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August 26, 2002 - 9:43 a.m.

April the Dog – 1984-2002

April’s life ended today at 9:30 AM. She was a good dog to the end.

That’s her up there in that picture. We took that shortly after we brought her home from the Humane Shelter in April 1997. Isn’t it fitting, bringing April home in April? She got a free grooming from PetSmart, so she was looking her best.

I don’t know why the former owner dropped her off at the Shelter, but she spent about three months there before we brought her home. When we came into the kennel area, all the other dogs were barking and making a fuss, April was sitting in her cage gnawing on a rawhide bone. That’s how she got picked from the group. I bought a kennel for her there and we brought her home. Sons One and Two were 12 and 10 at the time, and they were having a great time with their new dog, showing her off to the neighbors and showing her around her new house. She took it all in, sniffing it all out.

That night she was snoozing on the day bed in the family room (new dogs get special privileges). That was back when she could curl up into a little ball. I walked over to pet her and say hello. She woke suddenly and snapped at me! At that point I knew why she’d been dropped off!

April was a very loyal watchdog. Once she got used to her surroundings, she kept us safe from birds, planes, butterflies and of course other dogs. That was her mission in life, keeping us safe from evil. It was also her weakness at the same time. Any noise heard from outside would send her barking and lunging at the windows. As people would leave the house she would bark and snap at them, as if she were chasing them out. She meant business.

But to those that she knew well, she was a sweet and affectionate dog. I was the alpha, she always stuck close to me. If you let her, she’d try to climb up in your lap. I let her sleep on my bed with me in the beginning months, but after a while it was too much. She’d crowd me off the bed! The dog hair on the quilt was not very appealing either.

She lived a good life with us. We added Tandy to the family in 1999. She and April would play together all the time. Sometimes they would get so carried away and noisy, it was hard to talk on the phone! I think those were April’s best years, the ones spent playing with Tandy. She got much thinner from all the exercise.

The Horner’s Syndrome pretty much put an end to that in 2001. She did regain her balance after that, but she could never play like she used to with Tandy. She seemed to age more quickly after that. The blindness she contracted this spring pretty much spelled the end of a dignified life for her.

I probably delayed the decision to help her out of this life a little too long. I know Son One and Son Two wanted her to last as long as possible too, but it’s not a good life for April.

I took her into the vet this morning. Tandy was pissed that she wasn’t “going for a walk” too. I got to spend about 20 minutes with her before they came in and gave her an overdose of anesthetic. She slumped down on the table, and then fell asleep.

Sleep well April, you were a good pup.

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