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Slinkee (2004 – 2016)

May 21, 2016

In mid-September 2005, Jude and I were settling into our greatest adventure.  We had just moved to the farm and the possibilities seemed boundless.  With 38 acres to play with, we thought we thought it prudent to get a companion for our dog Roameo.  So off we trundled to the Campbell River animal shelter.

The shelter had a fenced area where we could watch Roameo interact with potential playmates.  The first candidate was just a pup, and bounced around him vigourously.  Roameo gave us a “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding” look, and that was that.  The second candidate, a year-old female named Cleo, showed a perfect balance of playfulness and deference to him.  She got the job.

We didn’t particularly like the name “Cleo”, and she didn’t seem that committed to it, either.  We didn’t call her anything for a few weeks, believing that she’d name herself with her behaviour.  One day we were showing our new property to some friends.  We were crossing a narrow foot bridge when she spotted something on the other side that demanded her immediate attention.  She got around us with impressive contortions.

A few nights later she was lying at the foot of our bed.  She sighed a huge sigh, as if she’d just realized she was finally safe, and started stretching out as she decompressed.  She seemed to double in length.  “Slinkee” was born.

And she never stopped expanding.  In short order, she was queen of the farm: officially greeting visitors, tutoring visitors’ dogs, making sure all food dropped was quickly cleaned up, and keeping those pesky dragonflies off her pond.

She also protected us from birds, deer and a black bear.  She chased off a raccoon before it could finish chewing up our cat Ollie.  She and Ollie were great good friends, in fact.  We loved to sit in the swing under the maple tree and watch them cavort.  He is still asking us where she is.

She was slowing down as she started her twelfth year.  It took more and more encouragement to coax her upstairs to bed.  Her hearing was fading.  A month ago a friend was visiting.  As he drove off, I heard a bump and Slinkee yelping.  She must have been under his truck (something she had never done) and didn’t hear him start it.

She soon calmed down and was able to climb the front stairs.  But she didn’t do much else for several days.  We took her to the vet.  An X-ray showed significant internal damage.  She didn’t seem in pain, so we thought we’d wait a few days as we weighed our options.  Jude and I slept downstairs to save her the climb.

A few days later she showed marked improvement.  She walked around the yard, even went down to the pond to check for dragonflies.  Our hearts soared, but it was her last patrol.  The next day she started fading.  The following day we stroked her and sobbed as she was put down.

The sting of losing a beloved pet is doubled when you make the call for their death.  Even when you’re absolutely certain it was the right call to end their suffering, the pain is unbearable at times.

Our first night without her, I had a vivid dream.  I went to heaven.  She ran by surrounded by many others.  She smiled at me and said “Hi, Dad!  I really like it here!  I don’t have time to talk, I have all these other dogs to organize.”

Long live the queen:

April 2014 logging, protest, ice pond 048.JPG

 

 

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7 Comments
  1. May 21, 2016 1:04 pm

    so very sorry for your loss. i have 3 dogs now, the 4th i pts last year at age 17. my oldest now will be 15 this august, then i have a 10 yr old and a 5 yr old. the end of their lives is always the hardest. but all the joy up to that time more than makes up for it. again, sorry for your loss.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    May 21, 2016 3:55 pm

    You forgot about the chickens

  3. May 21, 2016 5:59 pm

    So sorry. Know how you feel. A few days ago our old dog (about 13 or 14) did the same as yours — laid under a half-ton and got herself run over. She never laid under vehicles, so my husband didn’t expect her there. We also had to put her down; it was a sad end to the life of a faithful friend. She had been failing a lot in the past year, we think with arthritis maybe, and … well, I’ve known one other dog to do something out of character and lay under the tire of a vehicle like she did. He was an older rottie and his back legs were gone and my sister was putting off euthanizing him while she considered every other possibility — surgery, artificial legs (i.e. wheels), etc. He went and laid behind a truck wheel. He wasn’t run over, but it did seem like he was letting her know he wanted an end to it. Maybe our girl felt the same way?

    xoxo to you and Jude for the loss of a friend who loved you.

    Kate

  4. goatbarnwitch permalink
    May 21, 2016 6:39 pm

    So sorry for you loss but glad your dream confirmed that the time was right and she is happy in her new place. Our fur babies teach us so much about so many things in this life

  5. Gordon permalink
    May 23, 2016 5:46 pm

    Allen and Jude, so sorry and so sorry that “sorry” doesn’t seem enough. I have a friend who refused to get pets — to his credit he now is owned by a cat– since he called it “a heartache waiting to happen” foreseeing the end before the beginning. But the heart bond is worth it. I dread losing Penney, our dog, (or having her lose me for that matter) but wouldn’t trade any of our time together. Glad Slinky came back to leave you a message. Organize Dogs in Peace, Slinky.

  6. May 24, 2016 3:39 pm

    I am so very sorry. Your posts usually had some reference to her and she was very likeable. Its hard to lose a pet that is one of the family and I am very sorry for your loss

  7. Lori Chada permalink
    May 26, 2016 10:29 am

    So very sorry to hear about Slinky. Big, big hugs to you. I enjoyed reading about her. She was a lucky dog to have you. Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole! Sincerely, Lori

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