We let Rose stay in the house. When she wanted to go out we just let her run loose outside. I didn’t say anything when Lisa was feeding Rose bacon at the table. When Lisa wasn’t looking I gave her another piece.
I lifted her up on the bed in the evening and she stretched out and went right to sleep. You can’t believe how loud she snores. I even caught her sleeping with her head on my pillow.
When I went out to do chores in the morning Rose just stood in the door and looked at me. She stayed in the house.
I gave all the dogs medicine for heartworms. They hate the taste. Rose didn’t have to take any. When I was at work she slept in her own kennel with a big soft pillow and a nice thick blanket.
The last few days have been happy ones for Rose. We politely ignored the dry hacking cough and fluid build up in her chest.
Dogs have a larger heart in relation to their body mass than other animals. Studies done on sled dogs that have been trained and conditioned to run long distances found that the sled dog’s heart grew even larger in relation to their body mass than other dogs.
Over the years, Rose must have run thousands of miles following snowshoe hare through the woods. I’d like to think Rose had a bigger than normal heart. The heart that helped Rose lead the pack for all those years was wearing out.
It’s been a nice, long, easy summer. Fall came in with mild temperatures and lots of color. Overnight a front came down out of Canada bringing heavy winds and cold like we haven’t seen in months. Summer was definitely over Friday morning when I set Rose on the front seat of Lisa’s truck. She was happy to be going for a ride.
While I was doing chores and washing out Rose’s kennel for the last time an extra long and heavy gust of wind came up. The top blew out of that dead poplar tree with a loud CRACK! Branches rained down in the yard and banged on the tin roof over my head.
When I got in the house Lisa called and said it was over. She said when the vet shaved Rose’s leg and put the needle in Rose bit him. She didn’t go down easy.
Slimmer and Rose spent many years together. They hunted together. Traveled together. Lived together in the kennel. Now they will be together again. Forever.