More than seven years ago, honey and I went on a road trip, scoping out a possible future puppy. (We had two at the time, but our golden puppy was 11, and statistically, retrievers don't last much longer. Heh, the joke was on us, as he lived to 15.) We came back with a 6 week old great pyre, all white, all energy, and all fur.
About a month later, we wondered if we made a mistake He would run around our den, NEVER touching the ground, even bouncing off one wall. He tortured the golden retriever, pouncing on his tail, his face, his legs. But I suspect that the golden secretly loved all the attention. The other dog, half Saint Bernard, half Husky, half Humvee, was the peacekeeper. First the golden puppy left, then our rescued humvee, and today, the great pyre.
As dogs go, Byron was one of most beautiful creatures I have ever seen. Royal, elegant, surprisingly fast and powerful, independent, incredible stature, and huge, he always got a lot of attention. At 130 lbs, he ate like a horse, and being so tall, he could steal food off the table. Whole hams disappeared without warning, and steaks, cooked or not, were always at risk.
Great Pyres are not extremely trainable, at least they are known for not listening during obedience training. Willful, independent, and protective, they know better than you about what is best for you. He would howl with sirens, bark with dogs blocks away, and sing when I played harmonica or piano. But he was also sweet and loving, when it suited him. He would come visit me in the bathtub, and lay down on my foot when I read. He also had a love of sitting on my lap, as only 130 pound dog can.
He began going downhill a few months ago. Weight loss, lack of appetite, heavy panting, lots of drinking, and most recently, trouble walking and standing. It was his time.
The Vet was great. She made it clear that palliative actions would be temporary at best. His pain was obvious, his distress was clear.
We were with him while he went to sleep one last time. If you look at my profile, you can see a puppy photo. I will miss him.