One of our fosters sent along this note about a dog owned by another one of our volunteers/fosters. Please take a moment to read this.
Please indulge me in posting this tribute to Shasta. His life and death should be acknowledged and there is no one else to do it.
Shasta was a Pyrenean Shepherd (Pyr-Shep) (http://www.pyrshep.com/). ; He was rescued by my friend Mary about 8 years ago from a breeder who was going to have him euthanised because he was difficult to work with and the breeder didn't want to bother with him. Mary had titled her two other dogs in agility (multiple titles, in fact) and believed the Pyr-Shep breed was ideal for agility work. She proved to be right and she and Shasta did very well in the agility trials, earning many ribbons.
About five years ago, financial difficulties necessitated that Mary and her dogs retire from agility competition. Mary taught Shasta some dance steps, but otherwise, the dogs became dogs-of-leisure and enjoyed a slower pace. Mary had to be careful with Shasta because, as a herding dog, he could be nippy with strangers and, also common to the breed, was a one-person dog who doted on Mary, but didn't care much for anyone else.
Three years ago Mary was diagnosed with bone cancer and went through chemo, radiation treatments, and many doctors' appointments. Recently her decline accelerated and she became incapacitated. Mary wanted to remain in her home with her beloved three dogs and three cats. Her sister and I tried to make that possible for her. Sister Betty tended to Mary's needs while I tended to the pets. Just over the last few days, it became apparent that Mary needed to be hospitalized and, most likely, would not return to her home but live out her life with Betty at best.
On Monday Mary was taken to the hospital. Two of Mary's dogs, the "good" dogs, went to live with sister Betty but she could not take Shasta the "difficult" dog, the dog who loved and needed Mary the most. So, I took him to my home. He had met my dogs several times before and they got along; and he was very friendly with me. Last night when I came home from work as I opened the door, Shasta pushed through it. I tried to prevent him from getting out the door, but he kept biting me and I just couldn't hold on to him while he bit me. I cornered him on my porch but his speed and maneuverability were no match for me. He ran off my property at top speed, down the road, and was struck and killed instantly by a car.
Shasta was headed for home. It was the only place he wanted to be and he would not be deterred. Rest in peace, little Shasta. I believe you will be reunited with your beloved Mary very soon.