Yesterday, I was out by myself for a short fat bike ride, and I came upon a canine friend lying in the snow on a trail.
So, I told him that I'd be back very soon, and I started riding toward his house. I could hear him howling and caterwauling behind me. He didn't want to be left alone.
I met his human who was heading out toward him with a big sled to try to bring him home. She said that he'd attempted to follow her on a trail outing without her knowing it. He'd become unable to walk, and the sled seemed like the only way to get him home.
It was tough to get him into the sled. He resisted and seemed like he might try to bite. We fashioned a make-shift muzzle, and his human slid him into the sled. Then, we worked as a two person team with me pulling the sled and his human pushing it while stabilizing her dog. I think that the sled scared him so he wanted to get off it.
When we got close to her house, the snow-packed trail was canted in a way that scared him, and he managed to get his make-shift muzzle off as he struggled to get off the sled. His human ran home to find a better muzzle, leaving me to sit with him.
I stroked his cheek and told him what a good boy he was. The sun was shining and his fur was warm and silky to my touch. It was a special few minutes.
I have always had a special spot in my heart for this gentle dog. He's one of the only dogs on our trail network who Shyla trusted from the start. He'd correct other dogs who were trying to bully Shyla.
I had to rush away after getting him home so that I could meet a worker at our house. Now, I wish that I'd said goodbye to my wonderful dog friend. I guess my goodbye was earlier while I stroked him in the sunny spot in the trail.
He died in his sleep yesterday afternoon just hours after we'd hauled him home. He slipped away while lying in the sunshine in his favorite spot next to his barn.