The family dog died this morning. He was at home, and Coach was there with him, so that’s something I guess.
We got him when I was VERY pregnant with Doc. We’d been looking for a bulldog when a friend of the family told Coach her Danes had just had puppies and he could pick one. We went to visit the puppies and pregnancy hormones…well, it was love at first sight.
We brought him home in September – a couple of weeks after Doc was born. Munchkin carried him home in her lap. We named him Cornbread Mater Corley.
It wouldn’t be long before he was too big for ANYBODY’s lap. But at first, he was little. Even as a puppy, he was calm. He wasn’t the typical rambunctious puppy. He DID like to dig, and he went through several “indestructible” pillows, but he was the best puppy I’ve ever lived with. It WAS a little like having twins, though. I’d get up with the baby human and Coach got up with the baby dog.
He always had the best Halloween costumes.
Life was pretty good with Cornbread until Doc grew up enough to realize she was afraid of him. Gentle giant that he was, he must have sensed this because he became content to stay in his crate, on his pillow, as long as he was in the living room with us.
Once The Boy was born, I found my hands so full with the addition of the third that Cornbread increasingly became “one more thing” I had to keep up with. And still, he seemed content. The yard was his domain and he was just as gentle and accepting of whatever attention we could ration in an otherwise overflowing life. I knew a year ago that we probably should find him a family who could make him a more active part of their lives, but none of us were really ready to give up.
The past month or so, however, saw Cornbread slowing down. I’d been reading about how Danes don’t typically have long lifespans, and I know I complained A LOT about him, but even I was surprised at how quickly he declined and how sad it made me to think about him being gone from our life. I tried changing his food and leaving him out more; to the chagrin of Doc. But once he decided it was time, I guess, there wasn’t much we could do.
This morning, Coach said he started having trouble not long after I left with the Littles (Doc and The Boy). It wasn’t two hours after that and Coach said he was gone.
I think I’m done having pets for a while. The children need all the attention I can give them and, as I’ve told my sister time and time again, I’m not a dog person. They need the same kind of attention as a human child and I have lots of those already. A dog deserves a family who will cherish him/her and make him/her part of their daily lives. While Cornbread was always right there with us, he was not really a part of our life.
I’m glad he did not suffer long and I’m so glad Coach was home with him when the time came. I’m glad I wasn’t there. I want to think of him as he was before he became so sick. The ridiculous halloween getups we put on him. Sweet brown eyes that could talk you out of that last chicken strip or forgive him for just about anything. How he liked to sit on the hill, in the yard, and take in the breeze and the sunshine.