'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stella Blue


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.

Completely relaxed!
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.


  1. How sad for you. Best wishes. Carole

  2. This must have been such a hard day. She looks like a sweet dog who will be sorely missed. Fay

    1. Fay,the house is very empty without Blue and her daughter Wendy. To go from 2 large dogs to none in two weeks is hard to get used to. Thanks for your comment!

  3. So sorry for your loss, but this post is a beautiful tribute to her.

  4. I'm so sorry that you have suffered this again and so soon. Euthanizing a loved pet is never easy - even when you know it's right. We have had to do it twice and it nearly killed me both times. But dogs give so much joy while they're with us. Glad you have pictures and a heart full of wonderful memories of them both and hope that, eventually, you may feel like adopting another friend. Bless you!

    1. Thanks so much Tami. Washed the nose prints off the storm door yesterday and it hit me that they are gone and I just wanted to sit in the floor and cry. I find myself going over to get fresh water for them and things like that. Going away this Saturday so that will help get my mind off of it. We did have a great time with those girls and made lots of memories.

  5. Lots of memories and lovely photos Peggy. You definitely did the right thing, although we would say she was 'put to sleep' - it was an act of love. I'm glad you're going away at the weekend, be good to yourself!

  6. Thanks Katrina, we say "put to sleep" here to, the vet refers to it as euthanize . We are going to the ocean, Hilton Head , SC. I' m taking lots of books and maybe cryptic crossword book so I can figure out how to do them! Exercise my brain.

  7. I'm so sorry for your loss - it must be heart-breaking.

    I love the 'book-drunkard' quote on your header. I've not heard that before, how very very apt.

  8. I opened your blog today, and happily saw the header picture, and then read this sad, sad post. I am so very sorry. It broke my heart to read this. I hadn't known about Wendy dying, too. It is the worst, worst thing that dogs can't live longer than they do. They are the best non-people thing in this life, and they should be here with us longer.
    We are facing that same empty house when our Sadie goes, hopefully not for many years. If you've ever read about her on the blog, she doesn't like other people and we don't want to bring a puppy into this house that can't socialize with everyone who walks in, so we have to wait till she is gone. We've always had other dogs when one has died, and I dread it. Not that it is any easier to lose one, but at least there is dog commotion and dog love in the house which does help. Will you get another or two? I think I'd bring them home with me from HH. And I do love the English stockier Lab. If we get one, that will be the one. Just now we're thinking two Smooth Collies. But maybe we'll get them and a Labrador, as the English say.
    I wish I were closer to sit and cry with you.
    Our close friends are visiting some of their friends on HH right now.

    1. It is very different here at home without my girls, Nan. Dave wants to get another dog, but we go away so often it is hard. So for now I am saying no dog, but I have never not had a dog. Like you we usually 'overlapped'. I washed up all the dog paraphernalia and put it away (except the huge dog beds, I gave one to each son for their dog) and we will see in time. Don't know that I would want to go back to a small breed now that I've had Labs. But a dog that doesn't shed sounds very appealing! Only one though this time! I do tend to get carried away:) A smooth collie does sound interesting although Baby Girl (grand-daughter) would like me to get a dog like Snowy in the movie Tin Tin!
      Thanks for the sentiment!

  9. I'm so, so sorry that you've had to do this twice in such a short time. We're gearing up to say goodbye to our cat Hannah, after having lost her brother last year and her sister the year before.

    All of us with pets know how hard it is and that it never gets easier. But we have to remember how lucky our pets are that they can be given this gift of release from suffering that we can't extend to the humans we love. I'd much rather be a cat or a dog in a loving home.

    I hope your time in Hilton Head will help you heal and that the waves will wash away your grief.

    1. Thanks, Joan. Watching Wendy gasping so for breath made me think the same thing about thank goodness I can ask the vet to hurry and give her the shot, if it were my Mom I would have to continue to watch her suffer so, but man would abuse it if we gave him the ability to do that for humans. Hugs to you in advance for when your kitty,s time comes.

  10. I just came across this post by accident. So sorry for your loss, I know how this hurts...HUGS


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