This has nothing to do with fitness, nutrition, motivation, or any of the usual stuff I write about. Mainly it's just me saying goodbye to a significant part of our family, our dog Lance. If you're not an animal lover this will mean absolutely nothing to you, but if you do love animals you will feel where I'm coming from.
My wife and I met in Auburn because we lived in the same trailer park during college. Because true love is everywhere when you live in a place where homes can be put on a truck and hauled away.
We met, fell in love, and I gained a wife as well as my first dog. Never felt cooler than the first time we took a man's trip with him hanging his head out of the window of my truck while riding on the bench seat. I felt like I could have written a country song at any minute.
Just like with a lot of women, Lance was my wife's practice baby. He came with more instructions than a Gremlin and actually had equipment he traveled with if someone ever watched him.
Lance was the best. Never barked, never attacked, always happy, would rather die than pee in the house. The sweetest, most well-behaved dog and everybody loved him.
Fast forward to having a kid and Lance was demoted from first string and I started calling him SF, Second Fiddle.
Years go by fast man. We aren't sure how old Lance is. My wife got him from the pound when he was fairly young. Anyone who knows pound dogs knows they are great dogs, it's like they know that you helped them out. Our best guess is that Lance was about 15 or so.
These past few years he has been in a steady decline, getting slower and slower. His arthritis getting worse, he started losing control of his bladder and throwing up a lot. Tough to see.
So today I took him to the vet and was told it was time. Crazy the things that go through your head. I mean it's just a dog right? That's what I tried to tell myself, but I couldn't make it stick. What do you do when you know it's time to put your dog to sleep? What do your tell your son, who has literally had the dog in his life every day of his life?
All I could think to do was go for a ride with him. He was always happiest when he could have the windows down, face in the breeze, and slobber all over my car. So I took him to pick up my son from school. It was the only thing that had gotten any response out of him for days. He even got a little bit of a dog smirk on his face and looked happy for a minute. Did he pee, slobber, shed, and throw up in my car? Sure did. But he also sat up with his tail wagging for the first time in days too.
To make sure my wife and son got to tell him goodbye we waited until tonight to have him put to sleep. Great to spend time with him, but torture to wait around all day with him in pain. I had a boot camp class to teach right before and it was tough to flip the switch and get ready to teach class. It's what professionals do though.
I'm going to miss the old fella, he was there for so many memories. This picture is how I will always remember him. Crammed into a super tight tuxedo for dogs that was clearly uncomfortable, but he aimed to please so he wore it with pride. RIP Lance, thanks buddy.