Thursday, June 7, 2018

Requiem pour Ma Chienne


It was a difficult time over Christmas, 2008.  Mrs. Andrew, beloved of Beans, she of the scooter people (powered wheelchair) had just been robbed, the second time, while in her chair.  People at her work were still giving her poop about being in a power chair (like she had any choice in getting cancer on her spine and then no-one doing anything about stabilizing the area until after it was too damned late.)  And she was doing tutoring in an underperforming school in the worse section of our city, travelling from work to school and back in her chair.
So, under fear for her life, and to make her life better, Mrs. Andrew announced the need for a service dog.  One to help with mobility and all the things that she needed when I wasn’t around, like something or someone to help her up in bed and such.
The search began.  Various organizations dealing with dogs for the disabled were contacted, and all were found wanting.  Like, because we weren’t totally broke they wanted a king’s ransom for a mobility dog.  Stuff like that.  One organization, which shall remain nameless, turned out to be run by a seriously bat-shirt crazy human (insert name for female dog) who would ‘lease’ the animal for 4-5 years, and then ‘retire’ the animal by putting it down  (see, I wasn’t kidding about  the woman being bat-shirt crazy.)
So, we decided to go it alone.  Just so you know, this is perfectly legal, moral and correct.  Unlike what you may think or have heard, there is no legal requirement for professional certification of either the trainer, handler, or the animal.  There are guidelines, dealing with the temperament of the dog, and what is and isn’t allowed (One can question the service of the animal, one may not require said animal to perform a ‘dog and pony show’ to prove it can do what it can do.)(And ‘professional certification’ is available over the internet for not much money, and is worth exactly what you pay for it.)
Mrs. Andrew started looking at various breeds, working through a list of needs that she had, including aid in picking stuff up because Beans is a ‘mental’ slob (seriously, I ‘don’t’ see some things until pointed out,) aid in transferring from whatever to whatever, aid in sitting up, aid in stable chair-walking (chair walking is when one walks by hanging onto things, walls, chairs, side of van)(at this time Mrs. Andrew was still somewhat mobile, good for 30 steps (aided) before woe occurred.), and… towing.  What?  Towing?  When electric chair gets stuck in sand or when it runs out of juice unexpectedly, as they are wont to do depending on age of batteries or weather conditions, the dog would be required to help move the chair.
Parameters in place, My Empress looked for breeds that could:  be trained and handle a number of commands and learn new ones all the time; go from full loaf to activity, and back with no problem; be able to tow; be able to support or brace; and be suitably big enough to scare off future potential thieves and miscreants.
Which pretty much left it in the ‘large farm dog’ category, and she settled on looking at Bernese Mountain Dogs, until she found out that they don’t handle changes to their surroundings well, at all.  Stymied by this, she reset her search and discovered… Rottweilers.  Oh, no!
Seriously.  A farm dog, designed to do everything from protecting new-born lambs and young children to ripping the throats out of evil-doers, while also doing herding and carting (one of the reason you dock their tails, by the way) and overall a  general purpose dog.  Carting, that means pulling things like stranded wheelchairs and such.  Breed selected, insurance company contacted (because of ‘bully breed’ stupidity) and USAA (thanks, mom and dad for serving) says no problem with Rotties on my insurance (a nice 10 minute conversation about… rotties with the nice lady on the phone, because she had 3.)
And then the search began, and because I live in a leftist hell-hole in an otherwise non-leftist paradise (Florida) the local search was no-bueno.  Other rescue agencies were turned down because we could not meet their strict background check or home check (we had no fence and they didn’t care that the dog would be attended 24/7/365-366) or for just pure admin bull-scat (Oh, your last name starts with "w", that doesn't work for us.)
We finally found a Rottie Rescue located in rural Georgia (state, not nation) and Mrs. Andrew found several potential candidates and had nice long discussions with the owners and it looked good.  And then Mrs. Andrew was totally surprised because Beans said, “Well, this weekend is free, let’s go Saturday!”  Which caused Mrs. Andrew to about pass out in shock because Beans does not do spontaneous.   Seriously.  Spontaneous to me is planning only 2 months in advance.  I do not do well at all at sudden change of plans.  Oh, movie sold out, how about… No.  Let’s go now to XYZ… No.  How about… No.  I don’t like trying cooking new meals because I don’t know how long it will take.  So big decisions done on the fly?  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!   So I said, on a Wednesday night, “Let’s go Saturday (like 3 days away.)”
