Please accept this post as a replacement for the blurb about our amazing dog Scotty which I submitted yesterday after having had to put him down.

It was late summer of 1998, my wife Sheila and I were attending a party in my hometown. While at this party we noticed a lab puppy wandering around and assumed it belonged to the host. The puppy was obviously a Labrador but rather than being yellow or chocolate or black this dog was almost pure white.

As the evening progressed we came to find out that the dog didn’t belong to the host but was a stray that had just shown up in the host’s yard. Sadly, someone started giving the dog beer to drink and he drank enough that he passed out. This made us both angry but seeing the puppy lying there with an uncertain future tugged on our hearts and we ended up taking the dog home with us.

We convinced my parents to keep the dog for us as we were living in an apartment at the time though we had just purchased a house into which we would be moving in the fall. We named him Scotty, after Scotty Bowman, who was at that time the coach of the Detroit Red Wings.

During the time my parents had him he got lost and we were heartbroken, thinking our puppy was gone for good. My dad happened to see a cardboard sign on the side of the road with Found Yellow Lab Pup scrawled on it. He called the number and went to pick up Scotty who had found a nice log home with another yellow lab in residence. Shortly thereafter we moved into our home and Scotty joined us, the three of us embarking on an amazing journey.

Change came to our lives in so many ways over the next few years and Scotty was there. My dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1999. During his illness we went to visit every weekend and often Scotty was there. My dad lost his battle early in 2000.

During those first five years of his life Scotty ended up tearing both of his rear ACL’s. We went through with surgery both times to repair the damage but were warned at that time that he would be very prone to arthritis throughout his life.

In 2001 we had our son and Scotty’s position in the family changed but he didn’t seem to mind. We had also acquired another stray dog, this one a chocolate female lab. Again, Scotty’s status changed, but again, he didn’t seem to mind.

In 2002 my mom was diagnosed with melanoma which quickly took her down. We lost her early in 2003 and Scotty was there. It was a sad time for me. I was spending a lot of time going through my parent’s home and getting it ready to sell, Scotty was my constant companion.

So life has gone on and the one constant has been Scotty. We have had so many blessings, so many joys and have also weathered substantial storms and Scotty has been there.

He turned 11 in April. The past couple of years had seen an escalation in Scotty’s arthritis. He wasn’t able to walk as far but he still enjoyed going for walks and rides and going anywhere we would take him.

The last few months he really began to struggle, his back legs often times buckling beneath him as he tried to negotiate stairs and inclines. We had him in and out of the vet, getting him different meds to try to control the arthritis, but nothing seemed to be working all that well. We were told that he would probably do ok through the warm summer months but that the cold and dampness of the fall were surely going to be a problem for him.

I took him to the dog beach last weekend so he could go for a swim. As he struggled to walk to the water a young lab shot past him like a bullet and as I watched him follow the young dog in the water he looked ancient to me and I knew this would be his last time at the beach. He seemed to enjoy his swim and he wanted to play with the younger dog but every time he would come out of the water he would fall down, something I couldn’t bear to watch.

I talked to the vet that night and explained what was going on and we arranged to bring him in early in the week to evaluate the situation. I slept next to Scotty for a while on Sunday night, with his head on my chest. I knew where things were going but I was praying all along that he would show a miraculous recovery before Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning I sat on the floor with him, his paws on my lap. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him but I knew the pain was unbearable for him. We loaded him into the truck one last time and took him to the Vet where we went over our options and came to the conclusion that the best thing for him was to be put to sleep.

My wife and I cried as they prepared him for his injection. As the injection was given I knelt at the table holding his ears and pressing his head into mine. He was gone just like that, but he lives in our hearts forever. The emptiness is astounding but I know the pain will subside and Scotty will again occupy the happiest parts of our hearts.

Rest in peace Scotty, in our hearts and our minds you are the best dog ever to have walked this earth.

Jason from MI