A Final Farewell to

       "Miles vom der Hinterlands"

September 18, 2001  -  February 6, 2003

The Heart of a Lion

At two weeks of age, I knew Miles was different.  He appeared to be lacking in the ability to propel himself amongst the other littermates.  Otherwise, he appeared healthy.   I removed him from his larger litter and placed him with a younger litter of 3, thus giving him a slight advantage with size and age.  He continued to thrive and grow.  

Miles knew he was different from all of the other dogs.  Miles became increasingly more paraplegic as he grew in size and weight.  He hopped like a rabbit as a puppy and had accompanied us on our daily walks to the barns and kennels on our ranch, all-the-while, feeling compelled to boss everyone and everything.   As he gained more weight with age, he became increasingly unable to support his hind quarters.  He learned to mobilize himself with his  powerful chest and front legs.  Why did I keep him alive?  He wanted to live.  Everything in life is not perfect.  

Miles had the heart of a lion.  All of the characteristics of a German Shepherd Dog were in his actions, guarding ability, attitude and personality.  He felt the necessity  to control everyone he felt was "out of line".  He was quite serious but comical, intelligent, fun, and affectionate.  He was a very high maintenance dog, but  independent.  He needed daily baths.  He lived to guard.  He knew he was important.  

His life was short but meaningful.  He taught the other German Shepherd Dogs at Hinterland tolerance, manners and accepting a not so fortunate, handicapped animal and his shortcomings.  Miles used the other dogs as a brace, for leverage and balance when he was able to stand. He would get "hopping" in a forward motion and use the other dogs as his brake, by slamming into them.  He would go underneath their bellies when he was on "a mission".  We all learned to accept Miles' shortcomings in a positive way.

The few days prior his departure from this earth, he felt a bit under the weather.  He didn't eat for two days; not even the goodies or bribery we offered him.  He ceased barking and bossing everyone.  He ceased guarding his food.  My husband and I discussed euthanising Miles.  I went to Miles and had a conversation with him regarding his current condition.   He looked at me and we had a little heart to heart.  He then looked at me, wretched once, and I thought he was going to vomit.  He wretched two more times, laid his head down and died, while I petted him. I told him goodbye and that I loved him.  He actually waited for me to finish my breakfast and come to talk to him before he died.  With the heart of a lion, Miles died for me.  

Thank-you, Miles,  for teaching us that because you were different, you still had a purpose being here.  Go with God, Miles, and where St. Francis can take care of you where we left off.  You were special.  We will meet at the Rainbow Bridge someday...

Good-bye, Miles.  I love you.


Rest peacefully, forever...  



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This page last updated on
February 12, 2003.