This is kind of a sad week for me. It was Novmeber 27 last year when we were forced to lay my beloved retired guide dog Hickory down. He had been semi-retired since a auto accident in early 2000 because of some serious noise issues stemming from the wreck. I had worked him just enough every year to keep his skills sharp and he had always risen to the task. Even after losing a good bit of weight due to gastric bypass surgery in 2006, he was going downhill due to cataracts and arthritis but still enjoyed working until the end of April 2007 when he told me in his own way that it was time to just be a dog. In February of that year we had a cancerous tumor removed from his right rear leg and were afraid that it would come back and in November of last year, we thought he was losing weight and was just not himself, so the day before Thanksgiving, we had taken him to the vet and had found out that he had another cancerous tumor in his rear end. We decided that we would hold out as long as we could with him and just let him enjoy whatever life he had left and little did we know that six short days later we would be saying good-bye to such a sweet and loyal dog. The day after Thanksgiving, he started not to eat and that was the beginning of the end. Little did we know that not only was he in renal failure, but in atrial fibrillation as well and that was why he was not eating.
I still feel at times like I killed my best friend, but it was for his benefit and definitely not mine and I am so glad that I went when I did to received Major.
Major is definitely not the same dog as Hickory and there will never be another one. Major is a sweet dog and I love him dearly most of the time, but it has been really hard getting over Hickory because of all we had been through together. I will always remember his loyal and silly side and I love the memories that I still and will always have of him even though it has been really hard letting him go.