My beautiful boy Clay died today at the ripe old age of 13. Not bad for a coon hound. He got up in the morning, went outside, and seemed fine but when I came home at noon, I was pretty certain from the way he was acting that he was not feeling well. He refused his favorite treats and kept moving around and lying down then moving away whenever I approached. He just did not seem right. He had no real illness prior to this and we had taken a four mile walk just the day before and he had been his usual, "not so good on a leash" self the whole way. I left work early to take him to the vet, but when I was pulling into the drive I had the feeling I was too late, and I was. He was laying down in front of the spot I always sat in and was gone. I believe he just wanted to be alone at the end and go on his own terms. He was always his own dog, never really mine...

I had nearly 11 years with this noble creature and even though my grief is deep and will be long, I would not change a second of it. I know I will get another hound soon and love that dog as well, but the joy and happiness Clay brought me for over a decade will surely be one of the thngs I think of in my own last moments on this planet. He was my best friend ever and although this house is now empty, my heart will always be full of the memories that will forever remain of this dear and precious dog.

Thank you Rescue for allowing me to have Clay in my life. I am a much better man for it.

P Richard Henson

"If my dog is barred by the heavenly guard
We'll both of us brave the heat!"
~ W. Dayton Wedgefarth

25 September 2011