|Herman came to us in 1993 along with his pal Rascal. He didn't take
long to get used to running our home once he got over the sore muscles
from checking out the place so soon after being caged. We heard that he
had been thrown over the fence at the pound, and left there with frozen
paws. The staff nursed him back to health, and he went to a family with
children. It seems he didn't get along with them, and was back to the pound
for three months. I was told that his time was coming up that weekend;
so, I bought into it and brought him and Rascal home.
They got along fine, but were never close. Rascal had ear mites and
a tape worm that had to be medicated; Herman, luckily, never got these.
She also went into heat, and Herman, being fixed, didn't have a clue. We
had to keep them separated until we could get her spade. It was quite funny
to see her face asking for him to come, and he just looked like "What???".
After being tied up in the backyard for awhile, we thought it would
be safe to let them roam. Herman decided that he'd like to go potty in
a neighbour's beautiful, huge vegetable garden. They tried to catch him
several times, apparently, and when they finally did, they took him to
the pound. I believe they tried to pay off the staff so that we did not
get informed, but luckily, we did go and check out who was there, and brought
Herman home. After that, he was tied up again so that there'd be no more
We had a few wonderful years of playing in the backyard and him following
me around and becoming my best buddy. After more than 4 years, he
was quite chunky and developed diabetes just before we were supposed to
go on holiday. We took him into the vet's, and were told to put him down.
We decided to try him on insulin, and see how it went. They started him
on PZI, but knew it was going to be discontinued; so sent us home with
Humulin U. That was how little they knew about diabetes at the time. He
was on one shot for about 5 month, and although he was somewhat better,
he could not be regulated. That's when we started him on vetsulin/caninsulin.
Herman had had neuropathy for most of this time; it had improved some,
but he still struggled to get up stairs. He was an independent chap, and
didn't want you to help. Anyway, he went on two shots, and after about
a month, we found a dose that seemed to work. His neuropathy finally went
away. I tried to do blood testing on him, but couldn't get enough for the
meter. I tried again years later with the same results.
Herman lived 7 1/2 years with diabetes, and had problems with stomach
ulcers due to medication given to him for his arthritis which was very
bad. We had to force feed him for four weeks before he would eat on his
own again. His back legs had some atrophy when we got him, and this
seemed to leave an opening for arthritis to hit him hard. He got cataracts
from old age, and didn't like to go out on bright days in his last years,
but he always loved to go out in the yard while I was gardening. He would
often nudge my hand to get some attention while I was digging out weeds,
or whatever. I always had to stop and give him some pats, and he taught
me just to sit and love the sun and quiet in our yard. He also would join
me in the basement where I quilted, and would lean on me until I helped
him onto the chair I had there for him to sit on. He would then walk on
my lap, and over the machine if I didn't pause and spend time with
him. I will always miss this guy who became my shadow, and would make me
stop and enjoy quiet moments with him.
Herman's kidneys started failing badly last fall, and he lost weight
and urinated a lot. I thought it had something to do with his diabetes,
but unfortunately, it was his body getting old. He continued to lose weight
over the next 5 months, and we had trouble getting him to eat. We started
feeding him people food which he never touched before, and he got to like
things like cooked chicken and shrimps. His final meal was a bit of sardine
which he loved. He had a really bad day before he passed where he
would only drink water, urinate tons, and sleep. The final day he seemed
a bit better, but we knew we couldn't let him live through another day
like that. He went peacefully and with so much trust that I will never
forget how he looked as he lay at rest.
He is now running on four good legs in warm sunshine, and rolling in
the green grass that he loves. I will try to remember the lessons he taught
me about enjoying the quiet times, and loving with all your heart.To
keep trying, and be as independent as possible. Don't complain, but love
as much as you can. He was my wonderful boy, and I will always miss him