Phoenix 4-14-2001 / 6-19-2010
Forever one to be accepting and grateful of his life here on earth, content to simply be by my side, Phoenix was a ‘shepherd’ with a heart of gold. Always medically challenged – from a six week old pup with a heart condition (PDA) and subsequent surgery, to a ruptured cruciate and surgical repair followed by the second surgery on his other leg eleven months later, to the final, devastating diagnosis of degenerative myeolopathy – Phoenix never lost his positive attitude. As the disease stole his neurological function starting with weakness in his hind legs, we worked together with love, acupuncture and physical therapy to ward off paralysis progression for as long as we could. Phoenix exercised the past 10 months in a cart – he proudly pranced down the road on his walks and repeatedly cars stopped to wish him well. As I needed to assist him more with daily functions – even having to bring him his water and food, and then take him out in a harness for bathroom functions and carry him upstairs to sleep by my bed – he always thanked with a doggy kiss or vocal bark or two. (He had quite a vocabulary!) He played ball, even though he couldn’t run after it. He could catch and spit it back faster than a golden retriever! His brown understanding eyes pulled me through some tough times and many a discussion we had on a mountain hike.
I hope I can carry forward the spirit of the unconditional love of Phoenix and his always positive attitude. I’ll try every day to believe in the light of Phoenix as he believed in me and thank God for the gift of this friend. My heart will ache for him until we meet again on the other side. Love you always, Phoe, and I miss you so much. You are the best!