This is difficult to talk about, and maybe more difficult to read. My apologies. My household endured a couple of very sad days Sept. 1 & 2. On the first, our beloved dog, Norman, breathed his last. He was 11 years old and was clearly in failing health over the last few weeks.
He was a magnificent mutt, and the oldest of our menagerie. Approx. 1/2 Chow (some from both sides) around 1/4 retriever (Labrador, I believe) and the rest miscellaneous - including some kind of Shepherd. His mother's name, appropriately, was Sweetie - and he had the same disposition. I doubt he ever even bit his own food (that was the retriever influence, if I'm not mistaken.) He was a wonderful pet and companion for the whole family, and he will be dearly missed.
The day after the demise of our dog, Norman, my wife got a call from our next door neighbor. She (the neighbor) was crying and said she had found a dead (for days) cat in her back yard. It was our best cat, George. He had been eviscerated by one or more of her dogs. This was at least a little unexpected, as George was a habitual indoor cat, with a severe inclination to guard (nap on) our bed and sleep at our feet all night long (good work, if you can get it.) But in the last week or two he developed something of a wanderlust. He'd venture out into the back yard through the 'doggie door' for a few minutes at a time - and occasionally come racing back in as if something had scared him. Apparently he ventured too far the last time. He was almost 8 years old and we had become quite fond of (and attached to) him with his almost
unassuming, weird little feline control-freak customs.
This was a severe blow to the whole household. Our two most treasured pets confirmed gone in two days was more than we were quite prepared for. There have been many tears. I never used to think that a pet could (or should) be eulogized. But then I lost these two. My heart has not many times been so suddenly and terribly broken.
In other news, we got a new puppy two days after Norman's passing. He's absolutely beautiful. We named him Bennett. He's very calm and seems to love being touched. We're quite pleased. The best info we can gather is that he's got Labrador and Australian Shepherd on 'mom's side' and 'unknown' on the other. We're studying about all kinds of things related to training and so on. And he's very responsive to praise and "no" in training simple things like 'sit' and 'come.'
But I maintain that with all the knowledge one can gain, one does best to encourage and train one's dog to be a great dog, not a 'human.' What I mean by that has to do with discovering what this particular canine is 'built for' (breed, temperament, etc.,) and giving it every advantage in that direction. That's what we're aiming for with our limited resources.
I'm not posting this for counseling or therapy. Please feel free to PM me if you have something along those lines, but otherwise, let's allow this to be about the 'art' . . . if you can call it that. Much great art comes out of great loss and pain. I may not yet have reached that threshold. And I'm a noob, not knowing the tools very well.