Tag Archives: canine

I Waited My Whole Life ….

…for a girl like her. Today I mourn the loss of my canine soulmate. Cinder is my everything. She is more than I ever could ask a canine companion to be. She is a German Shepherd like no other I’ve ever had the chance to meet, and the best part is, her and I, we were one, for 6 wonderful years.

She is so incredibly intelligent, balanced, respectful, protective and kind. It’s her unconditional love that I will miss every day of my future life. She helped me show people that German Shepherds are not to be feared. She got camp grounds to remove their bans on German Sheps after meeting her and proving them wrong. She showed the fearful that she was a kind and gentle soul and would slather them in kisses to prove it! She even won over the haters!!

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How we got to today.
Just over a year ago Cinder ruptured her ACL on her hind left leg. X-rays also revealed a partial tear of her right ACL. Surgery was upwards of $8-$10,000 and not a guarantee with a fairly long restricted recovery. We took an alternative route, a brace for her ruptured leg, cartrophen shots at the vet and some natural supplements.

Now, Miss Cinder can be a bit stubborn and it took us a few different styles of braces before we got one she would walk in while wearing. If you knew Cinder well, you’d know she spent most of her day roaming our 23 acres while on flock protection duty. Her brace wasn’t meant to be worn other than for ‘short designated’ walks. Well, I wasn’t telling them that this working dog stays at it most of the day … We were just going to figure out what would work.

We had already retired the ball and chuck-it as soon as the first ACL ruptured. She lived to find that ball after we buried it in the bush and we took the throwing of it away to help preserve her right leg and reduce her pain in the left. Every day she would get her ball and drop it at your feet and stare at you. Waiting. Not understanding. Eventually she’d take it and give up and roll all over it. The ultimate love of a toy. Now to tell her to stay put on her bed, she’d have to be in her dog crate/kennel locked up for that to happen. I couldn’t and wouldn’t do that to her. It’s not in her DNA. This is a German shepherd, the working and incredibly intelligent breed! My golden retriever would ask for that recommendation in writing so he can show me for the days I force him off his bed but Miss Cinder wouldn’t have any of that. She had a job to do.

The brace helped. It definitely did. However, it wears on her, and if worn too long she will bleed. We made some adjustments and got minimal use out of it before she would start to tug at it. She wanted freedom.

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Most recently she completely ruptured her other ACL. These are very painful conditions. As far as pain goes, on a scale of 1-10 their pain can be as high as a 9. We were now dealing with 2 legs in excruciating pain. Every day.

I asked a lot of her to live with one ruptured ACL and the pain that goes along with that. She did it for me. She would do it longer and again if I asked her. She did it without even flinching in her personality for over a year. Her demeanour, kindness and loyalty never wavered. Not even once. I could not ask her to live with twice the pain for another year. She has served me and it is my turn to serve her, to finally release her from her pain.

It was such a heart wrenching, soul twisting decision to make. I paced the floor for days, knowing what the right thing to do was, but getting there took a lot for me to finally acknowledge I had to let go. To not ask her to hang on longer. I desperately wanted to, I was ready to beg her …she would. But it wouldn’t be fair.

I love her fiercely and I still can’t imagine my days without her. She’s my girl. We are a team. I still need her. Very much so. I’m not ready to let go. Six years is not long enough for such a beautiful soul. But I had to accept and I love her enough to release her from her pain. It couldn’t be about me any longer. I have been selfish long enough.

It’s been her and I for 6 years. It was her and I with her last heartbeat. I couldn’t imagine any other way. Her and I. Always. To the end.

I feel very alone in my grieving. No one loves her like I do and I know and felt her love each and every day. She would give her life for this family without hesitation. Such a huge loss. The loss of love to give, and the loss of love to receive.

I haven’t cried so very hard from the depths of my soul in such a long time. I was at her side until the last beat of her heart. Her last breath. I held her long after she was gone. I cried into her chest. The sadness is overwhelming. I hugged her and told her I was soooo sorry I kept her in pain for so long and she needed to be free now. I thanked her for her loyalty, devotion to our family and her immense love. I laid on the floor with her, hugging her until it didn’t feel like her anymore.

Such a tragedy. Cinder is gone. Forever.

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Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love

There is love on this earth and then we have the love of a canine.

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                                                                       Nothing like it!!!

A Bakers Dozen Of Reasons Why Dogs Are Better Than Humans

1. They never tell all your secrets to anyone, not even a fur-sibling.

2. They never complain when they eat the same thing for a decade.

3. They are ALWAYS happy to see you. 2 minutes or 2 weeks, the party for your return is always the best day of their life!

4. They know how to be there for you … Silently at your side.

5. They always forgive. Always.

6. You don’t have to pay to send them to college/university and you don’t have to worry about them getting hooked on crack while at college.

7. They don’t keep a messy room like the human teenagers.

8. They keep you company while you’re sick, sad, angry or annoyed with the world. (which is often all at once for me)

9. They are always willing to finish your dinner for you when you can’t.

10. They don’t want all their friends to sleep over every weekend.

11. They will always stand up for you, even if you don’t want/need them too.

12. Who needs a door bell when you have a built in dog.

13. And the best reason of all…. TRUE Unconditional love like no other!!!

The Dog Stinks

I know it, you know it and your dog knows it.

I own 2 dogs. Big dogs. We spend a lot time outside. They get dirty, they get wet and they get smelly. After them, I’m the first to know when they stink. I don’t ask people, does my dog smell? Can you smell dog on me? Nope. I will tell you my dogs smells. I practically announce it so you know I know my dogs stink. I won’t ask. I tell. Usually within 24 hours of noticeable stink, my dogs hit the shower. My Golden Retriever gets the smelliest feet ever, so I am cleaning those often. Gross.

Don’t ask me if your dog stinks. If you’re asking, you know he does. Don’t ask if your house or car smells like dog. Again, if you’re asking, it does and you don’t need me to tell you it does. I don’t believe for a minute people can’t smell their dogs when they are over due for a bath. I’m calling 100% BS on that. I actually don’t care if your dog smells, if you don’t care. I only get annoyed when the questions start flying. Do you really need me to tell you your dog smells like ass and needs a bath? No. Pretend you don’t notice or care or bathe him. Just stop the questions.

Brushing helps to keep their smell under control but even with regular brushing dogs will eventually need a bath. Food quality also can help control your dogs smell. My guys are on raw and I can tell you it’s a big improvement with breath and stinky-ness.

It’s hard for me to not love on a dog when I see them. I want to give them rubs and kisses but I hate when I need to hold my hands out in front of me like they are contaminated, on a mission to wash them. I hate having to hold back cause they just have that I need a bath smell. They will get loved on anyways 🙂

From puppyhood I put my dogs in the shower. I wanted them used to the water, the shower stream, the whole process. I didn’t want bath time to be a fight, it just needed to be a part of their life. Simple. To this day my german shepherd will peek in the shower when I’m in it and want in.

I bathe my dogs with baby shampoo. I rinse them first with Apple cider vinegar. The vinegar just seems to loosen the dirty and stink really well. The baby shampoo works amazing. Bonus: I don’t have to worry if some gets in their eyes either. Their coats are soft, light, fluffy and they smell yum. It’s cheaper than most dog shampoos and I find they don’t get itchy after bathing like they had previously with lesser quality or more expensive dog shampoos. Just seems to have the perfect pH balance for their skin. Try it. They’ll love you for it.