No doubt the slide sucks, but the ride is so worth it!
Last Thursday night, I had to put my 9 1/2 year old partner, Maverick, down. He slipped a disc in his neck in July and I struggled with that. In November, the Vet removed a grade 2 Mast Cell Tumor from his leg. I really didn't think we'd get to hunt again, but we were able to 4 times this year. It was awesome and we took some awesome pictures. Apparently, the cancer was fairly agressive and in the x-ray the vet took at the emergency clinic said there was a large mass on his spleen that had ruptured and it was filling his stomach with blood. The decision wasn't hard, but it hurt like hell. In the end, I know it was the right thing to do. I know he knew how much I loved him.
It's been a hard few days and with the support of friends and loved ones, we've done pretty well. He wasn't my first pet, but he was my first hunting dog. And as you all know, they're really companions, friends, partners, etc.
My mom asked me how I was handling it this weekend, I mean for goodness sake, Maverick has been on my folks Christmas Card for 9 years. I said, "If someone asked me right now if I'd do it all over again, I'd tell them sign me up, right now. The pain I feel now is no where near all the happiness, fun, joy and excitement that boy brought me over the last 1/3 of my life."
We never got him some of the titles he deserved. Once life really started and a wife, a job and kids came along, training had to take a bit of a back seat. I really and truly believe that he was that dog that no one ever hears about because he was laying by my fireplace. And I wouldn't trade seeing him there for anything.
I just hope I made him as happy as he made me.
To the OP and all of those out there going through similar situations, my heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to you and your buddies.
I know there are dogs in Heaven because it wouldn't be the paradise it's advertise to be without them.
I couldn't help myself, so I had to post a few pics from Maverick's last hunt.