|Justin is pictured above at
10 1/2 months.
Photos by Candid Canines by Lenore
|Justin, with his favorite pal my nephew Nicholas.
|Justin, relaxing at a SO NJ
Specialty top, and with members
of the Pet Pals club, below.
|No matter how much time we have with a
dog, it's never long enough is it?
Justin, from the only litter of that favorite
gal of mine, Becky, was a gentle giant of a
dog. He was a giant in every way, size of
course, (he grew too big to show!), but
more importantly heart, personality,
courage and loyalty; a dog you could take
absolutely anywhere, a pied-piper of a dog
where children were concerned ~ he
always had a trail of children following
him, petting him, holding on to him
wherever we went.
I miss him dreadfully.
Justin passed from hemangiosarcoma in
the very early hours of 4-25.
I recognized the signs the evening of the
24th. He didn't want to touch his dinner,
but as I sat with him, he humored me,
eating from my hands.
The irony wasn't lost on me, I had just
come in from the whelping area sitting
with puppies, holding their heads to their
momma's breasts, just as I had held Justin
to Becky's breast almost 11 years prior ~
|and here I sat, encouraging him to take just a bit more food once again,
willing Justin again to be strong, to live...just as I had when he was newborn, no more
than a handful of puppy.
The loss of every well loved dog is so very difficult and so very personal.
I can assure you though that losing one you deliberately brought into this world,
making the horrific decision to end a life you planned, dreamed of and eagerly shared
brings "difficult" to a whole new terrifying level.
I knew very early the morning of the 25th that a trip to the ER was in order and I am
extremely grateful to the vets and staff who eased my boy's journey as I held him.
Thank you to my loving family and friends who propped me up over the next few
weeks. Remember that litter of puppies I had been sitting with making sure bellies
were full? Their owners were naturally anxious to meet them and in some instances
they were also mourning a much loved companion. I wanted everything perfect for
them ~ perfect starts to joyous new journeys. To those owners, if you ever read this,
if I suddenly went pale as you talked about your own painful losses...
now you know why.
God speed Justin. You were dearly loved.
|Our all time favorite family photo
of Justin below, with my brother
holding one year old Nicholas as
he shoved some of his birthday
cake in Justin's mouth. That's
icing you see all over the two of
them ~ Nicholas got clean
clothes, Justin got hosed off.
|I've never had a boy who wasn't an outstanding puppy baby sitter and
Justin was certainly no exception.
The little ones have some huge paws to fill!