Today I euthanized by dog, Pooka. He was an 11 y.o. Newfoundland in poor health, and it was time. He leaves a large hole in my life, as befits a large, gentle soul.
I will share some tales of Pooka Bear.
Pooka AKA Pooka Bear was a Newfoundland. We got him because we live on a lake and we had the idea that the kids and the dog would have fun swimming in the lake. Oddly enough, Pooka did not like to swim, so that never worked out. He did love everybody and everything though (with one little exception).
He loved our cats. Every day he would get up and go through the house until he had found each cat and touched noses. He wanted desperately to be buddies, but only one cat really got to the snuggle buddy stage with him.
He loved the kids. All kids. I was walking him around the park once and the local elementary school was walking the third graders around the perimeter. With their teachers’ permission, every single student stopped and pet, and asked questions, and hugged, and swarmed. He loved it.
He loved other dogs. He was sooooo big though. Big and medium dogs were scared of him. He’d gallumph towards them, and hop and play bow and they’d freak. A monster is coming! It’s going to killllllll me. They’d back up and growl. He never understood that bigger dogs saw a bouncing bear-sized dog as threatening. Little dogs, though, little dogs adored him. He had a blast at the dog park with the little dogs. They’d swarm his legs, or climb on the benches to be closer to his height. Then they’d run back and forth. It was adorable.
Pooka’s hated enemy was the Canada Goose. As mentioned, we live with our property backed onto a lake. During migration, some geese are foolish enough to land on Pooka’s lawn. Sometimes they fly overhead as they approach the lake to settle in for a rest on their trip - trespassers! He’d bark and bark, chasing out any birds that were foolish enough to get close. In his old age, he couldn’t see the geese any more, but he could hear them. When we let him out, he would face the lake and bark, just on principle.
What Pooka loved most in life was me. When I left, he slept near the door I left through. When I moved through the house, he would find me and collapse near me. He got old and tired, and sometimes it took him a long time to notice, but he always found me.