I had not been home for 30 minutes when the vet called. She had the result of his blood work. I really don't remember exactly what she said because as she was explaining his ailment I was quickly coming to the realization that I would be putting him down. It wasn't diabetes but it did have something to do with his blood sugar, pancreas and his brain. His blood sugar drops so low, so quickly that it affects his brain and causes seizures. In order to stop the seizures he would have to be fed every hour around the clock and even then he might still have seizures. With his history of being a picky eater and just not caring much about food I knew that was impossible. Not to mention the fact that I could NEVER be away from him for more than an hour, or sleep for more than an hour at a time at night. I stopped her before she finished the explanation and said "So, I really should just put him down?" she said, "That would be the humane thing to do". I got back in my truck and headed back to the vet.
I knew losing Shiner was going to be hard on me. He was TJ's first dog, other than family dogs, and they were inseparable. TJ took him to work with him every day and during TJ's illness Shiner barely left his side. He was even by TJ's side when he passed. Every time I looked at Shiner I saw a little bit of TJ in him. It was like losing TJ all over again.
I would be remiss if I didn't thank my twitter friend and fellow widow, Boo, for being there with me (in spirit at least). She may be in the UK, but I felt as though she was right there with me the whole time.
For those that aren't familiar with the breed, Shiner was an Australian Cattle Dog, also called Queensland Heeler. They are very popular in the western United States. They are generally either Red Heelers or Blue Heelers, but Shiner was what they called Tri-Color, which is very unique. TJ did such a great job of training him we could take him anywhere. He got to go in restaurants, bars, hardware stores and various other places. Very rarely did we go out of town without Shiner.
Once, when TJ had gone on our roof to repair something Shiner literally climbed a ladder to be up there with him. I had turned my back and didn't see it, but I did hear TJ yelling, "Sandy! Why the hell is Shiner up here with me!?" Getting him down proved to be quite difficult as he was scared. I sure wish I would have seen him climb that ladder.
Rest In Peace Shiner. I will miss you more than anyone knows.
No louder shrieks to pitying heaven are cast, when husbands or lap-dogs breathe their last. ~ Alexander Pope