His body had been failing him for awhile - it was a hard decision, the hardest one I have had to make - he had no acute disease, no cardio, no cancer like my past dogs - he just had a body that was breaking down. His mind was still there, his heart was still strong, his desire to live was intact - but in a body that was falling part. His last two days weren't very pretty, and I ended up having to carry him almost everywhere, and I knew it was time for him.
Tyler was a brave boy - I heard about him through Louise on HealthDobes, who told me there was an adult black male with flea allergies (ha!) in a shelter on Long Island that needed to be pulled for DVDPA - I of course said I could foster him temporarily, and Chris Hertling went down to the shelter and paid his pull fee, trying to get him to eat. He was a confiscation from a home that had multiple dobermans, and they were left outside- Handsome as he was called then, was the last doberman from the confiscation and was predictably not adopted - he was neither young, nor black, nor suffering from flea allergies
I was nervous when I picked him up - this dog was a bag of bones, in terrible shape and his blue coat was sparse at best, covered in sores, and barely responded to you when you spoke to him - he wouldn't take food, he just kinda sat near you and occassionally licked you. I had brought Rah, and I said that the big thing would be if they got along - I wasn't going to take a dog that tried to fight with Rah. I brought "Handsome" out and they sniffed each other and didn't give each other another thought - it was meant to be. The shelter gave me his paperwork and I loaded him into the car.
It took almost 2 weeks, and discovering that his name was actually Tyler, to get him to eat, and he blossomed. He wasn't an easy dog to live with - he was actually very dog aggressive, very cat aggressive, and not so nice with people either - but he loved my dogs, and he adored Rah and when I brought Berlin home I think he thought that Berlin was one of his puppies Just as Rah matured and grew distant from Tyler, Berlin fell in love with him and would play in her own special way with the old man - understanding how old he was, she would lay on the ground on her back with him, licking his face and playing gentle biteyface.
Tyler had always walked funny, but one day he fell and I was concerned that there was something else going on - xrays revealed he was severely dyplastic. Towards the end, pain meds only touched so much on the pain, but he enjoyed until the very end running around in the backyard chasing Rah and Berlin.
Perhaps the biggest thing he will forever be remembered for is his trip to Nationals last year - he met so many people there, and so many people came up to me and pet him, cried over him, and loved him - he was in heaven. On his best behavior !!!!! he made so many friends, even Phillip Martin came over to me and talked to little old me, newbie to the breed, about how great the old dogs are. And of course, who can forget the uproar I cause when I took my dysplastic 13 year old dog through the WAE - and if anyone knows Tyler, in my eyes he would have passed - because that dog would have protected me til the end, since he had to be locked away from every single handyman at my house!
I never had the heart to send him to DVDPA - I was never convinced he was adoptable and at his age, I didn't think he deserved being bumped around. And somehow, he had picked us to be his family. He loved nothing more than to rest his head on your foot, he would give kisses nonstop, he loved massages and barking at the cats.
Tyler, beans - you are whole again, and you don't hurt anymore. Run hard.