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Having adopted a Forget Me Not senior dog I saw on the Old Dog Haven web site a few years earlier, the staff kept me in mind when he died, and let me know they'd received a senior dog from Spokane that they thought might interest me.

“Dory” was overweight, old, and wasn’t able to walk when transferred to the Forget Me Not Shelter. She was put on a diet and evaluated. The shelter emailed me about her, calling her “the sweetest dog they’d ever seen.” I took that as hyperbole, but I saw it was true after she arrived.

I went over to Monroe to pick her up and she seemed a little confused, but, well, sweet. Introductions at home went fine (at that point I had three other dogs.) Staying with my love of “Q” names, I changed her name to Qwoddy, which is the name of the creek that runs through my property. The creek’s name is spelled “Quade,” but pronounced like I spelled the newbie’s new name.

Over the following months she lost weight (the shelter sent a can of green beans with her, and she continued to get them as treats; which she loved.) And it turned out that the shelter was not exaggerating about her sweetness. During her first vet visit the vet actually said she was one of the sweetest clients ever and he wouldn’t mind having her in his own home.

Qwoddy and I spent the first few months taking short walks. Slowly she became more mobile and even managed to accompany us back in the woods and got her first view of the creek she was named for.

About 10 months after arriving she seemed to be unable to walk very far. As the next month progressed she became less and less mobile; I upped her arthritis meds and it seemed to help (maybe wishful thinking on my part?) But it soon became evident that she was no longer finding it possible to get up by herself or walk when I helped her to stand. She absolutely refused to be helped by my holding her up, and also seemed to hate being held up with a sling.

It was so sad to see her struggle and, although her mind was still as alert as ever, her body failed her. In June 2019 I arranged for a home euthanasia visit. You often wonder if it’s “too soon,” if the dog has another month or week or even a day of quality life left. But Qwoddy showed me she was ready. It pained me to see her agonize over not being able to go outside to relieve herself and I knew she was ready. I may never meet a sweeter dog and am glad to have been able to give her a happy final year.