I had not realized that I had not made a single post in February, but I suppose this is not surprizing. Daniel has a dog named Jake, a large male purebred German Shepherd that we rescued one Fourth of July about an hour before planned euthanization. We had seen the dog the week before and waited for the owner or someone to come for him. We could not leave such a majestic animal there to die. Taking him wasn't a bright thing to do as we already had other male dogs on the farm. In addition, Jake, who should have been about 100 lbs, was only 33. We thought heartworm was also a real possibility. We wook a chance and found that he not only didn't have heartworm, but that once his parasites were cleared, he gained weight just fine. He would follow Daniel, and all of us. Four years ago the vet told us that Jake might not make it through the winter. She cited that he was of advanced age and that hip issues and other disorders would affect a shepherd as old at ten. We put him on glucosamine chondroitin and vitamins and we were careful that he did not overdo. He really looked wonderful and functioned very well.
In February, Jake at 14, had a stroke. He was unable to use his rear legs, was newly incontinent, and had trouble eating and drinking. Because he was not in pain, we did not euthanize, but instead brought him in the house, hand fed him chicken and held his water dish so he could get it. We placed him on pillows with chux and turned him every 2 hours during the day. We kept him clean with baby wipes etc. He was not in pain and was cooperative and I think appreciative. This took almost all of our time. As the vet had indicated, he did improve slightly each day over that week, but one evening, I noticed his breathing was slightly labored. I told him that if Jesus came, or Daniel came to get him that he should go, and that we were very grateful for all the time we had with him here. We told him that we would be ok with his looking after Daniel in Heaven. A few minutes later, he was quietly gone. Jake looked peaceful and beautiful, and Daniel has his shepherd with him once again.
We will miss our dear faithful friend but know he joins Daniel and other beloved animals from this farm. We are lucky to have had him here, and fourteen years for a German Shepherd purebred is quite remarkable.
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