Our beloved dog Grace, a 15 year old Australian Shepherd, succumbed last Thursday to a progressive neurological disease that was inhibiting her breathing. While we had thought she had arthritis for the past year, it turns out it was the beginning of the illness along with her arthritis. I am grateful I didn’t know that since she was happy and I was not anticipating her decline. In the end she only dealt with severe symptoms for 10 days. I had hoped she could die naturally at home, but in this disease a dog dies from not being able to breathe. That was appalling, so we chose to use a veterinarian in the end.
Needless to say it has taken a toll on us all. She was a loving member of the family, with us since her days as a rambunctious puppy brought from upstate New York as she slept peacefully in the back seat. At that time she joined our dog Tess, now also gone, and was a great playmate for her. We realized, too late, that we have never had just one dog, so it is very quiet–too quiet–right now.
In a while we will contact the woman active with the Australian Shepherd club and begin the search for another puppy. No dog ever replaces another as we know from having lost four in our marriage. But we are definitely dog people and will be again.