by Linda Clayton
(Toms River, N. J.)
Hero was a sweet and wonderful black labrador.
He passed away two weeks ago at the age of 8 1/2. Our vet diagnosed him with bone cancer. I can't say that I regret sharing our lives with this wonderful canine. I do regret the fact that he had severe elbow displasia which limited his activites for most of his life.
He was lame the following day if we so much as allowed him a short game of fetch. A long walk was out of the question.
These limitations began at a very young age. He was content to just be close by to me and was a real house dog, never staying outside for long after his bathroom duties were completed.
I miss him so much, a lab becomes an important part of the family. We have decided to get another labrador pup to bring us some joy.
We shall always miss him but need to fill the void he has left. This time I will be a bit wiser and I am buying this new pup from an experienced and dedicated breeder.
Yes, I am paying more in terms of a monetary amount. Please be aware that bargain pups (we only paid $300.00 for Hero) from backyard breeders encourage inexperienced people who breed for a few extra dollars (as they spend little on the health care and certification).
These amatures do not take the breeding of dogs seriously and do not breed the pups for the betterment of the breed. Often these dogs are very hyper.
Our Hero was a calm boy with a very good disposition but due to poor genetic planning he had a limited ability to enjoy life and that will always make me very sad.
The displasia in his joints let to severe arthritis and discomfort early on. Don't fund backyard breeders and puppymills, if you are wanting a puppy of any breed do some homework and deal with a dedicated breeder who truly does their best for the dogs they breed.