For those of you who have a dog or have had one, you will understand the grief it brings when they die.
Jonty was a lovely chap and a real hansom specimen of his breed. His pedigree was actually German, going back through many generations of world and national champions. We rescued him in 2010 when he was only 18 months old, so he was only 8 years 9 months, which is still young for this breed.
Unfortunately he got run over quite badly outside our house only two months after we got him. I thought we had lost him then, but despite grazing he seemed fine when the vet checked him over. The car was worse off, with a smashed in wing and headlight. That cost me £500 in repairs!
This accident had the effect of slowly killing the gracilis muscle in his rear right leg. It became fibrotic (known as fibrotic myopathy – see: http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/ortho_semitendinosus_myopathy.html), which gave him a limp. This was incurable as the muscle wastes away. In the spring this year he suddenly started to go down hill and we went to the Royal Vet College to have him thoroughly looked at, in case there was anything we could do. £3000 later and we were no further on. They did discover that he likely also had myelopathy – see: https://www.ufaw.org.uk/dogs/german-shepherd-degenerative-myelopathy, which is the nerves in the spine degenerating, so this would effect the whole of his back end. We didn’t really believe them at that time, but lately it was becoming evident.
I have been supporting his back end all summer with a harness and lately literally holding him up whenever we went out for a walk, which was twice a day. We tried the wheels to no avail, just didn’t suit his situation at all. No doubt it’s done my upper body conditioning no end of good (he was 47kg), but it couldn’t go on indefinitely and this last couple of weeks decided me to stop now. I had already expected not to go into the winter doing this.
It has been really hard as we loved him so much. We spent all evening weeping and it’s left a huge void in our hearts and house. Much too quiet now! We keep welling up just thinking about him. What total wimps we are!