Photo Comments Sex: Male Weight: 26-50 lbs
Leave a bone for Dakota 2000-2009
Dogster stats for Dakota 2000-2009
D-Dog, Old Man
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May 10th 2000
Being With Me
grouchy other dogs
Tennis Balls and his nylabone..hands down
He could beg like a seal and shake paws
I bought my dog, Dakota, when I was approx 7 months pregnant. I had insisted to my new husband that I was ready for my "own" dog. I'd had a shelter rescue when I was a child and after having to put him down due to a nerological disorder, I hadnt had another since. Sure, we had my husband's Akita, Cheyanne, but she was all my husband's dog..100%. I was picky to, I wanted a "silver" blue merle Australian Cattle Dog with an eyepatch and I wanted a male. My husband contacted a breeder in Florida and I was excited to discover she had ONE pup left..a silver blue merle with an eyepatch..male and pick of the litter. We arranged payment and shipping to NJ, where we lived at the time. He arrived one cold and rainy friday AM and we drove to Philadelphia to pick him up. he had completly shredded the newspaper that lined his crate and had this half crazed look in his eyes. Took him home, where he promptly peed on the floor. I absolutely adored him.
Dakota had a pretty adventerous life. He accompanied me to work each day as office manager for my father's budding business. He spent the day curled up under my feet while I kept the books, took phone calls and the like. The business was still at that time run out of their house, but I felt safe having Dakota with me, as the house was empty during the day. We had afew emergency room visits..one where he got bit by a spider and the whole side of his face swelled up. The other time was when he was trying to "help" me put my horse away and ended up getting kicked in the face..he sat there, tail wagging, smiling, with his lip hanging off his face..the day before christmas eve. He had to have minor surgery the next day and of course charmed all the girls at the office so well that they let him loose out of his crate and he spent the day roaming the vet's office til I picked up the booger after work.
Dakota spent the time I was in the hospital having my son at my mother's house. My mother told me afterward he sat at the door and would wait, like he expected me to walk through at any moment. He'd play alittle with my mother's blue heeler, Maggie, who was the same age, but would then go back to the door and wait.
He took the new baby, my son Casey, very well. I took my maternity leave and Dakota accompanied me and Casey each morning to feed our horses, announcing his pressense by catipulting from the car and running after the one horse he knew would run from him, barking up a storm..all the while me telling him to knock it off, which he did evetually, but he never trusted those horses and any false move was leeway(in his mind) to chase. I did finally get it under control after alot of sweat and tears, but it was a LONG road.
When I went back to work, Dakota came with me, as did Casey. The business had moved to a warehouse in town..in a not so great neighborhood. I was by myself alot in the office and like before, I took solace in the fact Dakota was there. The italians who ran the restaurant in the shopping center in front of the warehouses knew to wait til I gave the "all clear" to open the door to bring my lunch in..lest they open to early and be met with a very annoyed barking Dakota.
Dakota rode in the backseat of our dually with me and Casey when we moved to Texas due to my husband's re-assignment. I continued to work out of the house for my father's business for another 3 years, while dakota, as always, was under my feet while I worked. Sometimes he'd snore, sometimes he had really bad gas..but I knew he was there. He also helped me with the livestock, although one time he left me in a chute full of corriente steers and took off to go cool off in the stagnant stock pond..after that, he was retired from livestock working. But, as the photo of him shows, he figured out how much easier it was to move horses while on their back then on the ground. :)
I went back to work outside of the house and Dakota got extremly annoyed. He would delibertly poop on the carpet if I left him...so he got crated when I had to leave. :) I know this foiled his plan of making me regret leaving him home, but the truth was, I would have been happy to take him with me if I'd been allowed!
Dakota participated with me in a "get fit" program ran by my work last summer. My boss and I, along with Dakota, would walk after work at the town park. Dakota loved it..he got to eyeball the geese and ducks and sniff lots of smells..he was tired when we got home, but he was so incrediably happy!
Dakota started to slow down late last year..he moved alittle stiffer. I realized my dear dog was getting old. He was 9, but just seemed to be aging.
In March of this year, on a routine vet visit, a large mass was found on his spleen. Splenic cancer was the diagnosis, the most aggressive form of cancer a dog can get. I was given 2 options that day...the vet could perform exploratory surgery, but he stressed even if he COULD remove the mass, this form of cancer was so aggressive, it would not buy him more then afew months. Plus the surgery was intense, and the recovery long. Or, I could take him home, enjoy him, show him the good life and let him tell me when its time. I turned each option over in my mind and I came to the conclusion Dakota would rather spend his last days his normal self then bandaged and delegated to crate recovery time.
I changed his diet to a cancer fighting one, low on carbs and sugar..he enjoyed cooked meals versus kibble. I also put him on a senior vitamin to help with the slight anemia he had and to help his hips feel better. I played ball til he tired, took him for walks. I also discovered Cesar Millan in Jan of this year and started encorporating his ideas into handling my "pack". I put alot of effort into Dakota, realizing alot of excitability and problems(the chasing) related back to ME. I took the role as "Pack leader" in my house, not just to Dakota, but also to Maggie, who know lives with us, our houndmix Lulu, and my Aussie/BC puppy Kate. Dakota astounded me. He relished the leadership I gave him. He QUIT chasing the horses! He quit bullying the other dogs. I even taught him to shake..this is something that had eluded us since he was a puppy..it was something I could NEVER get him to do! He mastered it in ONE session!
He went another 4 weeks..and then 2 weeks ago (on April 17th), I came home and within a 20 minute timeframe he went from his usual ornery self to laying on the floor, barely able to stand, panting and breathing very fast with large drawn out sighs. I called the emergency vet hospital in town and drove him in..his gums and tounge were white and he couldnt even sit up without falling over.. He could not even walk, I had to carry him. the vet on call took one look at him and shook her head.He was bleeding internally. She ran through the options the other vet had..but she hinted towards the fact of a grim prognosis. I guess half of me knew that this day would come, but the other half said that I did not want to loose him. This dog and I were ONE, Id shared every recent memory with HIM..I loved him more then life itself. It hurt my heart SO much to have to make that choice to put him down...What sealed my descion was when he looked at me while I stroked his head with this look that said "I know you will do the right thing for me, no matter how much it hurts you." I knew then what needed to happen and I needed to put my selfish reasons aside and do what was best for dakota then. I held his head while the vet started to administer the medicine..as soon as she insterted the needle into the cathedar, Dakota pulled his head around and buried it in my chest.. He loved me so much, there was no other place or person he'd rather be with when he left this world then me and no place Id rather be then right there with him.
I buried him in the back of our pasture next to my husband's beloved Akita and my first horse, Miami. I had a plaque engraved for his grave marker and I am going to commission a portrait of him. I also made a "memory box" which is a tall wooden box with slots for photos on all sides..I put photos of us together in the slots and put his collars, tags and his favorite chewed up slimy tennis ball in the box. the first few days were utterly awful. I caught myself whistling for him or looking for him under my feet while I watched TV. And early this week was hard as I attempted to work with an ornery cow and could have really used his help, even though he was "retired" I knew I could count on him for stuff like that.
Dogs like Dakota are simply one in a million..he was ornery, bossy, bullheaded, half crazy..but he was also loyal, protective and constant. If there is one thing in life that remains constant, its our dogs. I am proud to say, Dakota left this life a GREAT dog. May the spaces be open, the cows be ornery, and the tennis balls be plentiful in heaven old man.
In the arms of the angel
The Last Forum I Posted In:
Australian Cattle Dog questions.
I've Been On Dogster Since:
|May 11th 2009
||More than 5 years!
Rosette, Star and Special Gift History
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