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Saturday, July 17, 2010
Daniel and our family have many dogs. I think being the youngest child, Daniel was probably closest to them all, especially after the older kids began to head to college. Mark is one of those dogs. We acquired Mark in 2000 from our local pound, just after a dog we got from there, the week before, suddenly died of parvovirus. When we let them know, they asked us to come down and gave us Mark at no charge, before he had actually been checked in, and exposed to the kennels where parvo was presently a problem. (Apparently, in a parvo rich environment, even an immunized dog can become ill,and possibly die.) The dog had been brought in my the mother of a teenaged daughter. The daughter was also there, and begged the mother not to give him to the pound, but the mother was vehement that the daughter had not taken care of him, and that she had been left to do it. They never knew that I took him that day, in order to prevent his parvovirus exposure. I have often wondered what the implications were to the relationship of the mother and daughter, for I would never do something my daughter so clearly begged me not to. Mark settled in pretty well at our house. He was an apparent black labrador and weimaraner mix, who looked more like a black lab than anything else.
When we did some (human) fostercare in 2001, Mark was hit on the head with a rock by a foster child, sustained a fractured skull, and spent a week the veterinary critical care center. He emerged but remained on two anti-seizure medicines twice daily for the remainder of his life. He was also plagued by allergies, and ear and skin issues,which although were expensive, were our pleasure to help to treat.
In November, 2009, Mark had a stroke which rendered him unable to walk using his back legs. He still ate, drank, enjoyed interacting, and so we declined to euthanize him. Although his care could be time consuming, we were happy to do this, especially for one of "Daniel's dogs". Mark did remarkably well and had no seizures during this post stroke time. Ultimately, Mark lived in an air conditioned room in our barn watching a flat screen tv, getting better reception than we do at the house owing to the metal barn roof. We would visit him often,being him special food, and watch tv with him, although Mark liked the weather channel and would carry on if you changed it, and we liked other programming. This week we hatched chicks in the hall outside Mark's room. Despite his own lifecoming to a close, he remained interested, and occasionally that tail would still wag. Mark had an excellent life, and took his last breath late yesterday afternoon. The vet had allowed us to let him pass without euthanization as long as we were able to continue his care, and he was not in inordinate pain. He did receive pain medication in the last couple of months.
Today, Daniel and my Dad have Mark with them. We were blessed to have such a wonderful loving dog, blessed to have him with us for so long despite his issues, and blessed that he passed without any more discomfort than he had. Thankyou God. Godspeed Mark !