We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A well-loved, loving, well-trained (but overly-exuberant as a hunter-retriever - could never train that excess out of him as some of my bird-hunting pals know) dog, dead at 13 after enriching our family life in countless ways. From a line of hunting Standard Poodles. Sad for the Bird Dog clan, leaves a hole. Many dogs in my life, and each one was the best pal. I train the heck out of them, and they repay it in all ways. Never needed a leash until he got half-blind and entirely deaf in the past year - responded to me, at least, promptly to voice, whistle, and hand commands until then, even if there was a rabbit to chase.
That is Paco sitting watch over a napping Mrs. BD at the Farm a few years ago after a swim in our trout stream. Kept watch over all of us, I guess. Loved to swim with us at the Farm and on Cape Cod. Like all of us, a Cape Cod-lover who was invigorated by the salty air.
I am sorry for the loss of your dog. I have one who is also 13, very deaf, going blind, but still follows me everywhere and is my companion. I hope he can enjoy life for another while yet. Not ready to see him go.
I wonder if you will take on another dog. While I walk a neighbor's dogs around the neighborhood, I get into a lot of conversations about dogs. A number of 60-something people have told me that after the loss of their last pet they didn't want another one. The pain of loss would have been too great.
Good for training your dog. Doing so gave your dog a lot of joy.
Deepest condolences to your family. Lost my beloved boy four years ago, I still can't look at his pictures without tearing up. We have another Shorthair, but the bond was special with that one. Be at peace knowing you gave Paco a great home and you honored his sense of purpose. Sporting dogs need that.
So sorry for your loss of a Good Dog. Now witnessing myself the daily failings of a beloved pet: when will Her person know that this is the day? I pray that J. will curl up and have her last long sleep...