Duncan Brewster McBain

in Vet

Like in any relationship we often do not appreciate to the fullest the companionship, friendship and loyalty until it is gone and we are reflecting on the past. As a puppy Duncan was never one that wanted to be held much like some children. He was always independent and not so cuddly. He never liked a bath, the vet or being brushed. We would joke that after a bath he would do whatever he could to smell bad again as soon as possible.

Duncan was a people dog. He loved company and wanted to be in the midst of everything, unlike Gunner that pouts and shys away. He loved children and I often remarked that we did not have a picture of Josh, our grandson, without Duncan.

Josh conducted deep conversations with Duncan while sitting on his soccer ball using hand motions as he babbled on about this or that. Duncan would sit attentively listening and watching his every move.

One Christmas Josh receive a policeman outfit and they formed a K-9 unit. Duncan was his police dog while he handed out scribbled tickets to us for not holding onto the stair handrails or other infractions he so deemed we had violated.

If Josh was at the table Duncan would be under his chair to be used as a foot stool until it was time to go again.

A year ago when Josh received his bulldog puppy, Major, I took him aside to explain that Duncan did not understand and that he needed to spend time with him too. I would find Josh trying to exercise Duncan by coaching him down the driveway.

The "boys" were different in personality as they could be and never much liked one another. It wasn't until the last few days that they layed close to one another in the laundry room. Looking back now I think they knew before I realized, it was time.

Duncan had begun snapping and biting me when I made him go out. At first I thought I had startled him and then after a couple more days had passed it was apparent that something was hurting him.

I made an appointment to have an exam and blood work to check his sugar levels. Upon weighing him on the scale at the vet it showed 8 pounds lost since the last visit which was quite surprising. You see Duncan looked as big as ever, but his liver was so enlarged that he looked heavier than he actually weighed.

Upon further examination the vet found a mass in his throat and his panting was not nerves from not liking the vet visit, but a heart mumor. This coupled with almost total blindness and blood sugar out of control I made the decision it was time.

Duncan had always been more my husband's dog. I have always thought they had same personality traits, independent and grumpy! Lew is due home on August, 6th from Alaska and a decision to try to keep Duncan hanging on or let him go had to be made.

With all the problems it was still difficult to decide the time was here. Logic told me that it was time and emotion flooded over me with the flashes of picking him out of the litter, his shoulder surgery at UC-Davis, traveling with him across the county whining for 2400 miles to our new home in North Carolina, taking pictures from the window as he would listen attentively to Josh and remembering "Duncan the Man" as our son, Jason, called him as he sat on the feet of visitors.

To ask anymore of him would have been selfish. He had given his all. He had tried to tell me over the past few days. I signed the papers and stayed with him singing his song that my husband made up to the tune of the  Adams Family theme song the first week we got him:

"Your name is Dunkie Doodle, you're cuter than a poodle. When you go out crusin' your antics are amusin' - your name is Dunkie Doo"

I talked about Josh and Daddy loving him which was about the only response I had gotten from him for days. He drifted off peacefully to sleep and I felt a relieft that his suffering was over.

I thought of a quote I had often run across:

"Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in." - Mark Twain

That quote has never rung truer than it did for me today. I just hope our Duncan knew what an integral part of our family unit he was and how much he will be missed.

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Mary Riggs has 1 articles online

Mary Riggs is the Owner of Cute as a Bug Boutique in Hickory, NC

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Duncan Brewster McBain

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This article was published on 2010/03/27