Tyler was booked into the shelter as a stray, black-and-tan cocker, and the dedicated volunteer said he had withdrawn, was sick and wouldn’t live long so needed hospice.    Both were inaccurate; he was very likely a long-haired doxie mixed with something else and he was black with white muzzle and one little white foot (no tan).   Oh well…   He was quite active, a great little walker after VERY enthusiastic starts, and enjoyed exploring the pasture.

We discovered that he had Inflammatory Bowel Disease and related GI issues but he responded well to treatment and prescription diet. Tyler did come very withdrawn, and would push his face  into a soft bed or pillow and gnaw on it while crying softly – heartbreaking to listen to.   That self-comforting behavior mostly went away as he felt safe with us and became a happier dog, but it reappeared at times of stress and made us wonder what his life had been before that he kept that habit.

After 8 months he suddenly developed a cough that we couldn’t quite diagnose and couldn’t treat effectively.    When even large steroid doses couldn’t stop it and he coughed most of a day, we had to say goodbye.     As too often, we feel like we were just getting to know him and to let him feel part of the family; he was loved and wanted, and we hope he knew that.