A week of extremes


Two events I knew were coming up, one deeply dreaded, one happily anticipated, happened last week.

My dear dog Duke was getting old (nearly 13 must be like 100 in German Shepherd years) and his legs were slowly giving up on him. We were still trying to make his life comfortable, trying all sorts of pain medication, but the decision that it simply was enough seemed so subjective, we were living in a grey area. When is it really enough, when do you decide he would be better off gone, is he in pain, is he still happy? Questions continuously on my mind for months. There seemed no right or wrong answer, but I did set one clear cut-off; if he cannot walk anymore it would be too much stress for him to have a joyful life. And then last week Thursday night while wandering through the house, his hind legs give up and he couldn’t get up again. On Friday there were no improvements, at his age surgery would seem a folly. So I decided the dreaded moment had come, I wish I would never have to do this but I had to say my goodbyes. 5 of his 13 years he spend with my boyfriend and me, adopted at the age of 8 as a dog that was deemed by many as better put down. Not socialised, horribly insecure, constant tail-chasing (and chewing even) and growling at everything he did not know. Well, never underestimate the ability of dogs to bounce back, to still gain trust. With a little love and patience he turned into the most wonderful, loving, sweetest and cuddly dog, accompanying me on so many walks through fields and forest (and as it turned out addicted to eating apples). Thanks for all those wonderful memories Duke, you will be dearly dearly missed.

And then exactly one week after saying goodbye I got the keys to my new apartment, the first one I ever really own. And we move on, busy with painting, packing, and demolishing. Even though it seems like such a cruel coming together of events, I’m thankful for the distraction. The idea of an association free new home is appealing, not expecting your dog to appear out of certain rooms, simply because he has never been there. Not expecting the noise of his feet approaching, because he never walked on those floors. Making a clean start, making new memories, but never forgetting the wonderful times we had.

10 thoughts on “A week of extremes

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. Duke was a great dog, and he definitely knew that you loved him very much. Sorry to hear that this month has been such a roller coaster of extremes for you. I hope you have a great experience getting your own apartment set up and turned in to home. <3

  2. Hi Tahnee,
    So sorry for your loss. I hope you had the chance to say goodbye in a good way. It’s hard to have to make such decisions about beloved pets (canine or feline). I hope you find some comfort in getting your new place all set up and maybe in the thought that Duke didn’t have to experience the stress of moving houses at a 100-years old

  3. I am so sorry for your loss, dear Tahnee… Your story of Duke reminds me of my dog – a mix between husky and German Shepard. Me and my boyfriend adopted him 6 years ago and it was so challenging – he was constantly growling, not letting anybody touching his legs and always hungry. It took a lot of time to “socialize” him, but right now he is our best companion and I can only imagine how hard it will be to let him go one day… But I am sure Duke had a wonderful life with you and he will always stay in your heart… I wish you all the best in your very own apartment!

  4. It is so sad to say good bye to a wonderful friend. There is just something so special about having a furry buddy around. My thoughts are with you.

  5. Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss, it sounds like Duke was a magnificent dog. I hope it is of great comfort that you gave him the best life he could have ever dreamed of, especially adopting him at 8 years old and having some challenges. You did a wonderful, wonderful thing loving him the way you did. Congrats on your new apartment, you are right- the new space will make the loss much easier to bear. And indeed a happy, comforting distraction during this time.

  6. Oh Tahnee. My heart breaks for your loss (I’ve walked in those shoes more times than I’d like to think about) but rejoice for the new adventure you’re on with your new living space. Good memories and memory making. ❤️?❤️

  7. I am so terribly sorry for your loss, it is NEVER easy to say goodbye to a furry friend, I wish they could live as long as us humans do. I think you did the right thing and he is now pain free and moving easily in heaven 🙂

  8. So sorry for your loss. Pets are so part of the family…saying goodbye is never easy. It helps to remember the good times with them. Congrats on your new home. That is HUGE & AWESOME, lady! 😉

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