On June 12, 2018, we had to make the decision to put down our inherited yellow lab, Patsy. We inherited her when Nathan and his family moved to Little Rock after he took a job with UAMS in 2016. The apartment they moved into wasn't suitable for a pet and two small children, and none of us felt like it was best for her to leave our neighborhood.
Patsy becoming a member of our family is a classic Nathan Chaney story, as told by my best Nathan Chaney impersonation. When Nathan met Hilary during his first year of law school at Washington and Lee, he told her "babe ... the dog is with me." The dog he was referring to was Trooper:
When Nathan and Hilary graduated from law school, Hilary clerked for a federal judge in Virginia while Nathan moved to Fayetteville. After Hilary moved to Fayetteville a year later, Trooper and Hilary butted heads until one day Hilary told Nathan: "the dog has to go." Without missing a beat, Nathan replied, "babe ... the dog is with me." The solution was Patsy.
As these pictures show, Patsy worked like a charm. Trooper finally had someone else to play with.
In the summer of 2011, Trooper's sight and hearing deteriorated to the point where he began putting teeth on people. The decision was made to put him down. The picture below was his last time on the river:
Patsy had been content being submissive to Trooper's masculine domineering attitude. After he passed, we saw an entirely new personality in Patsy we had not seen previously. It was bright and bubbly, and brought joy to everyone she encountered, including our mailman who gave her a treat everyday.
Patsy usually slept at my front or back door if it wasn't too cold outside. She had a chair in my kitchen that she had slept in since she was a puppy in Fayetteville, and I let her inside when it was cold. If she needed to go potty, she'd walk back in my room to wake me up to let her out.
One time this happened and I let her out and went back to bed without going into the kitchen. A few hours later I discovered a very large #2 accident that left a stain on the linoleum floor. Patsy wasn't let inside for a while after that.
The worst thing Patsy would do is occasionally get into the neighbor's trash, which was somewhat aided and abetted by Slacker, the stray cat. When she was a puppy, Patsy chewed off the end of a cup that went to a thermos Don used in the duck woods. Don still uses the thermos. Other than those few things, Patsy was an angel.
Two nights ago (June 10) I had to search for her just to give her steak fat. I knew something was badly wrong when Patsy wasn't around when people were eating steak. She never met a meal she didn't like, and rarely missed any meals. I found her in the creek trying to get cooled off.
Over the last several months, I often came home wondering if today was the day I'd find her non-responsive. During the last few weeks her mobility worsened. She'd always had heart worms. Breathing had become much more difficult. Dysplasia had always limited her to some extent, but it had gotten to the point where she couldn't stand up without a significant amount of trouble. The vet said she had fluid on her lungs, which was making it even more difficult for her to breath. We all knew it was time to put her down. June 12, 2018 was the day.
Patsy was a kind soul. She never met a stranger, and didn't have a mean bone in her body. We will all miss her.