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little cow

Sorrows

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We lost our beautiful German Shepherd Thursday.  Luther was fine the night before.  He seemed fine when he went outside to use the bathroom Thursday morning, but when he came inside, he threw up foamy, thick mucus.  It had no smell.  Alarms triggered as soon as I saw it.  Within an hour and half, he was at the major vet teaching hospital in our area, getting prepped for surgery (it's an hour away).   Unfortunately, his stomach flipped and twisted in such a way that it was too high up and involved his esophagus.  His spleen also wrapped 360 degrees around his stomach.  Blood circulation was cut off for too long.  Not a dang thing we could have done differently.   We follow all the rules about feeding and water (small meals, etc...).  We don't exercise him near mealtimes.  And yet, it still happened.  Large breeds dogs always carry this risk.  Luther would have been 9 years old in July.  I couldn't write this before today.  He was our house pet, farm dog, and our son's best friend.  It is so unfair.  

Many animals on the farm are sad.  It isn't just us.  Nancy the goat, who loved to run the fenceline and rear up as if ready to headbutt him, is taking it hard, too.  All the animals seem quiet and subdued.  It's like they lost their king.  

We still have our beautiful Maddie spaniel, thank goodness.  She is doing okay.  Sticking to us like glue and we take her everywhere we can so she isn't home alone too much.  

Our barn cat, Bagheera, an 11 year old kitty that showed up as a starving kitten, has been laying low for about a week.  When I pet her last night, I felt a hard lump on her scapula.  Bone cancer.  Most likely from a vaccine.  It has grown very fast.  She still seems mostly normal, but cats are deceptive.  We didn't tell our son, yet.  It's too soon.  If he feels the lump, I'll be honest, but I am not going to tell him while he is still mourning Luther.  I don't know how long she has.  The vet will be out this week.  There is nothing that can be done for sarcoma at vaccine sites in cats.  We were on the conservative vaccine schedule and she still got it.  

We are moving at the end of May.  I always pictured both Luther and Bagheera at the new farm.  :mecry:

If we didn't have Jacob the kitten to distract us, it would be harder right now.  Our son asked why we lost Luther.  I told him God made wolves.  People breed dogs.  We don't always get it right.  

 

Edited by little cow

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So sorry for your loss, LC. My heart goes out to your son.

Edited by Danyel

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LC, Sorry for the loss of Luther.   I'm sure Luther knew he was loved & will be missed.  God Bless & best Wishes. PD

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Thanks, guys.  

We get him back tomorrow.  He was cremated.  We'll bury him at the new farm under a tulip poplar tree I already ordered.  It's 7 feet tall.  Strong and stately, like him.  

Edited by little cow

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LC,  The tulip popular tree sounds like a good way to mark Luther's life.  Our pets  can be a real source of support in our daily lives.                 Best Wishes. PD

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So sorry for your loss - you have a beautiful resting place planned for him.

 

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I’m sad to hear this, seems like a lot of people losing their pets/horses lately. 

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I am sorry for your loss LC. They burrow so deep in our hearts and leave us way to soon.

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Sorry for your loss. Those shepherds really take a special place in your life, and they always leave us way too soon. :huggy:

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We don't know if we will be getting another GSD or a mutt puppy.  Last time we looked for a dog from the local pound and shelters, it was very difficult.  Any dog we were interested in was reserved for someone at the facility.  How many dogs do they need?   Made me wonder if they were adopting them and then selling them off privately.  We like herding types and crosses.  Shouldn't be too hard, but most of the dogs at our local facilities are pit or pit mixes, which we are not interested in.  

So, we will probably go with the breeder we bought from last time.  I spoke with him about Luther and he told us we could let him know in June if we wanted an August puppy.  He has very few litters and his dogs are very healthy and sound in mind and body.  What happened to our dog was chance.  He was so healthy and perfect in all other ways.  

The only other breed we've tossed about, so far, would be a natural Doberman.  Not a herding type, but I've known some really neat ones and I like their sensitivity.  They remind a little of GSDs.  However, I would not want one that had the ears cropped.  It's nasty business for a puppy to go through.  They have nice natural tails, too.  I don't know if anyone in the US has natural dobies.  

Edited by little cow

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LC, we have a GS rescue in our area. They have all ages plus some litters. Might be something like that in your area. We went to the pound for our last dog. It was difficult to walk away from all of them.

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LC, know how you feel about trying to find a pup. There will be a day you are not looking  & a pup will find you. Could be a new neighbor has a oops litter, an Amish guy lists pups in the classified or someone is at the four corners with a box of pups.

Luther will help the Angels guide that perfect pup to your family.

