We have suffered a painful loss with the passing of our Great Pyrenees, Allie. A magnificent dog, indeed.
Allie was born February 14, 1998. We found her at the pound when she was about 2. Who would abandon such a beautiful creature? We were lucky, because she was a part of the family for over 10 years. Allie was approaching 13, which is considerably older than the norm for her breed. Few Great Pyrenees, or other large dogs, live to this age. Allie didn’t know she was living on borrowed time. In retrospect, our home is apparently an ideal place to raise dogs.
Up until a month ago, she was seemingly in good health — active for a mature dog, still chasing squirrels, or the birds flying over our property. But she had slowed a bit, and she had given up the desire to leap over the huge planter boxes in the back yard, while in earnest pursuit of some critter. She had also lost some weight, but that is not bad for a senior dog, and helped ease the onset of arthritis.
For those that do not know the breed, a Pyr is on an endless pursuit to protect the flock (and in our house, we were her flock). Named for the breed’s origins in the Pyrenees mountains, these big dogs are used to guard the flocks of sheep and other livestock at night. They are gentle to family, but wary of strangers. Not a growl or a bite, but a suspicious look for anyone entering the house, lasting until the visitor was deemed safe. Then you had a new friend.
We have known for almost month that the diagnosis was not good. Her cancer was terminal, and we were told to love her, feed her anything she wanted, and enjoy the precious few days left. Struggling to get up every day, she still managed to hobble to the front window, to make sure no threats were present. She also showed a desire now and then in her final days to try to play a little.
That dreaded moment arrived on October 19 — we knew Allie’s time had come. I was panic stricken, since I had not really done any planning. I guess I didn’t want to give up hope that she might last just a little longer than expected. We feel so fortunate to have discovered Home to Heaven, and we are so grateful for the loving care Allie and our family received. It was comforting to have Allie be able to slip peacefully away in her own home, in the living room, near the window she loved to stand guard by.
This picture is of Allie in her prime. She had lost a lot of weight over the last year, but this is how we choose to remember her.
A magnificent dog, indeed.
Lee and Debi Reep