Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
Duncan crashed over the weekend. The paralysis in his forelegs (caused by some sort of damage to his spinal cord) rapidly spread to his rear legs as well. By this morning, he could no longer walk at all and was completely miserable. The nerve damage was progressive and irreversible.
We had planned to run some tests this morning but once Duncan took this tragic turn over the weekend, the tests became a moot point. Dr. B called me with the bad news. The decision to euthanize Duncan was devastating but also clear-cut. Dogs typically do fine with three legs. Some even do fine with two (through the use of doggie wheelchairs). But no working limbs at all? That one's a deal-breaker. And so it was that I left work and headed to the clinic to say good bye to Dunk.
Nearly 900 dogs have passed through our rescue. There were just four dogs that I gave some serious consideration to keeping: Griffin, Kenny, Duncan, and Benny. Interestingly, all were males and three of the four were white.
You'd think that after 15 years of fostering, saying good-bye would get a little easier. Or maybe you'd think I'd protect my heart a little more, not get so attached. Well, I can't apologize for my tender heart. I'm just me.
As I sit here at home, with white fur on my sweater from hugging Dunk before and after his death, all I can do is to hope he knew I really tried to do right by him. I don't know where he came from or how old he was or what happened to him, but I do know that I loved him so. Wherever he is now, I like to think he's running on all four legs - possibly feeling just a little bit relieved that I didn't have a chance to neuter him before he died.
I'll miss you, Duncan. You were a good boy. No matter what, I do not regret meeting you and loving you.