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My beloved rough collie Alva was euthanised in June, 2019. She was cremated, and I buried her ashes at my family's summer place in August.

She would have turned ten years today.

I got Alva when she was 8 weeks old. My family had dogs but Alva was the first I had on my own. There I was, at the railway station with a crying collie puppy in my arms, trying to figure out how to calm her. That was one of the most miserable sounds I've ever heard. She finally stopped and started exploring and we were best friends ever since.

Alva was an easy dog to raise. Her temperament forgave so much. She got along with everyone and I never had to worry for her. She was a perfect city dog, an excellent companion, and a sports dog, too. I didn't really understand how pleasant her nature was before I got Pulma, my Tervuren, who is not a difficult dog either, but she is so much more work.

She was always there. If you could have asked Alva, she would have never been out of my sight. She was a dog who didn't take force well. If you were unfair to her, she either froze or refused to cooperate. If you spoke friendly, guided and asked, she did whatever you wanted.

Alva was not shy and she only feared cows a little and got over even that. She stood on her own paws. She didn't run away, she went to see herself. She was a quiet dog, she only barked when she got very excited. She had no need to show her guarding instinct, if she had any. Just keep away from her food, if you were another dog or a cat.

When Alva was 2 years old, she was X-rayed. Hips and elbows. I had not expected what I learned at the vet's. I cried like someone had died when we left there. Her hips were bad. We quit agility. I knew that this disease would eventually bury her.

Otherwise Alva was a healthy dog. She ate anything suitable for a dog. She needed medication for her eyes twice and once she was sick but otherwise she only saw vets for her vaccines and later for her hips. During the years I had considered spaying her but I feared what it would do for her coat. I am not interested in grooming.

Last year I noticed that her movement got even worse. The muscles in her hindquarters disappeared. I saw she no more did some things dogs do and what she used to do. I had to drag her outside. I thought, this will likely be our last summer together. We have to spend time at our summer place as much as possible. Then, in the fall, I would see if the decision had to be made.

That decision was made for me. Alva got sick and I took her to the vet. Pyometra, early. Good chances, if operated. But because Alva was already on borrowed time, I let her go. It was the most awful moment in my life. But when it starts to bother me, I look at the last photos of her and see her eyes, eyes that are tired, I know, I had to do it.

I miss her. So awfully much.

In memoriam
Alva
2009 - 2019
You cannot buy happiness and money doesn't bring you friends. But you can buy a dog. Thank you, Alva, for all these years and memories. What would I give to see you again.
 

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Memories

Thanks for sharing. Especially when you said you look into her eyes and saw tired. When I saw that in my spaniel I knew also. I had to spend as much quality time with him as I could. My little friend. 😭
 

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It's interesting to know see how these things go, because tomorrow, our vet will be here to euthanize our Pippin, our Sheltie of ten years. It is so hard to make the decision, but ultimately we have to make it for them, and not ourselves. Blessings to all the dogs who teach us to love, and gratitude for the love they taught us.
 

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FinnAlva, Wellspan, and Eklutna,

I am so very sorry for your losses. I also had to say a final good-bye to my sweet Miles, the dog in my avatar in January.
 
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