Life Without Newfoundlands
This year so far has been, what I would say very unkind. We have seen the passing of our two Newfoundland dogs which has had a devastating effect on our day to day routine and we are finally getting back to some semblance of normality.
The first few weeks after the first one had to be put down, due to terminal cancer, Jack just assumed that he had gone to the vet for a check up. In his own time Jack asked, where is "Biggles," he was his favorite, a big Landseer weighing 145lbs. A temperament better than you could wish for, he was 11 years and 3 months when he went, an old age for a large dog.
Anyway, explaining to Jack the difference between life and death in this case was extremely hard on everyone, it is only now that I can talk about it in any depth. As any animal lover would appreciate, it is like losing a son. We still had our first Newfoundland, "Barney" he was getting to a ripe old age of thirteen.
He had his own problems, due to his age he was having trouble getting around. We used a harness that you placed underneath him to lift him up to take him out to do his thing. Now with the passing of his half brother he was very lethargic over the next couple of months. Eating was becoming a problem and he had to be coaxed for the slightest thing.
One early morning we noticed blood coming from his mouth, his whole right side had suddenly swelled up and on further investigation it was diagnosed he had cancer of the mouth. No doubt the stress of his buddy going had only accelerated the condition. With his age of 13 years and 2 months there was not an option, we had to put him down as well. From having to step over these large mounds of dog laying on the floor to nothing is a huge change. Jack and his sister Madeline cannot quite comprehend what has happened with this sudden life change although Jack does mention that both Biggles and Barney were very sick and died at the vet.
Like I said, the household has settled into its new rhythm with Jack mentioning on occasions that when he gets older he is going to have a small dog. Now does that mean he is looking forward to a puppy?
Just incase we've been checking out the Dog Forums for a little insight into different breeds but we will always be a Newfoundland family. Yes, they slobber and shake making all sorts of mess. They are forever shedding fur and rearranging furniture because of their size but as a family animal you cannot beat the temperament. It will be a while before we jump into another pet but it's always best to be prepared.