Saturday comes, after 2 days of prep, buying and building bedding, getting leashes and bowls and food and toys and a doggy crate and making room in the van (2 not-small people, a powered wheelchair, manual ramp, electric hoist, cooler for food and a dog crate.  Yeah.  A van.  No cars for the Beans Family. (future story on vehicles.))  And we were off to Rural Georgia, to a Rottie Rescue.
We get there, and the owners have two beautiful rottie candidates, sisters supposedly, just a year or smidge older.  Mrs. Andrew is in the yard in her chair, and the first dog comes up near her and swerves and looks fearful but still nice.  Second dog came out, pulled immediately to Mrs. Andrew, sat down right in front of her, placed her head on M.A.’s chest, looked up, both sets of eyes met, there was an audible “Bong” and the dog immediately got on MA’s left side, looked up at her, and said, “Let’s go, Mom!” and away they went, all over the property (wherever the damned chair would go.)
Thus was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
We had to immediately deal with her employer spazzing out over her having a dog, even though they said it was okay before she brought the dog (yes, she checked and got an a-okay before starting the process.  She’s a lot nicer than I am.   What is it about liberal establishments that sucks donkey farts?)
And after that settled down (She won, as the Fed Gov does not look positively at institutions that suck and don’t follow certain federal rules) we had months of fun with our new dog, Liesl.  Liesl?  Yes.  Good Germanic name for a good Germanic dog.  Much better than the stupid Africanish name the rescue gave her (not saying African names are bad.  Hell, if I had a Rhodesian Ridgeback (do they call them Zimbabwean Ridgebacks now?) I would probably name it some name from that area.  But Liesl’s a Rottweiler, a breed from, Rottweil, so tough nuggies.)  We went to Gulf Wars and Li-li enjoyed the fine art of water bearing, using her double pannier pack to carry lots of liquid refreshments to thirsty people, and she tried to retrieve dropped spears during the Trimarian Spear Tourney (spears only, more later) and we got to find out that Liesl already knew to pull as Mrs. A’s chair decided to run out of go-juice (cold weather affecting batteries) and managed to pull said chair and Mrs. A about halfway to the appointed pickup point before I stumbled across the whole caravan on the way from fighting.
And then… April 13th happened.  Mrs. Andrew’s brain decided to try to commit seppuku by having a deep brain aneurism burst (Thanks, Tracy and the rest of you a-holes for putting way to much stress on my sweet wife, you bunch of jerks) and so off to hospital for her and so Beans found Liesl suckling his neck because she missed mommy and they wouldn't let him or the dog stay in the hospital, or both of them together stay in the hospital (jerks.)(Seriously. Laying in our bed all alone and wake up to Liesl sucking my neck in her sleep and crying because mommy wasn't there.  Which matched me crying because mommy wasn't there.  I am.... a blubber-butt.)
Well, we all survived that particular brand of horror, and Liesl self-taught herself to alert to all the wonderful, new and exciting side effects of a deep brain bleed.  Like inability to control body temp, seizures, fluctuating blood sugars and, well, don't ever get a bleed on top of your central brain core, m-kay?  Yay, Liesl.  Good girl.
And when Mrs. A got a massive gut infection from another operation (“Oh, that’s normal post op swelling.” Yeah, sure.  (insert mental video clip of gates of Hell flooding out)) Li-Li alerted us to that, too.  So years and years of Her taking care of Mrs. A. and getting along with Beans.  Seriously saving Mrs. A from stupid crap like other dogs and the occasional seizure and fracked up blood sugars and such.  Good girl, goooood girl.
Then Beans went bad.  Like, really bad in a non-evil, life sucks way.  And Liesl thought she could fix Daddy by climbing up on Daddy and holding him down (all 116lbs of her) for hours and hours until Daddy eventually got better.  And Liesl was right.  She fixed Daddy.
All this time she was sweet, and adorable and quiet, never barking except at thunderstorms in her sleep or a short 'Hey' type bark to get our attention.  And she would gum me most fulsomely (people were always asking about her biting me, and I would just cram my fingers in her mouth and she would gum me.)  She never bit or clamped down, but lipped us like a horse does.  And we took her to the hospital with us, and she stayed with Mrs. A. except the one time Mrs. A was in the ICU (and the ass-hats at my work got pissed at me for taking her to work until my mom could come dog-sit.)  Liesl went everywhere we did, except for Radiology and Surgery.

