This morning is the first time in over 30 years I woke up to a house with no dog to greet me. It is so quiet here. Yesterday we had our beloved Stella Blue euthanized. Just 2 weeks to the day after her daughter Wendy died unexpectedly of congestive heart failure. Blue made it just 3 months shy of 14 years old, that's old for a Labrador Retriever. You can see in the pic above, taken just a month ago, how old and tired she looked. Blue's joints were arthritic and her rear legs were weak due to a loss of function in the nerves that supply the back legs, often due to age-related degeneration. She was starting to experiencing fecal incontinence also caused by the nerve degeneration. It was the toughest thing to do, but Dr. Kendrew assured me it was the right thing to do. She was getting 'til she couldn't walk much more than 5 or 6 steps at a time. We didn't want to wait until she couldn't get up at all. It upset her when she went to the bathroom in the house. Our Vet and the girls at the office made this traumatic event for us a peaceful, sweet event, if you can call euthanizing a beloved pet that. We had to have another of our Labs, Harley Jo, euthanized quite some time ago and it was traumatic! This was a sweet send off for Blue and now she is with Wendy and Harley Jo. Running with legs that work again!
Blue was an English Labrador Retriever. I didn't believe people when they said there were English and American, a Lab is a Lab I thought. Until I got Blue. Here pedigree was Kelly Green from Ireland and England and there was a definite difference in her build, coat and stance. Although the Labrador Retriever Club references the difference as show/conformation and work/field not English and American. Blue was stockier, shorter legged, and an intensely dense coat.
She was a joy to have around, quite a different personality than Wendy. Blue was reserved, quiet and polite. She didn't bark for us until she was several months old, we thought her barker was broke! When she did bark we all stopped and said was that Blue! She always let big mouth Wendy do the barking for her. She was tenacious and strong. She loved to play fetch with anything (the Kong was her favorite) and would go forever! She always brought it right back to you and laid it down immediately at your feet for you to throw it again and she always made sure she included everyone. Each throw she brought back she took to the next person standing there for their turn to throw. We had a giant indestructible ball that she adored, she used her nose and moved that ball like a soccer player all over the yard. She would go 'til she couldn't go no more! Swimming was the thing she loved the most though. Any water, she adored. Even her little blue swimming pool. She had a teddy bear she slept with. She would sit it up and then push its shoulders down and get her mouth on the top of the head and sleep that way like it was her pacifier. She loved to travel and camp and she loved the woods. She stayed at a set space ahead of us in the woods and would come back every so often and to make sure we were still behind her and then go ahead again. Never out of eye-shot.
Blue had one litter of seven black pups. She really didn't care for motherhood too much I don't think! The older they got she didn't really want to be in the kitchen with them other to have to feed them.
She was a great and faithful dog and a momma's girl and I will miss her.
|Anyone for fetch?|
|What, are we going somewhere? Don't forget the Kong!|
|Swinging with me.|
|Mom with her seven new babies|
|After dinner nap! At 4 wks. we brought them out into the kitchen so they would be in the center of the family goings on and be well socialized. It was so much fun! Parting with them was hard.|
|Traveling. Sitting on my lap to get to the window, all 70 some lbs. of her!|
|Traveling again, this time sitting on Harley Jo to get to the air conditioner vent!|
|Sleeping again. Her mouth had fallen off of the head.|
|This pic says it all, in her element, tongue hanging out from swimming all day.|