sturgeonslawyer (sturgeonslawyer) wrote,

Josie (2002-2014)

I had to put my dog Josie down yesterday.

(I hate that euphemism. I don't even like "euthanasia." The fact is, we paid the vet to kill her.)

She came to our house in 2003, when my daughter found a Rottweiler puppy running loose in Alameda's skate park, no leash, no collar. We advertised but found no owner. Our theory is that she was a Christmas puppy who got too big or was too much trouble.

She was big, too; at her peak she was nearly a hundred pounds of muscle and bone (and, presumably, a little brain, though she didn't demonstrate it more than absolutely necessary). She was a beautiful Rottweiler; the vets constantly remarked on this, and on what a sweet girl she was.

Well, except with other dogs. Twice she got loose and damaged other people's dogs, forcing us to put in iron fencing. She was strong, and broke leads easily, so this was the only way to keep her in the yard.

She learned the basics like "sit," "down," and "go get it" (she was especially good at that one). Her special trick was the puzzled look she would put on when we said, "Josie, cogitate."

She had a bad cruciate ligament that made her limp in her rear leg. Actually, she had two, but we had one fixed so she could walk with a degree of comfort.

Then a few months ago she started limping in the front. I didn't pay it much attention at first, but then a few weeks ago she had, shall we say, digestive issues. I took her to the vet, where they noticed that her front leg was badly swollen. A thorough examination determined that she had a big mass, probably an osteosarcoma (bone cancer).

That was a little over a week ago.

Antiinflammatories and pain meds didn't help much, so on Saturday I made the final appointment. Yesterday the whole family went in with her, petted her, made her feel loved, while the vet gave her first a sedative and then the black shot.

She was a good dog. She got the job done. I miss her already.
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