We knew it was coming.
We prayed we could hold back the inevitable freight train of misery, prayed for a miracle.....but no. It was not to be.
After months and months of ups and downs, good days, bad days, days where he was painful, days where he was super playful....finally Iain Glen told us that it was time.
And we had to listen.
Those of you who frequent this page regularly will know that there are cute dogs, there are good looking dogs, there are even scrumptious dogs. And then there was Iain.
65-pounds of caramel chocolate, the most aristocratic nose and amber eyes that you could fall into.
Oh, and whiskers like a catfish..so that became his nickname. Pronounced 'CYATfish' like we were all from the bayou.
Oh man, Iain was a looker for sure...but it didn't stop there.
Iain was a dog that commanded your attention, made you fall madly in love with him but kept himself so infinitesimally out of reach, aloof in a kind of manly, Clint Eastwood-esque way, that you were never sure if you were his favorite or if he was secretly courting the charms of another.
He just maintained a slight aloofness to underline his position as a head honcho, not concerned with the small and inconsequential...he would give himself to you in the moment and then be on his way, but by then you were hooked, giddy with pleasure that he'd noticed you.
This is how he was with everyone but Parker Posy.
Parker, the 18 year old dainty husky with the whimsical and playful nature was his lady love, his best friend and his partner in crime.
We would be shocked and awed to watch Iain's madcap capers with his beloved Parker late at night, when we were trying to get all the dogs settled for sleep and the two of them were having a race around the dining table! Parker was always too quick for him, but he was wily and as she flew around, he would nip in underneath and slip his body through the chairs so he could catch her 'on the fly'.
They often laid together, paws touching, like a little old couple in an assisted living facility, taking in each other's presence and basking in the glory of their love. Sharing unspoken jokes at the expense of the others half the time, I'm sure.
Iains passing was not unexpected, we made the decision to do surgery on the invasive cancer on his spine in January, knowing it would not save him, but hoping that it would give him time. He was a vital boy, he was beloved by humans and dogs alike......he was, after all, the cabin 'hottie'.
He came through surgery pretty well, all things considered, but the tentacles were far reaching and so we knew the cancer would rear it's ugly head again.
The surgery and the subsequent palliative treatments we opted for, did however buy him 6 months of peace, normality and pleasure.
He still enjoyed his Parker Posy, he still enjoyed his food, he loved a bimble around the cabin grounds and his favorite thing of all was to sleep outside of the little dog cabin like the Guardian of the Gate, daring anyone to go past.
He was an absolute bloody nightmare to move when he was there, firmly ensconced on one of the padded outdoor beds, digging his heels in.
Many is the call we took down at the DD Ranch with someone trying to move him to come back in out of the heat and been told unceremoniously to bugger off and leave him alone. That low grumble, top lip lifted in a sneer, amber eyes daring you to 'make his day'...yep, Clint Eastwood to a "T".
We'd race up there, pop a slip leash on him, shove some chicken in front of his face and he'd instantly perk up and say 'Lead the way, Toots".
Those reading this might be temped to think he was a bit of an a$$hole...nope, not at all. He just knew what he wanted and that was that. He wasnt going to maul anyone to death, he just thought he was the king of the veiled threat.
.....And we loved him for it, it made us giggle.
On the day that he passed, there was no doubt that it was time. He was losing his dignity along with his mobility and the constant toppling over and not being able to get himself up hurt his feelings more than his body.
He had quite the gathering of people coming in to wish him well on the next leg of his journey. He had a few of his 'swooning' fans, staff past and present, whom he graciously allowed to kiss him goodbye. Doug, his good friend for so long and whom he followed around his whole shift, every shift, came in especially to see him...this was a tough one for Doug.
Doug saw that Iain was embarrassed to have soiled himself and quietly took him into one of the rooms and cleaned him up so that he would be all shiny and clean to meet his old pals Boris and Gerry and the rest of the gang.
Team leader Cindy took him down to the vets and, so that he wouldnt be scared, she insisted upon Parker going with him. They sat in the car together all the way there, and then, when it was time, his girl Parker was beside him, letting him know she'd see him on the other side.
Iain, you perfect, perfect boy, you broke our hearts. Why couldn't you live forever?
This was a tough one for all of us.
So long Catfish, Rest In Peace beautiful boy.
We'll see you on the other side….
If you are new to The Ministry of Dog and haven’t heard about our work of passion, Frankie and Andy’s Place, our senior dog sanctuary located next door to our boarding and daycare business Desperate Dogs you should check us out at www.frankieandandysplace.org and www.desperatedogsusa.com Please SHARE with your friends and help us spread the word xxx