Yesterday, April 1, 2008, we put down our dog .... good old Ozzie.
He was about 13 years old.
He spent his last 3 hours lying in our backyard in the sun, unable to rise, but seemed to like it there, covered the last hour with a down blanket.
We stroked his head a lot and talked to him and reminisced about him.
He'd developed diabetes and had stopped eating and was wasting away, a shadow of the sled-dog physique and strength that he's always had.
He'd often insisted on climbing up with Ginny in our big wide easy chair, sometimes trying to sit on her lap, and, as he struggled to climb on her lap, she'd inevitably go into one of her laughing jags.
He was jealous of Ginny's and my relationship and, when he couldn't stand it any longer, would bark or jump up with his long-clawed paws to separate us. He wormed his way into most of our family gatherings, believing the family was four and not three. And he was right.
Ginny and I thought he was untrainable, would not even come when we called him, but chose instead to ignore us when he was at last free outside, which he loved. But Fitzie, apparently the better parent, taught him to "stay ... stay .... stay" even while he tantalized him with a morsel of food.
Ozzie was a good dog, even though I called him "bad dog bad dog" quite a few times, usually as a joke, and I'm sorry if he misunderstood.
We'll miss him.
Hugh and Ginny and Fitzie