His old age crept up so silently, I had not considered that his time with us might be coming to so quick an end. He was still such a puppy at heart! Full of bounce and joy and love! He's been so strong and healthy! I knew he was slowing down when last winter, he was slower to get up from the wood floors and not so fast on the stairs. I thought to myself: maybe not too many more years with this one. But I thought I had a few more left.
This summer, he had a crisis and the vet thought he had cancer in his shoulder. It turned out not to be cancer, or at least a very slow growing one: no changes in over 4 months. But his arthritis was terrible. And a disc was partially herniated. And he lost the use of his back legs and several courses of various treatment brought only temporary relief. He would rally and then: crash, rather suddenly, each time bouncing back not quite so far as he had before. It seemed too unfair to expect such a kind and generous being as Archie to stick around and deal with pain that was ever more difficult to control because his humans were having such a terrible time saying goodbye. So, we did our best for Archie, as we always did. Finally, our best was to send him off gently and lovingly.
Archie was simply the best dog I ever knew with a child. A family of young children moved in next door, when Archie was only a few years old. The youngest girl had developed a fear of dogs and Archie, well, he was several times her size. He was quiet and gentle and patient with her, while she could not bring herself to come near him for....months. And then, one day, I looked out and saw that the little girls, all elementary school age, had some friends over and all were roller blading on the sidewalk in front of our house. Archie wanted to play and he joined in by letting the girls hold onto his fur as he trotted up and down the sidewalk, gauging his speed by the size of the girl, and her balance on the blades. He was so slow with the youngest girl, the one who had been afraid of him. A bit faster with the next one up and still a bit faster with the biggest girls. They were all so delighted, none more so than Archie.
But what would you expect: he was raised by my daughter, who was 11 when Archie came to us and he raised her as well. Because he grew up walking with my daughter and her friends, he came to believe his name was "Cute!" and always was sure if he heard that word, they were talking about him. Usually, he was right.
Archie's tongue was too big for his mouth, it seemed. He slept with it partially hanging out, just peeking past his lips. He gave such gentle--and thorough! kisses! He was a good bedmate, rarely moving once he settled in for the night.
With the puppies, he was terrific at teaching them to behave--or trying to. He never hesitated to put them in their place if he felt they were too rambunctious with children nearby, or even if he felt they weren't being cooperative enough when i was time to put on leashes.
When our son Ben came back from Afghanistan, Archie, along with the younger pups, was an integral part of helping Ben readjust to civilian life. Ben stayed with us for a year after his return. For the first few weeks. Archie, along with Sophie and Sherman slept with Ben on his childhood twin bed. That was about 270 lbs of sheepie with one former soldier on one small bed. Later, Archie still always slept with Ben if he was spending the night at our house. And if kids had been home for a few days and were now gone, Archie felt entitled to sleep in our bed, which unfortunately, just did not work out well at all.
Archie always had that uncanny knack of knowing when you needed extra love. He was just the guy to give it, laying at your feet or side or on top of you, depending on how great he felt your need was.
I have known a lot of smaller breed dogs who could bounce straight up when they were excited but only one larger dog, who of course, was Archie. Archie had his own special little dance he did when he was excited, lifting is feet up and down, in delight because he was going on a walk with one of his favorite people--which was everyone, really. He loved to play tug and to wrestle with me and make sounds like a demented Wookie. We really felt he could have had a great career in voice overs if we had lived nearer to Hollywood.
He loved squeaky toys of all kinds and his people.
Never was there such a boy in all the world. Never will be again.
|What a lovely tribute to your boy. I am so sorry for your loss.|
|I'm very sad for your loss. Thank you for sharing so many sweet stories about him.|
|I'm so sorry for your loss of your sweet, sweet Archie. He put up a valiant fight right to the end, bless his soul. I know how much your heart hurts right now, and I hope your wonderful memories of him will help heal it soon. He will forever be in your heart, and I'm sure he'll be watching over his family from the bridge.|
|I am so sorry for your loss. Having an older one (12 years & 7 months yesterday) I know exactly what you are talking about. They just don't live long enough. A wonderful tribute to your wonderful boy.|
|I am so sorry for your loss.|
|I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Archie. Your tribute to Archie is so beautiful....I caught myself thinking "Violet does that." Archie is going to be sorrily missed.|
Prayers and positive thoughts to youduring this difficult time.
|Beautiful tribute for your lovely boy. My thoughts are with you and your family.|
|I'm so sorry for your family |
Archie is in a much better place now, and thanks to the love of you and your family, he isn't suffering anymore.
to you all
|What a beautiful tribute to Archie! Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time.|
|Good bye Archie. I've loved knowing you, if only thru the forum.|
|Your love for Archie shines through your tribute, I can not see the keyboard for tears. He sounds the most wonderful dog imaginable. Thank you for loving him as much as you did and not wanting him to suffer any more. He is now as free as a bird and playing over the Bridge with all our beloved pets. xxx|
|Archie was a very lucky puppy. We are sorry for your loss.|
Laurie and Oscar
|I'm so sorry for your and your children's loss of Archie.|
He knows that you gave him every chance possible and made the most difficult decision in his best interest. Thank you for being so strong.
|So sorry for your loss. It sounds like Archie was a really special boy.|
|I'm really sorry.|
|So sorry for your loss. |
Many hugs and prayers for you and your family!
|I'm so sorry to hear of your loss of Archie.|
|My heart aches for you. You loved him so well and his tribute is beautiful. my thoughts and prayers are with you.|
|so very sorry for your loss hugs to you|
|What a beautiful tribute to your Archie. I'm so sorry.|
|We are very sorry for your loss. Archie sounds like he was a wonderful boy.|
Lisa and Frankie
|I'm so sorry. |
They're all special, but some of them just have that extra something that reminds you how blessed you were to share your life with something or someone so extraordinary. And he was blessed to have you as well.
|Thank you all for your kind words, and understanding. And thank you for giving me a place to talk about Archie.|
|So sorry for your loss|
|I am so sorry.|
|God bless your special man. |
Know we are thinking of you all at this sad time, may archie run free with all the other sheepie babys in heaven waiting to greet your special man.
|I am so sorry for your loss.|
|I am so very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your special boy. I know your heart is hurting--special thoughts for you and your family. It is just so hard when they go.|
|I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Your tribute is so beautiful, Archie was obviously very loved. He'll be very missed.|
|I am very very sorry for your lost |
|I am so very sorry for your loss. Archie was obviously deeply loved.|
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