Late September 2017, Liesl started tripping over her left front paw, and then started licking the paw when she was laying down.  Eventually Beans got the picture, and took her to a vet, which resulted in her losing a toe to cancer.  And then after recovering from that, in November she lost another toe to that evil thing.   After that, she was back to herself, slightly lopsided from missing two toes, but still running and pulling and taking care of her humans.  And Christmas with the whole family at the ancient Floridian family home was wonderful.
Come mid January, 2018, the evil returned.  And the vet gave the news that no more operations were possible, and gave Li-li about a month or so to live.  And told us we’d know when it was time. And one of her remaining toes disappeared into a tumor that slowly grew.
So Beans twice daily washed and dressed her foot, rebandaging (paper towels, wrapped around tumor, covered by 2 lady socks, with a dog shoe over the whole thing) and giving her pain meds (piece of bread, smear with mayo, fold over, break into two pieces, insert pills in the fold, let Liesl the horse dog swallow.)  And Liesl kept on taking care of Mrs. A and Beans and continuing her campaign to grind Beans' left patella to dust by grinding her back on it while turning over like a dufus.  Or her continuing campaign to castrate Beans by nut-punching him with her rear legs while asleep and chasing rabbits (seriously, running in sleep, eyes open, snoring like a banshee snoring, somedays I wanted to wear a cup to bed, 10 friggin years of at least once a week getting racked, yay me.)
Until Sunday, June 3rd (I am beginning to dread Sundays, bad things happen to me on Sundays,) when her rear legs gave out and made it hard to stand, walk, pee or anything else that needs rear leg usage, and she didn’t want to eat.  And it was time.
So, Monday, June 4th, after a wonderful day spent with her laying on both of us and everyone sharing lots and lots of love, I got the splendid and most wonderful task of doing what no real person wants to do.   We bundled her into the van (a newer one than the one before) and loaded up Mrs. A and Lurch the Chair and drove to the rainbow bridge.
Sorry for the depressing post, but I dare not burden Mrs. Andrew too much with my pain as she’s in too much already.
And no pics because Liesl took horrible pictures and Mrs. A’s phone ate the only good ones we had.
So, picture a 116lb German-stock Rottweiler with the softest mouth ever  doing that silly Rottweiler smile and just a big black-and-tan marshmallow, and that’s Liesl.

Liesl

Born:  sometime late 2007, early 2008
Entered Our Lives:  January 17, 2009
Left Our Lives:  June 4, 2018

She saved Mrs. Andrew from the world and she saved Beans from himself.

42 comments:

  1. I have known several Rotties, and every one was a big sweetie. Dumber than a box of rocks, but very sweet of disposition.

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    1. Liesl was much smarter than a box of rocks. She let the ball come to a complete stop before running over and picking it up. And she taught herself most of her 'tricks', like finding mommy's pillow and she even knew which shoe to pick up, right or left. Walking with her we could announce 'right turn' and she'd go to the right in perfect formation (most of the time.)

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    2. She must have been smart. Knowing right from left is rather impressive. Shoes really don't look that much different. A remarkable dog!

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    3. Very. And to sense the insignificant changes from 'thinking clearly' to 'something's not quite right' is, well, I could only see the changes in the missus, post brain-bleed, after they got too far to easily correct (usually by making her drink 2 bottles of water and putting her to bed with a handful of melatonin, sleep and flushing kidneys allowed her brain to re-set.) Damned impressive thing to see Liesl alerting to what was 'nothing, really' when, in fact, it was very much something.

      Mrs. Andrew is better now. She's really like something out of a sci-fi flick. Her body's ability to self-repair and reroute around damage is absolutely amazing. Plus, she actually wanted to marry me, which is more amazing.

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  2. Between yesterday and today, there is spike in nose blowing and eye wiping here in Philly.

