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The Love of a Good Dog


My mother called today to tell me that her 10 year old Newfie puppy, Shawnee, has lymphoma all throughout her system. Shawnee is only the third dog I've ever had as a puppy, and definitely one of the few dogs who stayed a puppy her entire life. Mom plans to take her camping in the mountains again next week, then probably say goodbye on the following Saturday. Shawnee and Caela were both born in 1994, and we'll have lost them both in 2004.

I went up to Casper, WY, with my mom, and my best friend, Kathy, to pick Shawnee up. She was the first pup we had gotten from a new Newfie breeder (the family we had gotten dogs to got out of the Newfoundland business to breed black labs for hunting). This is the same breeder who gave us Kodi, too. Kathy took this picture of us with puppy Shawnee at Joanne's house. As you can tell, newf pups (and dogs) do not photograph very well, but you get an idea. She was around 3 months at the time of the picture.

When we got home, the poor little thing was so confused by her new surroundings without mom or any siblings, that she chose the best place she could find to hide. The cooler in this picture is about the size of the little play-mate coolers that you see construction crews carrying their lunches in.... And here's a complimentary puppy picture, just for the "Awww" factor. :-)

Shawnee never was the best-looking Newfie, but boy, does she ever have the newf personality. She went through a growth spurt, going through the awkward teenage stage. Unfortunately, she never grew out of it.

The most recent picture I have of Shawnee is from our trip to Laramie in August, 2001. She really hasn't changed much since then, and is still just as sweet as ever. Here is what mom has to say about Shawnee's outlook on life right now: "I'm not sure how Lena will take the loss. She is very close to Shawnee. It's going to be a really rough two weeks, but I am so greatful I have the option to end her suffering and don't have to watch her suffer. The vet says she is in pain now, but hopefully the prednisone will ease that. Also, she isn't having trouble eating yet, and that is a good sign. And, she still perks up and gets excited to see me, has her waggy tail and wiggly body, and she still tries to play with Lena, so I think she will be all right for a couple of weeks, especially since the medication is suppose to help."

So wish us all well, and keep a spot in your hearts for a wiggly 10 year old Newfie puppy.


But she was our third puppy--we got Kuma as a puppy too--so that's Kuma, Baron, & Shawnee, like I said.

Actually, we got Baron as a puppy, too. So Shawnee was our second puppy from a breeder. I think the cooler in that picture is actually a little larger than the playmate coolers. But enough being picky about details. I've been looking for an up-and-down picture for a picture frame a friend gave me and unfortunately all the good pictures are the back-and-forth kind. But I did pull out the most recent picture on this page to see if I could make it work somehow, because it is one of the best pictures of Shawnee I have. Shawnee is doing better on the prednisone, but this is such a difficult time. Coincidentally, the paper today had the following quote from Lord Byron:
Epitaph to a dog:
Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty
Without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man
Without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning flattery
If inscribed over Human Ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
"Boatswain," a Dog
Who was born at Newfoundland,
May, 1803,
And died at Newstead Abbey
Nov 18, 1808.

:( Sad news. Losing a pet is so hard. My sympathies to your mom. I know that Shawnee had a good life and was a very lucky doggie.