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Someplace else to be

I’ll start with the punchline, so you’re not lulled into thinking this is a happy post. Nick and I took Grendel to the vet this morning and had him put to sleep. Renal failure, finally, but he’s been steadily getting more elderly (and not just older): failing hips, heart murmur. The walks have been getting shorter and shorter, and this past week he wasn’t really eating and could barely get up. We didn’t know we weren’t bringing him home – the last few days could have been primarily hip-related – but we suspected, at least a little.

Grendel was twelve, and he had pretty much as good a life as a dog could have. I’ve been sorting through the photos of him, trying to pick out my favorites. It was just about impossible. But I noticed something: nearly all of the photos fell into three types: snuggling, looking alertly at someone in the pack to see what we’re doing next, or trying to lead us off over the next hill. He was a wonderful sweet dog.

From the day we got him.

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Obedient to cats.

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Eager and attentive.

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Snuggly.

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Tolerant.

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Right up until yesterday, when he and the cat were both ignoring the brand new orthopedic dog bed.

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I’m going to be listening for clattering in the hallway for a long time.

C’mon, hurry up! I have someplace else to be!

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(More photos here.)