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    1. Yeah, mine started Sunday, with me trying (and failing) to be 'Big Tough Guy with Stiff Upper Lip. And the weird thing is I see her on the bed out of the corner of my eyes. And I feel her. which, of course, makes the eyes run yet again.

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  3. Sorry for your loss Andrew. Hang in there, Prayers for the three of you.

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    1. Thank you. We're hanging in, so far. I have a tendency to not express bad emotions which gets me in trouble down the line, but so far I've been doing a good job of washing the negativity away. The long process of knowing this was eventually going to happen did not help much. At all. So we'll just keep stumbling along and getting better each day.

      Now Liesl can join the previous SD, Brigit, and my older sister and my dad and the host of cats and grandma Cone and grandpa W and the legion of ancestors I never got to meet. 2nd Lt. Gordon Cone, USMC, will be there. And waiting to see me one day.

      Weird how thoughts of death and the afterlife get more pronounced with the increase in years.

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  4. A beautiful tribute to a faithful companion.

    Allergies seem to be acting up today...

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    1. The worst of it is I will reach down to scratch her ears or pet her nose and I swear to God I feel her there and then I look and nothings there and then it gets hard to see out of my eyes and...

      Dang-it. Thanks for being there for me.

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  5. Never fails to amaze me how many times a "pet" becomes more than that. Thanks to this post Beans I now have an image of a large pup happily pulling a wheelchair for Mrs. Andrews.....the three of you had nine years together..... (sniff)....

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    1. Oh, she was more than a pet. She was my emotional sink and Mrs. Andrew's arms, legs, pain sensor (Liesl would tell me when Mrs. A was toughing it out with pain) and her rock to hold onto when Beans wasn't around.

      The first day at Gulf Wars in 2009 she pulled so hard the 400lb rated carabiner that held her leash to the chair snapped like it was made out of balsa wood. Which resulted in Beans running up to Hattiesburg to the Home Despot and getting a 1k rated chain link. Strong front quarters, like a bull. At the spear tourney two days later she so wanted to pick up the giant sticks that she was bouncing (not barking, she was quiet as a mouse all her life) about 4' in the air. Finally I let her grab my spear, which she put in her mouth, then looked at me as if to say, "This thing is Heavy!" and spit it out and settled down. Most everyone else was enjoying the show, and lots of big tough fighter dudes were fawning all over my wife and dog because they were missing their dogs. Except for one of the banes of my existence in the SCA, who apparently, for being a big, tough stick jock, was scared of my mush-melon of a pup.

      My wife's previous dog would pick up chunks of logs and carry them into the house. Liesl had such a delicate mouth. Man...

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  6. Very unfair reputation; every Rottie I have ever met was a big mush. They say (or I say) you only get one great dog in your life, but the second great dog can be pretty good too.

    Sorry for your loss of such an amazing friend and helper.

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    1. Thanks, joeh.

      One of the merchants at Gulf Wars was also one of my friends and did Shutzhund training (along with a host of other things, a real Renaissance Man) and he loved Rotties. Said that Liesl was the gentlest one he ever met.

      One day at a time... dammit.

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  7. Dang it Beans, I hate crying so early in the day. Have a friend who had a Rottie that was just a big ol' softie. Judge would put his head in your lap and moan until you scratched his ears. He lost an encounter with a train that ran close to the back of their property.

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    1. Thanks, Flugelman.

      Liesl always loved it when I grabbed her cheeks right behind her ears and just mangled them in my mitts. Eyes rolled back, tongue hanging out, drool drooling, moaning like a banshee with a stuck toe. That, and a high intensity butt scrub right at the base of her tail nub, which would make her go all serious looking, except for the tongue going in and out about an inch in time with the strokes.

      Funny, she could run into things with her big sledgehammer head and not react. Touch her rear flanks and she'd do this pitiful little yip. And she loved using that sledgehammer head as a sledgehammer to try to make my lower legs softer. Which would result in me putting a pillow over my abused legs. She was definitely the smarter of us two.

