In late March of 1992, Dad drove with a man he knew to Fieldstone, Tennessee where they were each picking up a Vizsla they had bought. Dad got a male, the man, a female. Dad’s whole life he had had Vizslas and we had had dogs, but none that we kept for their whole lives. That weekend Dad went I was at Macinac Island with my girl scout troop. When I got home, I got to meet our beautiful golden brown puppy. He had bright blue eyes.
Through the years he has been a friend, a part of the family, another child and I can’t imagine our family without him. He has always jumped into Uncle Gary’s arms (literally) the minute he sees him so that Uncle Gary can either get knocked over by him or catch him and hold him like a baby. He will get in the pool and make splashes with a front foot so that he can bite at them. When he was a puppy we taught him to play hide and seek with us. He was good. He was playing with us in the backyard one day, stepped in a hole and broke his foot. When he was a puppy, whoever docked his tail didn’t do it right and he had a bone sticking out of it until we got it fixed. He had to wear a big white cone around his head for about a month to keep him from chewing on it. From that he was given (and started answering to) the nickname “dishhead.” He will run around the backyard chasing large bugs for hours. When he was a puppy and we lived in Michigan he chased snow flakes as they were falling. He once ate an entire pan of brownies Mom had put on the railing of the deck to cool in the winter. He chases shadows, reflections, smoke, bubbles, bugs, and flashlights.
In the last year he has taken a turn for the worse. He is getting old. The average life expectancy for Vizslas is about 12 years. He will be 15 in about 6 months. He will not, however, make it that far. This weekend we had 9 people in our house. He’s trying to play like he used to be able to. He is old though, his hips aren’t working well, he has problems walking, and he has tumors all over his body (like old dogs get). He played a little too hard for a day or two and for the last two days has not been able to lift the back part of his body on his own. With help, he is able to stand and then he can hold himself up. He has been standing on the stairs of the pool, it’s probably easier – less weight for him to hold up. Sometimes someone will try to help him up, and he will fall back down. He’s gone outside a couple of times and just laid in the grass because he can’t get back in. He lays wherever he is in the house and barks because he wants to be with everyone in the center of everything, but can’t get there. He barks so we know he wants attention. It is annoying, but mostly it is sad. He has such a poor quality of life. Mom and Dad don’t want to put him down, but it’s gotten to the point that they don’t have much of a choice, he can’t move himself around.
This morning Mom made an appointment for him to be euthanized Saturday at 9:30. I am happy I will be out of town. Brian will never get to see him again. Mom’s going to have a hard time. So will Dad, but he will act tough because he has to for Mom. It’s been a good 14 and a half years.