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Danyel, if we want another GSD, we'll go through the breeder, but a cross might be neat.  I wish I could do a rescue, but too many problems in GSDs.  There are so many genetic issues with purebreds in general that it really is better to get a cross, if you aren't buying from a breeder.  Too many purebred pups are dumped for health or behavioral issues after someone buys them from a puppy store/puppy mill.  What discourages us from purebreds is the AKC fighting laws to ban puppy mills.  They ought to be thinking about the dogs and not those registration fees.  

RRW, that was nicely put.  

Edited by little cow

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The ever loved mutts are getting harder to find as they are now expensive designer dogs.  All our dogs have a way of find a way into our home not the other way around.

QB is a shining example of them find us.  Might be today, tomorrow or a year down the road.

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I wish I could wait, but we need one this summer.  Our spaniel is a wonderful companion, but we need a dog that will bark.  I am home alone often enough.

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It is really nice to have a barker on the farm.  Ours is 1/4 mile in from the road & when in the house or working in the yard it is nice to get that warning.

Just about any dominate mixed breed will give the warning.  When Willy was around he did a great just letting us know & that would be the chow in him.  A hound mix will do the same but they love to come home via 5+ counties.

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7 hours ago, little cow said:

I wish I could wait, but we need one this summer.  Our spaniel is a wonderful companion, but we need a dog that will bark.  I am home alone often enough.

 I'm sorry about your dog, we lost our gsd a year ago in June and, it still hurts every time I happen to think about him, which is often.

 We have Pistol now and, he's a big goof ball and he makes me laugh all of the time and, we do love him....it's kinda hard not to make comparisons and, not fair but, I find myself doing just that.

 I'm alone here a lot too and, Pistol not only barks, he goes after the person who happens to find his/her way back here to my very remote property.....out here, though, the philosophy is, don't go poking around where you don't belong, if you don't want to get bitten.

 Too bad dogs don't live as long as people.... Chopper was just a couple of months older than your Luther...way too early to say goodbye.

Edited by equicrzy

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I'm sorry about Chopper, equicrazy.  I'm glad you have Pistol.  I suppose you will never own a Cremepuff or Milquetoast?   ;)

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Thanks little cow....haha, my husband and I always say, how all of our dogs end up being the same with people, they seem to like other animals, but, not people....it must be us, how else could so many dogs turn out the same?

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We are considering a Bouvier.  Might have to wait for one.  I can't think about another GSD without thinking about Luther.  I don't think that's fair.  He was perfect.  How could another GSD live up to that?  We need time to heal.  

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We knew a local business owner who had a bouvier.  He was a laid back dog, friendly to guests.  The owner said when outside he would give warnings.

Good luck in your search.  You will find the right pup for your family & farm.

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4 hours ago, little cow said:

We are considering a Bouvier.  Might have to wait for one.  I can't think about another GSD without thinking about Luther.  I don't think that's fair.  He was perfect.  How could another GSD live up to that?  We need time to heal.  

 I know exactly what you mean.  We waited 3 months to get another one...it probably wasn't enough time and, I do make those comparisons...no, not fair.

 Pistol is coming along nicely, though, he doesn't need a leash outside (on our property) he comes right back when called, all I have to do is say, " let's go inside," and he follows me to the back door.

 I hope you find another dog you can think as much of, as Luther, LC.

 

 

Edited by equicrzy

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Thanks, guys. 

It's funny, I know Luther had his faults (he must have) but my mind remembers him as perfect.  When I think of all the work it takes to bring up a puppy, it seems daunting.  I know that's why I'm not ready.  When I start looking forward to the challenge again, I know that's when it's time.  Right now, all I can think of is how well trained Luther was and how much I miss his goofiness and work ethic.  Even at almost nine, he and I would play bow and wrestle.  He thought he was still a little puppy when he bounced up to me.  He also laid on his back, tucked up his paws, and look at me like he was just a cute, little puppy.  Nevermind his upside down head and the lips flopped to each side showing his big teeth.  I miss my big wolfy dog.  

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I remember when you got Luther.  I am very sorry for your loss.  The emptiness is the worst.  

I know some connections with bouviers.  They have alot of work needed on their coats.  The wire coat requires stripping and scissoring. 

Have you ever looked into Belgian Tervurens?  My daughter has shown several, this breed tends to be very devoted to their people and the people that I know that have them, love them incredibly.  They can also be a jack of all trades.  Their coat work and grooming is not too bad, my daughter loves bathing and blowing them out.  They are also not a breed divided into a working and show type.  We have a good friend who is a breeder actually.  They are not the same as a Belgian Shepherd.  

http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/belgian-tervuren/

We are not really into herding breeds but my daughter speaks very highly of Tervs after working with them and traveling with them and she has been around more than a handful.  If I was to get a herding breed it would be a Swedish Vallhund. 

 

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LC, we haven't had our Mickey for about 7 yrs now & I still talk about her like she was here yesterday.  They leave a mark in our hearts that never goes away.

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