanation. Every time she would pass between either of our legs, like the willing little horse she was, we couldn't help but scratch those sweet, floppy ears. Even as a three legged dog, she could not resist the urge to try to sit on either of our laps.
Here was a dog that was not unlike other dogs in her desire to be with her people (which included cats and guinea pigs). Penny wanted to be part of the action; to come along and be part of any adventure we undertook. She spent time in the mountains of Vermont and loved it just as much as romping at the Rockton Fairgrounds.
Penny was the gentlest and sweetest dog I've ever known. She was famously able to cuddle said guinea pigs quite appropriately. She played with little dogs as well as big dogs equally.
Just last week, our sweet dog began to show signs of being less lively than usual. We brought her to the veterinarian and much to our dismay (though unfortunately not to our surprise), we discovered that her cancer had returned and her time left with us became incredibly shortened. Just last Sunday, the 17th of February, we had the miserable task of taking our dear doggie, on her last car ride. We made sure stop for Timbits along the way.
After five vibrantly renewed months of life, it became time to take off her collar and so we sat on the floor at the emergency vet clinic and stroked our silky dog's ears and face, as she drifted off so peacefully to sleep the sleep she so greatly needed. Stephanie and I stayed with her for a while longer and we cried our eyes out.
It's now a few days later and the house seems palpably emptier and it's going to take time to adjust to the fact that Penny isn't just sleeping on the furniture in the other room. She doesn't need her dog dish any more and she won't need me to bring her outside. That really hurts! I can't change that though.
I know we did the right thing; she was so uncomfortable right at the end. I don't think she was in pain, but she seemed so ready to rest.
Penny, if you're reading this somewhere, off in the great beyond, I want to thank you for being our dog-and oh what a great dog you were. I want to you to know that Emma and all the other animals really miss you; especially Emma though. I want to encourage your doggy spirit to come and visit us whenever you feel like you want your ears scratched.
We love you sweet dog...may you rest in peace...after you've had a good run in the fields of the great beyond!!