The dog responsible for my being a dog trainer — more specifically a positive reinforcement trainer — died yesterday. Almost 15 years old, Lucky led a full life, but in the end it was his heart that failed him. We knew it would come to this, and I'm comforted by the fact that I was able to be with him when he died.
In August, 2007, our cardiologist diagnosed Lucky with several heart ailments. He gave Lucky 6 – 18 months, but cautioned me that because Lucky's diagnosis was pretty severe, we probably would not see 18 months. Not one to follow orders, Lucky surprised everyone and his condition actually improved on the meds.
Lucky was a challenging dog, and a terrific teacher. I wouldn't be the trainer I am today without his lessons. I hope I did half as much for him as he did for me.
Not gone, just gone ahead. We'll meet again. I got this from a very good friend who lost her own Aussie a year ago today:
We who choose to
Surround ourselves with lives
Even more temporary than our own
Live within a fragile circle
Easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
We would still live
No other way.
We cherish memory as
The only certain immortality,
Never fully understanding
The necessary plan.
Irving Townsend “The Once Again Prince”