The amount of time God loaned you to us. From the day we brought you home as a puppy until your last breath you were loved and cherished.
That first night you slept the whole night through in your create in our bedroom. The next day, after spending it with the kids, the other dog and even the cat, you decided the crate wasn't where you wanted to be and proceeded to whimper, cry and howl for hours. You ended up in our bed under the covers where you promptly went to sleep. You slept there until old age prevented you from climbing the step up to the bed or jumping off. Then it was your fluffy dog bed and a fleecy blanket.
During your puppy phase, we were sure Steve Jobs was paying you off in dog biscuits, since you tended to destroy anything in the house with a Microsoft logo on it. You finally stopped when we got you your own puppy to play with. You loved it when your Bassett Hound cousin, Fonzi, came to visit. It was so funny watching him 'box' with you.
What a smart dog you were. Once you learned a trick, even if years went by before someone asked you to do it again, you remembered how to do it.
You also scared us to death when you surfed the plate of double chocolate chip cookies. Frantic calls to both the vet and poison control were made and both told us to give you lots of water and no solid food for 24 hours. Fortunately it was milk chocolate and not dark. Dinner time came and your expression in your eyes said "I'm very hungry....and I don't like it". We stood firm to make sure you were ok. After that we realized food needed to be in a cabinet, refrigerator or microwave (also known as the doggie vault).
Shortly before your second birthday we moved from St. Louis to Phoenix, proving it is possible to move with 3 kids, 3 dogs a cat and a bearded dragon and have everyone adjust just fine to the move.
Once settled in Arizona, we began volunteering with Boxer Luv Rescue and over the next 10 plus years you proceeded to teach all of the foster dogs we brought in how to use a doggie door and proper doggy manners. We were sure bringing in all of those fosters is what turned you from a flashy fawn into a beautiful silverback.
As the years went by, you started having lumps appear. The first one removed in a pre-cancerous stage. A year later there was another lump, this one a level 1 mass cell tumor. By the 4th bump, the one where we thought we might lose your 'wiggle stubby', turned out to be a level 3 mass cell tumor. The Dr. was optimistic they got it all and you kept your cute little tail.
About 18 months ago another lump appeared on your leg. A needle biopsy showed this lump was a soft tissue sarcoma. The Dr. said it was slow growing and with your heart issues recommended we leave it alone; especially since you didn't do so well under anesthesia the last time. So we tried some holistic things; anything to slow down the growth.
It really didn't seem to bother you too much until this past week. You still wanted to walk every day; even if it was just around the block. You would ride in the cart, if we were going a long way, but were just as happy walking and sniffing everything in sight for a 10 minute walk in the neighborhood.
You even continued dancing your special 'pony dance' when you were especially happy. Prancing and tossing your head like a show horse in the ring.
But now the sarcoma is so large, it is causing you great discomfort. There isn't any more we can do other than let you go.
4,922 days was not long enough. You are taking pieces of our heart with you; which we know you will take good care of until we meet again.