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  8. A marvelous and deeply moving tribute to man's, and woman's, best and truest friend. Liesl was far more than a pet, she was clearly a full fledged member of the family. I mourn for your loss. Senator George Vest would have known and loved Liesl. https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/VestDog.pdf

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    1. Thank you. Right now I know I am upset because I am back to stuttering. But at least when my fingers stutter I can correct. Hate this stuff, but one thing Liesl did was get me to acknowledge and express my emotions besides anger, and she helped me control that particular demon. (Beans is a haunted, not nice person trying to be the person his wife and his dog want him to be.)

      And thank you for that piece of history. It's interesting that at one time we didn't have complete jerks and walking sphincter muscles in elected positions. I'm going to save that. And try to find "Greyfriars Bobby" on the tele, no, that would hit Mrs. A too hard. (Right now I have the fun task of fast-forwarding past all the end-of-life parts in her vet shows, okay our vet shows.)

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  9. It hurts... I know. But you will see her again.

    With tears,
    Jim

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    1. Thank you. I will, but what's weird and kind of freaky is I see her out of the corner of my eyes on the bed, and can feel her head laying on my feet.

      And, yeah, it hurts. Which means I am a better man than I think I am, at least that's what Mrs. Andrew tells me.

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  10. Loss of a family member is always cause for great sadness, but your account of your life together preserves the great joy you all shared together. Thank you for telling us about Liesl, and we will all remember her too.
    John Blackshoe

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  11. The loss of a four legged family member is every bit a heart wrenching as the loss of any other beloved family member.

    My heart goes out to you and Mrs. A.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. Thank you, Paul. It's like I am missing my right leg or something. I can still feel her next to me. Phantom dog syndrome. Not as weird as some of the spooky stuff I've dealt with, but, well, still kinda spooky, in a good way.

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  12. RAINBOW BRIDGE

    There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. 
    It is called Rainbow Bridge because of its many splendid colors. 
    Just this side of Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills, 
    and valleys with lush, green grass. 
    When beloved pets die, they go to this place. 
    There is always food and water and warm spring weather. 
    The old and frail animals are young again. 
    Those who are maimed are made whole again. 
    They play all day with each other. 
    There is only one thing missing. 
    They are not with their special person who loved 
    them on earth. 
    So each day they run and play. 
    Until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up! 

    The nose twitches. 
    The ears are up! 
    The eyes are staring. 
    And this one suddenly runs from the group. 
    You have been seen! 
    And when you and your special friend meet, 
    you take him in your arms and embrace. 
    Your face is kissed again and again and again, 
    and you look once more more into the eyes of your trusting pet. 
    Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together... 
    Never again to be separated.



    Condolence on the loss of your family member.

    - Victor

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    1. Thank you. That was wonderful. It's how I feel, too.

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    2. Makes me cry every time I read it, but yes, it's the way I feel as well.

      Thanks Victor, I love that poem.

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  13. Aw Beans , that is really , really sad news...this isn't very uplifting but does capture the emotions..

    The Power of the Dog

    Rudyard Kipling

    There is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

    Buy a pup and your money will buy
    Love unflinching that cannot lie—
    Perfect passion and worship fed
    By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
    Nevertheless it is hardly fair
    To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

    When the fourteen years which Nature permits
    Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
    And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
    To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
    Then you will find—it’s your own affair—
    But . . . you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

    When the body that lived at your single will,
    With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!).
    When the spirit that answered your every mood
    Is gone—wherever it goes—for good,
    You will discover how much you care,
    And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

    We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
    When it comes to burying Christian clay.
    Our loves are not given, but only lent,
    At compound interest of cent per cent.
    Though it is not always the case, I believe,
    That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve.
    For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
    A short-time loan is as bad as a long—
    So why in—Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

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    1. Aw, man, you Kiplinged me. Dashnabit, now I'm gonna cry.

      Thanks. Kipling is one of my favorite writers.

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    2. Yup, another beautiful poem. Damned allergies...

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    3. Kippled, Beans. You were Kippled. I don't know why OldAFSarge Kippled you, but I suppose it's a senior NCO thang. I never got to that school afore taking my leave. There are times I regret that, 'cept that I'd h'v never met my wife 'less I left the service. Had I been able to arrange staying in AND meeting my wife -- she'd have been agreeable. She thinks she missed a lot by not growing up like I did, though she hates the thought of an unaccompanied deployment like some of my friends and her father did (of course, her father commanded a Marine rifle platoon, then company, in Vietnam, so he certainly had it harder than Bagram AB or King Khalid AB).

