Back in 1999, a German Shepherd mix puppy showed up in our driveway with a swollen belly, with most of his puppy teeth broken in two and covered in ticks. He was terrified of our Shih Tzu and screamed at the sight of her. It took 1/2 an hour of waiting to get him to come out from his hiding place under our car. He ended up in my lap with his head buried under my left arm. We intended to take him to the Humane Society. A dog this large deserves a farm and a boy to play with not two working people and 2/10s of an acre. It turns out that the Human Society and the pound are the same here and he would not have been put up for adoption. So he came home and there he stayed until today. Dakota likely had been hit as a pup. That's why the teeth were broken, but the injury has manifested in other ways. He had one hip that never developed right, but then there was this neurologocal disorder that slowly took over his hind quarters. We dealt with pain management for years, and even went so far as to get into laser treatments. There is no telling how much pain he was in. He never truly let on. True to his species, he took the happiest, most forgiving view on life he could. He loved my husband and they were best friends. For the past year, the good days out weighed the bad, but the bad kept increasing in numbers. In the last month, he started to give up trying to go anywhere and in the last week he made it clear it was over. So his best friend ended his suffering today. Dakota is now free to run, wag his tail, sing, and be all that a dog can be.
That tells you why he's gone, but oh how I wish we all had the time to talk about the last decade with Dakota. For my sake I'm sure I'll add posts just to record memories as they come up and when I'm home to post more pictures. For now here's a few of his last days and a couple of his glory days.