LEO 2008

Hi Everyone,

Leo is the best boy ever and my constant companion. He is in his senior years now with poor hearing so I have been teaching him sign language in case he totally loses his hearing. He gets anxious if he can't see me but otherwise has adjusted well to the hearing loss. Only other health issue was a spleenectomy almost 2 years ago for a greater than 6 pound non malignant mass on his spleen. I was a very anxious mom and couldn't understand why I would not have felt it but my vet, who has raised English Setters for many many years and has 5 at the present time, said that I would not have know where to "feel". I was so glad I had taken Leo in for a "senior" health check up with blood work, x-rays, etc. (basically "the works"). Leo's vet wanted him to come home that same day and I was like more than anxious, but his vet explained that since Leo is so close to me that he would feel less anxious with me and that I would be able to watch him 24-7. He explained that they would be leaving the vet clinic that evening with only someone coming in to check on the animals but not be with them all the time. I was given detailed instructions and a couple of friends of mine, along with myself, were taught how to pick up the blanket he was on to transport him from the car to his memory foam bed. I slept downstairs with him and made sure there was no jumping, running, etc. for 14 days. He was a model patient and made a remarkable recovery and his vet said Leo was "good for another 1,000 miles"!! Leo is one of his favorite patients and every time we are at the vet's office he always says "he's a dandy and sure likes his lov'in". I always smile in agreement.

I am sending some pictures. One, is his favorite dog bed and of course he always has to have a pillow to lay his head on. There is one for him at the head and foot of my bed and he uses both every night! The other is how he sometimes lays on the deck and watches for squirrels and chipmunks!! He is truly a happy boy and I am a very happy mom. Also including the last winter pictures taken for a Christmas card when Tipsy was still with us. We both have missed her. She was the neighbors dog and she ended up moving in with us and "mothered" Leo the first year he was with me. I used to tear up the first few times when they would be running and playing in the snow and then running down the road towards me. Leo's tongue would be hanging out and he had a "smile" on his face. He fast became a happy boy running in the woods with me and his best buddy and playing in the snow. He still loves the snow and wind but I can no longer let him run in the woods when we walk because I am afraid he would not be able to hear me or the whistle that I have used in the past. He can no longer tell sound direction.

He loves all people and all animals. When he goes into stores with me, he gently will greet everyone and most often sits at the side of the person and gently lifts his head and looks at them just waiting to be petted. He will even "lean in" against their leg if he wants more petting.

I rarely fly anymore when I travel, I drive so Leo can be with me. When I stay with family and friends in Illinois, Leo is welcomed with open arms and much love. Leo is never boarded overnight but has friends that will house sit if I have to be gone for a couple of days which thankfully hasn't had to happen for about 3 years now.

I dread the day when he has to cross the rainbow bridge, but I will always have the cherished memories of the best dog I have ever had. We were truly a great match over 8 years ago and still are. God bless all of you who were involved in the process of getting Leo to his forever home in the woods of northern Michigan. We are loving the time we have together, every moment of it!

Blessings, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Julie

We're so glad Leo's "good for another 1,000 miles."  He obviously loves his life and is very loved.  Leo found his perfect family.