Sunday, March 27, 2011

Juno

I started this last Saturday and never published it...

Juno in her youth
Today was the dreaded day. You know it's going to come but when it finally does, you never know how hard it will hit. Today we put down our dog Juno. She was getting up there in years, almost 13, and for a Rottweiler that's pretty old. She's been struggling with some health issues the last year, but for the most part we were able to control it with medication. That medication, prednisone, causes other issues. She'd gone from over 70 pounds to 60. She'd recently caught some sort of infection and antibiotics just couldn't kick it. We did what we could to try to help her out, but once we realized she wasn't going to get any better, it was time to let her go easy. I will miss her tremendously. Juno was our first dog and was treated very well (spoiled). Hard to believe we had her for 12 years.

Tim and I had just moved into a small house in Urbana, IL, and as I was a grad student working long hours, Tim thought getting a dog would be a good idea to keep him company. I had dogs as a kid, so I was up for getting a furry friend. He wanted a Rottweiler due to their characteristics, so we contacted the Champaign County Rottweiler Rescue and initiated the process. They called us that they had a sweet 10 month old dog named Precious. We visited the dog and said "we'll take her!" It took us a week or so to figure out a new name (Precious just wasn't going to cut it) and we decided on Juno, the Roman Goddess of Heaven. We had to learn how to handle a dog and she had to get used to her new home.

Juno was food motivated and because Rotties are dominant dogs, we read it was a good thing to give them a command before feeding them so they knew who was in charge. So we taught her to bring us her bowl (it was a plastic one at the time) and then we would feed her. Worked great - until she was bored or hungry and would just randomly bring us her bowl and drop it at our feet. Feed me!

Then there was the time we were at a small lake with some friends and their dogs. Juno definitely liked the water, although she didn't really swim. But she'd splash and play around. The lake had a small and short floating dock so we walked out to the edge. The water level was only a few inches below the dock so Juno just walked right of the end of it! She was panicked for a few seconds until she figured out she could doggy paddle and I helped get her over to the shore. She didn't spend much time on the dock after that.

Juno also successfully made it through two ACL surgeries. When she was about 5 years old she blew one knee out just running at a dog park. As that one was healing and we were ready give her a little more freedom as it was healing, the other one went out. She didn't run so well after that, but she still was able to scramble around rocks and such when we went hiking. You'd never really know she had double knee surgery.

Our move out to Colorado allowed Juno (and Mars) opportunity to enjoy the outdoors even more. We bought some property in the mountains and would take them up regularly. We took Juno up one last time last weekend. We grilled steak and salmon and she enjoyed that very much! We'd hike around and let her play in the stream that was near by. She showed no fear climbing up some rocks and looking out over the edge and the views.

Juno in her favorite spot - right next to the kitchen table...
Juno enjoyed car rides and feeling the rush of the wind in her face with her head out the window. Her favorite toy was a kong because we'd put food in it for her. It replaced the bowl as the item randomly dropped at our feet. She'd walk up to us with that kong in her jaw, squeeze it a few times, and then - thud - it'd be at our feet. If we ignored her she'd pick it up and try again, this time making sure it landed with a louder thud. They myocitis affected her jaw and her ability to open her mouth, so the last few months she couldn't enjoy her kongs.
Here comes the kong!

squeeeze!

happy dog with kongs near by!

rough day - need a nap!

Juno - the best poochie ever!

We're really going to miss Juno. She was a very sweet dog and kept us company for 12 years. The house just isn't quite the same without her...

5 comments:

Chris Gosnell said...

You will be missed, Juno, just as you were loved for many, many years. I love your tribute; thank you for sharing!

Jason Odell said...

We'll miss you, Juno. You've got some good buddies with you now.

Addie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know how so very hard it is to make that decision and be without your loved pup. You gave Juno a great life and I hope you keep remembering all the good times.

lively_linds said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dog! It's never easy to lose a pet and I hope you're doing okay. Remember the good times you had with her!

Nicole said...

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the kind comments.