Some of you have already heard that we had to put Bryan to sleep on Friday.  We had been hoping not to have to bring him to the vet, but he was failing a little bit each day, and Wednesday night he had what was probably a small stroke.  After that, he couldn’t really walk at all, and he was very confused.  He still recognized Raven and I, which was a mercy to us, but he didn’t seem to know where he was or what was going on.

That would have been hard on Bry, as he wouldn’t have been sure what the rules were, and he needed to follow the rules.  If there weren’t enough, he would make some up himself.

Wednesday and Thursday evenings we talked to and about Bryan, and cried and remembered.  When he was a puppy, he had a rock collection.  Every now and then he would bring a stone into the house and show it to us.  We put them on a little shelf by the back door, and when he came in or out he would always check the shelf to make sure his rocks were still there.

He traveled all over Ontario with us to SCA events, and always kept our campsites raccoon free.  He never needed a fence – when other dogs came to visit and they were playing he would always stop and bark if the other dog crossed the property line as if to say “what are you doing, you can’t go over there!?”  When Raven was working in Windsor for a year and I was in London, Bryan was one of the two people I consider responsible for keepiing me sane and getting out of myself when needed.  (Emily is the other one.)

It was scary when we got Bryan, because at the time it was the biggest responsibility we had ever taken on.  Getting a dog (or any animal) is like having a child, it is a commitment to take care of them for their life, to put them first, because unlike a child they will never develop enough responsibility to feed themselves, to grow away from you.  Animals grow towards you instead, they will always need you more.  But I am so glad that Bryan came to live with us and my only regret ever is that he couldn’t be with us forever.

He was sixteen years old.  We’re going to bury him here under the oak trees.

Goodbye, Stinky Puppy.  Thank you.

bryan

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