Our bronze Newfie "Bear" has gotten old and his hips have all but given up so tomorrow morning the vet is making a final house call.
He's been a good dog and he deserves some rest.
He wasn't the best puppy in the world though, not long after we got him he kinda ate the couch. The new couch.
I think the wife finally forgave him sometime last week.
Most of the pictures we have of him are trapped on an old hard drive so I can't illustrate his story properly but here he is with a pancake on his head.
Several pancakes were sacrificed to get this picture.
He also liked the snow often importing a bunch with him when he'd come back in.
The last few years he's been useful at holding the carpets down and not much else but that's to be expected with the breed.
When he was younger he would greet folks at the door or scare them off in the attempt.
Our house is all carpeted except for the last few feet before the back door, so he had plenty of traction gaining speed but none for the slowing down.
Long ago he heard the back porch door open and bolted for the door barking once as he crossed over into the kitchen, made the turn toward the door and ran out of talent.
We could hear the nails screeching on the tiles as he attempted to stop but full speed and 180 pounds put him squarely on the wrong side of the laws of physics. He hit the door so hard that I'm surprised it didn't crack.
By the time we got to the door to see who was there, the only thing we found were a bunch of pamphlets scattered on the floor and a couple of well dressed young men on bicycles making tracks out of the driveway.
Tonight I stuffed him full of his favorite meal, bacon and tomato sammiches. The bacon thing isn't a surprise but his love of tomatoes is kind of strange.
Way back when, I was making some bacon and tomato sammiches and he was right there in the way, drool puddling on the floor with a solid line running up to his mouth.
(If you haven't been around large breed dogs, when they decide to be in the way they are most effective.)
Anyway I handed him a piece of bacon and he gobbled it down all the while staring at a plate with the heels of the tomato and some juice on it and when I took it over toward the trash he whimpered a bit.
Uh, OK its a tomato and you probably wont like it but here it is. He gobbled it up right quickly and then carried the empty plate around for a 1/2 hour hoping it would produce more.
I saved a big tomato for him to enjoy in the morning as a final treat.
Yesterday morning I went to Camp Butler Cemetery and participated in the quarterly Unaccompanied Military Veterans Ceremony.
The purpose of this event is to memorialize those that were interred without previous military honors for whatever reason. Basically it is a non-personal full honors Military Funeral, posting colors, 21 gun salute, Taps etc.
Only three of the nine honored at this event had family there so it felt like we were there to represent those comrades without loved ones present.
I didn't know anyone there and had no involvement with any of the honored folks but I felt like it was something that I should be attending as a Veteran.
With the upcoming holiday it seemed like this was a more important way of celebrating the 4th by letting the departed know that we still have their 6 even though they really don't need us to anymore.
I will be going again in Oct. Just seems like the right thing to do.
BTW Taps played by 2 buglers, the 2nd being an echo will cause a big lump in your throat.