I apologize if this post rambles, but I'm a little heartbroken. It has been a hard week for our family. My mom spent Thanksgiving morning at the vet, and learned their 9-year-old Bernese mountain dog had a mass in his spleen the size of a soft ball. Bogey was a sweet big boy, and had issues off and on for years with wobblers. The day after Bogey was gone, Champ's left rear leg began dragging while he walked. He had started standing on the tops of his feet several months ago, but this was different. The degenerative myelopathy progressed quickly over the weekend, and he was shutting down. On December 2nd we had to say goodbye to him.
conditions can cause dogs to roll their feet over and not recognize when
they are standing on the tops of them.
The end was peaceful. The vet was compassionate and went to great lengths to make sure Champ wasn't nervous, letting him stay with us in the car until the sedatives kicked in. He was happy and relaxed.
I miss him. He was so good at communicating - he would herd Lance into the kitchen when it was biscuit time (which was all the time if you asked Champ), let us know when it was meal time beginning at least thirty minutes before meal time, and he demanded car rides on Saturdays. I'm not sure how he always knew when it was Saturday - even when we were off work on Friday - but if he hadn't had his car ride by Sunday he would stand by the leash and stomp his foot while glaring at us. Champ wasn't perfect, but he tried to be. He didn't care for strangers or children, but was excellent with my nephew. He was wonderful with other animals and did a great job raising Bogey and tolerating our tyrant, Annie.