The inspiration for the page
Nicknames: Aristotle, Stotle, Boo, Peek-a-boo
12/4/2009 – 05/10/2019
Breed: German Shepherd Dog
Cause of Death: Degenerative Myelopathy
I don’t know where to start or begin but I think I should honor him first because that’s really what this is all about.
Thank you Ares for providing me the quiet comfort when I didn’t want to get out of bed. For laying at my feet when I was alone. Your presence was so big in my world just knowing you were in the room brought me an indescribable peace. Thank you for being happy to see me whenever I walked through the door. Even when you couldn’t wag your tail anymore or stand up to greet me, I could see the glimmer of light in your eyes. Thank you for being the third parent to Troy. We trusted you completely with the newest human in our lives. Thank you for being a real member of our family not a dog, not a pet, but someone whose comfort and happiness was a determining factor in all of our decision making. Most of all, thank you for being my best friend. I loved you so much I often wondered how I would survive losing you even when you were young and healthy.
I also need to say I am sorry. I am so so sorry this happened to you. Each of us has a thing that is uniquely ours that makes us happy and free. You loved to run and play; you were a natural athlete so I cannot think of a worse thing to happen to you. Being disabled leg by leg is a cruel thing to happen to anyone but for you, I know there could not have been something worse. I wish there was more I could have done. As I type this I am crying because I can picture you at your best – running into the woods to catch a tennis ball and returning it with great vigor. You didn’t always want to give it back though so we often needed to have a pile of them on hand. You liked the classic yellow balls the best but you had a sweet spot for the yellow ones that squeaked too (though you killed the squeakers quite fast typically). I wish you could have run for a tennis ball one last time but you couldn’t even drag yourself with your two front legs. I am sorry for that. I don’t know if I let you live this way for too long. I had my suspicions that you weren’t happy anymore but I didn’t know how to let you go. And you were afraid for me. I think that’s why you fought the sedative that day. I think you thought you needed to stay alive for me. I am sorry for that. Perhaps I needed you too much and I wish that wasn’t so because this wouldn’t be so hard if you were just any regular dog. But from the moment we met you, there was nothing regular about you. In fact, you picked us. Not me specifically, but Bobby. You were just a barreling little pup with pointy ears and a fat little belly. You hopped right into his lap and never looked back. You became one of us that very day.
We were so lucky you picked us. You grew on me pretty quickly – as much as I am a dog lover, that isn’t always the case. But with you, you were just so darn smart. We tried puppy obedience classes but you had everything down by week 2 so you were bored. You were potty trained instantly because you were so smart and you hated disappointing either of us. You learned everything so easily. I had never had a dog like that before. You were a picky eater for about 90% of your life but that’s okay, I didn’t mind cooking your food for you. Your beauty was striking. We could not go anywhere without people stopping us to tell us how good looking you were. You had these amazing satellite ears, strong build and your colors were so unique compared to traditional shepherds. But my favorite thing about you was your almond shaped eyes. They were so soulful and warm. I swear shepherds are part human because there was so much depth to your eyes; I’ve never seen that in any other animal. I love the pencil stripes on your toes too; your characteristics were just so cool. You had a big personality and loved to talk. Between your big stature and constant talking, you were misunderstood by most people. It made you just for us which is even more special.
What I wouldn’t give to have seen you grow up with Troy. You loved him immediately; you knew he was one of us. He is so fun now, I could just picture you in your hay day running and chasing him and cuddling with him. When you were here - your body depleted and your days boring because you couldn’t exercise anymore – you still exercised so much patience as he tugged your ears and reached in your mouth to take your ball. You didn’t care because you loved him. He was one of your people. I miss being one of your people.
I think about getting a dog to fill our house with and I have to remind myself they won’t be you. There will never be another you. That’s a really hard thing to come to terms with. No matter who we bring home, they will never be you. What’s even harder to come to terms with is that you’ve only been gone for 2 months and it will be decades before I see you again.
I hope you’re running through a field with thousands of yellow tennis balls. Maybe my grandmom and Bobby’s grandfather are throwing some for you. I’d like to picture you this way not the way I last saw you. Just know we miss you every day and hope you are running free as you deserve to be.