Goodbye, Percy

We said goodbye to our sweet, three-legged shepherd/chow mix, Percy, last night. His health had been going downhill for the last few months, and helping him end his suffering was the only humane thing to do.

Percy came into our lives more than 11 years ago, and filled them with such joy. Before we adopted him, he was left with a fused back leg as a result of being hit by a car. Although his back leg was fused straight and virtually useless, it never slowed him down. The countless groundhog, rabbits, and squirrels that he chased and hunted down in our tiny backyard was a testament to that. After several surgeries to try to get his back leg workable, we decided to amputate, and Percy was better for it.

He enjoyed nothing more than carrying on in the backyard, and he so enjoyed his furry brothers and sisters especially a couple of cats who were always special to the boy. Percy devoted much attention to our cat Pop, as she would prance in front of him rubbing on him and flirting with him. We always teased that they were an item. Percy also loved playing with Aloysius, our orange tabby. Aloysius, or Squishy as we call him, would flop down in front of Percy and raise up his paws, and Percy would play bite, mouth, paw, and bark at Squishy. They would carry on and on, only stopping when Squishy was covered in Percy drool.

As he aged, Percy's back leg grew weaker, and then not too long ago he was diagnosed with liver disease even though he never showed any outward signs of its advanced state. Slowly it became hard for Percy to walk as his single back leg grew weaker. It started out as mere slipping as he tried to stand or walk on our hardwood floors. Eventually, we had to assist him in standing and walking by grabbing hold of his tail and using a sturdy harness. His appetite became uneven, and near the end he simply nibbled on dry food as he laid in his bed.

Several weeks ago, sores opened up on his feet and elbows. Nothing helped, and we ruled out causes that might be easy to fix. We had to resort to an e-collar (or cone) as a way to keep him from chewing on his sore paws. As the sores on his body became more numerous and as it became more and more of a struggle to stand, walk, and breathe, we made the decision. My wife stayed home with him one last day yesterday as they watched a Harry Potter marathon together. I'm sure Percy thought all the while that he could still take Fluffy, the three-headed dog. We had our last evening with him last night as we said goodbye and were joined by our friend Marcia. In the end our wonderful friend Dr. Krisi Erwin helped Percy peacefully and comfortably go to the Rainbow Bridge.

My heart is heavy and broken, but I know that his suffering is at an end. We will miss our guardian, and the house will seem so much emptier without him. But we are very grateful for having the chance to love our Percy dog.

Goodbye, sweet boy.