I know most people who have grown up around livestock know there is a difference in how you feel between the dog or horse that herds the stock and the stock. I've hugged and smooched a lot of good horses and dogs but I've never done the same to a steer or a hog.
Friday I came home in the afternoon to find our 6 year old American Indian dog down. It's not unusual to find Dundee down, with a steady diet of pain killers, morning and night, he's down a lot. Dundee had many problems as a pup.
Six years ago I was looking through the local drive-way newspaper and there was a photo of Dundee at a local rescue home in Sunnyslope. Maybe it was because we had just put down a couple of dogs and our red Lab mix pound puppy was lonesome, or as I suspect, divine intervention told me to get this sad, sick dog, and sick he was.
Dundee had had a very poor puppyhood. His back legs were deformed which made him unable to jump, the fever had taken his teeth and most of his eyesight, and he couldn't utter a noise unless in one of his regular seizures he would give a scream that would bring his two and four legged family running. For the first couple of weeks he would crawl into the bushes, as I always assumed, to die. But with lots of expensive vet bills and the love of a family, he lived and actually grew strong.
For six years we nursed, loved and made him the center of all we did. But in the end I believe all the problems he obtained as a puppy finally got the best of him, and he died in my arms.