I'd like to tell you about my black lab Spuddy. How he moved into our hearts and never left. We got him in New Mexico. As a military family he was with with us for all of 15 years, except for two long years when we were stationed in Iceland, and he stayed with my brother-in-law in NJ.
From his incredible curiosity, the time he snorted a lightning bug(and the bug continued to light till we got it out), his job as "pillow" for the cats and all the neighborhood kids, to the way he would quietly go lie down whenever my husband got out his deployment bag, which meant he was going away. His incredible connection with my husband stretched all the way around the world. Spud went ballistic one day in 1995. (keep in mind that his nickname was "sandbag" and he was 11 years old at the time.) I was unable to calm him down, he continued whining and crying till the phone rang. It was my husband calling from Saudi Arabia. Spud immediately calmed down. My husband told me not to worry, he had just left the building and he was not hurt. I asked him what in the world he was talking about. He told me to turn on the news. There I saw footage of the coalition headquarters building in Rhiyad which had just been bombed. He and his crew had been in the cafeteria when they were paged back to base 15 minutes before the explosion. Spud knew.
In early 1997 Spud was diagnosed with kidney failure and given 3 months to live. 8 months later we took him to a new vet. In early 1999 his new vet found what he thought was cancer on his spleen; he removed the spleen,but the growth was not cancerous. He was by now very tired and arthritic and having other medical problems. We didn't think he had much time left.
In mid 1999 I went into to the hospital for realitively routine surgery. There were complications, I was in a coma for a few months and finally, 6 months later I came home. I was unable to walk and was still very sick. While I was in the hospital I was so afraid I wouldn't get to see Spud again. But he was there waiting for me when I came home. He was by my side through the long painful process of learning to walk again, and getting my health back.
On the last day of March 2000 we had spent the day with him, riding through the country side with Spring just starting to show...his big old head sometimes out the window, but usually hanging over the back of the back seat watching the road behind us. We went for a short walk by the lake, which was all either of us with our myriad of health problems could handle.
Spud passed away at 11:00 pm that evening, sleeping in front of the fire. He died quietly, the way he lived. No big fuss. We figured his heart just stopped. He had turned 15 the week before.
My husband said he always knew Spud wouldn't leave until I was home, safe, sound, walking and healthy.
Thank you, Boy, We miss you, and I'll see you soon.