I don't know why you say good-bye, I say hello
Zee, that lovely, gentle girl, is suddenly gone, and there's not much to be said about it. She had been having some pain and mobility issues all summer and at first they responded to a combination of rest or exercise depending on what she had been up to the day before. And then about a month ago, she started a real decline. One night, she shifted on the couch and was suddenly ki-yi-ing in agony. I brought her to the vet and he thought he had found the answer.
Unfortunately, he had not. I've always said that I'd spend any amount of money for something that worked but not a penny on something that would only make me feel better and not help the dog. This suddenly went from one of the former to one of the latter. When he did a secondary exam before the scheduled operation, things didn't add up and some additional testing showed deterioration of the spinal chord, a condition that made the test itself too much for the girl. There was no point in even waking her up, since she would have been in agony and would likely not have even made it home.
As it was, her last conscious time was fairly pleasant. Some painkillers were helping and she was able to go to the dogpark and see her friends, human and canine. And that was that. A fun, terrific dog and the house is brutally empty at the moment.
I knew I couldn't be like that very long and began to make some contacts. I expected, at best, to find a new litter somewhere that might be ready in six weeks or a month. But by sheer happenstance, when I contacted a ridgeback breeder in Florida who had been a classmate of my brother in high school, she had a rambunctious male puppy nearly ready to go out the door. He will arrive a week from Friday, and it happens to be a week that I have off, so we can have plenty of time for bonding and going for walks and suchlike.
That is a picture of Vaska and his brothers above. "Vaska" is short for Vasili Dmitreivich Denisov, whom Tolstoy fans will remember as the brave, tender-hearted, fearless, romantic leader of Cossack partisan cavalry. Brother-in-arms to Nicholai Rostov, he's one of the great "buddies" in all of literature.
And I'd say he has big shoes to fill, but, then again, look at those feet.