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    4. I knew I got the term wrong, but didn't want to take the 10 seconds to look it up. And really, is there ever a time not to Kipple someone, or quote Poe?

      Dependent life in the military can be a very trying thing. In John Ringo's "Claws that Catch", there is a very serious discussion of military dependent life, why it is so different, and how it can enhance or ruin the serving member, even down to the dreaded 'wives clubs' and the roles they play. I knew a lot about it, growing up in the culture, but Ringo kind of solidified and codified it for me.

      And now there are whole families where both spouses serve, which tosses a whole different dynamic on the table. I even know one family where husband is Air Force and wife is Navy. I think they see each other about once a month or so. Crazy, but they both love each other and they are raising good kids (he's just an admin puke, grounded after a bad leg injury from being a DAT, so he's doing the raising and she's the one on deployment all the time.) Weird world we live in, isn't it?

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  14. Lord Byron was a punk-ass kid, but he loved his Newfoundland, Bo'sun. A friend of his penned Bo'sun's epitaph:

    Near this spot rests one who possessed
    Beauty without vanity
    Courage without ferocity
    Beauty without vanity
    And all of Man's virtues
    Without any of his vices

    Byron had a headstone made with this inscription. He was a punk-ass kid, but this kind of redeems him.

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    1. Thanks, Borepatch. Yes, Byron was a PAK, but couldn't be all bad if a Newfie loved him.

      Mrs. Andrew's first service dog was a Newfoundland/German Shepard mix. Brigit was definitely the wife's dog, and accepted my existence. Damned dog was wonderful, could lift a log. And swim like there was no tomorrow. Her passing hurt Mrs. Andrew because she came out of the house and collapsed at my wife's feet, staying alive just long enough to say goodbye.

      But I wasn't as attached to Brigit as I was Liesl. Liesl really was our dog. And now I have to live up to who my wife and Liesl think I am, not who I know I am.

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    2. Don't I know that feeling, Beans...

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    3. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm more of a cat person, but our cats get so much attention they're a lot like dogs, people say. At least once they get over their fear of the strange. I'd like a to get a dog, but the missus isn't amenable at this time. :(

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    4. Larry, I am a cat person also, but, well, gosh-darned it, for some reason people look at you like you're crazy when you harness up 12 cats like a dog-sled team to your wheelchair...

      I like cats a lot. But it's more like having a roommate than having an extra part of you like a service dog is.

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  15. So Beans, don't we have some great and wonderful people who visit us here?

    It's family we are.

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    1. Yes, so many wonderful people. Thank you all. Salt of the Earth, all of you. Definitely a family.

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  16. A little late to this post because of a road trip and band concert.
    I’ve nothing profound, but the memories will serve you well, eventually.

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    1. Thanks, not necessarily my Uncle Skip.

      Started writing this thing last week as I knew when the time came it would be hard. One of those premonition things, I guess. And what you wrote after you said nothing profound is quite profound. Once the grief and the weird phantom feelings of her next to us is gone, the memories will serve us well. Actually, they serve me well now. She would never allow me to get too mopey and inward-turned. Sometimes she would actually push me down and beat on me with her head until I noticed her. So I've got that memory of being crushed under her while she'd pound me into un-unhappiness. So, in order to not disappoint her spirit, I have to keep moving, forward, ever forward, and remember to be 'up' which is hard as I have that Germanic doom-and-gloom thing down pat.

      As OldAFSarge said just above, having this strange, wonderful 'family' out there of people is wonderful. You, all of you, are better than the 'physical' friends that I have that kinda have drifted off as my life has turned weird in the last few years.

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  17. Ok. I am running a day late, but work has been very busy, so I am making hay (money) while the sun is shining.

    Beans, you and Mrs. A have my most sincere condolences. I am so very sorry for your loss.

    For me, loosing my shelties 3 months apart was so very hard, especially the first one as she was "mine"...or was it I was "her's? She was truly the smartest dog I have ever met, and I have had several, and met a bunch more. To this day I get all weepy thinking or talking about her. And it has been almost 10 years now. Darn dusty around here.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)