It is my hope that this thread can be used by others that are in my position or have been where I am at and can also share the joy their beloved dogs brought to them when they were still with them. In order for me to move on I decided to celebrate the 12 years I had with her rather than mourn her passing.
Celebrating a dog's life rather than mourning their loss
Panda, in all the years we had her, in the travel trailer, home, the house trailer up north, and the truck camper NEVER went in the house....EVER even as a pup. I know that this was not the norm and the pupply accidents were common with all the dogs we had she was the first one to ever NOT go in the house. And that purple duck we gave her the first day we picked her up is still in very good shape 12 years later. She was just an amazing dog.
Horble - It is tough knowing that our contant companion's life is coming to an end. Make the best of the time you have left and it sounds like you are. Yes, I am looking for another field bred Springer. A breeder I had contact info for during my the search for our 3 year old Springer Gypsy but did not contact now was. I sent the deposit in for the pup and also have a reservation with a 2nd breeder. Gypsy is liver/white and Panda was black/white. I am looking for another black/white. It was also a good way to keep them identified in the field so that will be my preference.
A friend of mine lost her black lab in February. While I commented to her I was hoping for one more year from Panda it was not to be. She hunted with me last fall every day, all day, and while not the speed she still had the stamina. She had a good life and rather than concentrate on the last two days I am trying to remember the countless good times we shared in the time we had her. It is helping but I have to confess there is a tear that comes to my eyes at least a couple times a day.
A couple weekends ago we went camping. There were always 3 chairs to pack into the truck. I started packing them as we had for the last 11 years because Panda always wanted to lay in a chair. I went to put the 3rd one in and realized she would not be with us so I only needed 2. After a brief thought, a tear running down my cheek, I packed the 3rd one anyway! While she would not be in the chair she was still in my heart.