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Wonder Dog has left the building

Caleb the Wonderdog 2011

Caleb the Wonder Dog went to doggy heaven yesterday.

He was almost 12 years old. We’d had him since he was a puppy; he became part of our family in July, 2000 the year my husband and I got married. I saw him at a pet shop and fell in love. He was my boy.

I always knew he was meant to be mine because he was seriously over-bred and had debilitating issues that would have gotten him destroyed if I wasn’t the one to save him. We were even given that option, once it was clear he had hip dysplasia. We’d had him about a year, and the pet shop offered to take him back but I couldn’t do it. He was my boy. They ended up paying us 150% of his purchase price and that money went towards his hip and knee replacement surgery. Have you ever had to rehabilitate a dog who just had hip surgery? It wasn’t easy but we got through it. My husband frequently referred to him as the six million dollar dog. But he was loyal and sweet and you cannot put a price on that. I’ve been called a “bleeding heart” yet sometimes the label fits. He was my boy.

When he about 5 we noticed that he was going blind. Our vet confirmed that he had degenerative eye disease and there was nothing we could do. His eyesight went fast and his blindness caused him anxiety. Some days were a major challenge, but we all made do.

Even with all his health issues, he had a good life. He was spoiled, loved, well-fed. When he could still see he loved to swim in our pool. We had this fish toy that ran on batteries and he’d swim and chase it around for hours. He loved walks, and would proudly carry his leash in his mouth and “walk” himself. He was a huge golden retriever, 100lbs, but would have sat in your lap if you’d let him. He adored children and they adored him. He was a good buddy.

Little Miss and Wonderdog 2011

Captain Fussypants and Wonderdog 2007

Captain Fussypants and Wonderdog 2001

This isn’t the first pet I’ve lost. In fact, my husband and I have lost three dogs in the last 10 years, all to old age. But just because we’ve been through this before, it doesn’t make it any easier. Pets are family, and they leave a void when they are gone.

A friend summed it up perfectly for me. She said, “They leave such a huge hole in our homes when they’re gone, but seem to take up so little space when they’re there”.

I miss you Caleb, you were my boy.