Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

With Extreme Sadness

That dog is BIG.
Anyone meeting Atlas
If he shrugged, the world moved.

Atlas at 18 months, right after he came to us.



Our big dog, Atlas left this earth 4/29/09. 

It was fast, he stopped eating on Tuesday, went outside and wanted to be left alone. Wednesday morning we took him into the clinic. I knew it was the end when we were able to get him into the Jeep. He would not have done that if he was well. He had tumors on the spleen which ruptured and were bleeding internally. He was not stressed and left peacefully.

He was my guardian, my comfort. Half German Shepherd and half Afghan Hound, he was large at 150 lbs during his hey day, and he was serious about his role of big dog in chief. He had that very large dog rumble that starts somewhere deep in the body and moves its way through the throat. When his hackles stood up and he stared and rumbled, anyone foolish enough to move, was foolish indeed. He'd had a hard beginning but he came to me at 18 months and his life changed and he was happy. He was always a responsibility because he was territorial and so large. And he had fear, which never completely left him.

He was also a clown and a neurotic. He had to have a blanket to drag around and he would suck the blanket. He couldn't be around when I disposed of the old blanket, it would make him very anxious, but once gone, he accepted the new one readily.

We will miss him. He was a job, no doubt about it, but he was a good dog who needed a chance and he got it. He always seemed grateful and he was certainly loved. And he returned the favor.

15 comments:

  1. oh man, that is one of the saddest sadnesses! I still tear up over losing my dog over 10 years ago now.

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  2. I'm so sorry you lost Atlas, Sandra. I still miss my other cat, who like your dog had a rough beginning & was always so grateful to have a home & be loved. Iss is wonderful but he is not Gyver. I know you have other dogs but they are not this one. (((hugs)))

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  3. Thank you. It's never easy, but they are worth it.

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  4. I'm so sorry Sandra. You've had a lot of loss and difficulty lately with your animals. I hope things start to look up soon.

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  5. He looked like a truly wonderful dog. I have had dogs all my life and I know how much a part of the family the become. Take heart knowing he was loved.

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  6. Sandra, I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you gave him a wonderful life. You'll carry him in your heart.

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  7. Thank you for your kind words. I have so many animals that there is always something. Atlas was 10 and a very large dog. I know it doesn't show in the photos so well, but he was big. The vet said it is common for Shepherds to start these tumors after 6. For his size he had already reached an average life-span. He didn't have a lot of suffering and he was calm about the whole procedure. He followed me around, so every space I enter now seems large because he is not filling it. My Basset Howard is confused because Atlas always blocked his way into my office and now it's open. I need to change my profile because I no longer have a lot of dogs. The pack has been thinned over the last few months. I don't know who will keep Gracie in line now.

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  8. I am so sorry, Sandra. Ben Hur Lampman had a quote that I have always liked..The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master. It is never easy to loose something that has been a big part of our lives...that unconditional love they give. I'm thinking of you....

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  9. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. They really do become part of the family and it never feel quit right once they are gone.

    I think he would have had a wonderful life on your farm

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  10. I'm so sorry. Dogs (and cats) take such room in our hearts, and give so much joy.
    But the partings are hard.

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  11. While my heart aches for you at your loss, I am also joyful that he had such a good life! He obviously thought of you as his world, shown by his love and protection of you. My Heidi is your Atlas - and I cannot bear the thought of losing her.

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  12. BTW - I think I will be thinking of him and his blankie all day. That had to be the cutest thing...what a neat memory! What a neat dog! :)

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  13. Thank you. It was funny, big, menacing Atty dragging a blankie around. He'd hold a part of it between his front feet and intently suck the blanket. He HAD to have a blanket.

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  14. All of these animals are family! We had a dog who died peacefully at 19 after giving our family his complete love for all of his life. He had joined us when I slowed down because he was being left by a truck on a country road. I had just picked up my son from a babysitter. The pup jumped into our car, immediately adopted my little boy, and that was that! A loss leaves any empty place for sure.

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  15. Isn't it amazing the horrible things people will do to animals. A bit of fate you were there to claim him. 19 years is a very long time. He saw his adopted boy grow to manhood. They are well worth the pain we feel when they leave us.

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