01/07/2005 - 09/08/2019
Memorial created 10/19/2019 by Roberta.
Goodbye Rex - we will miss you
Rex was born Friday, January 7, 2005. His mother’s name was Citation Edge of Party and his father was Carloway Coronado. His parents were AKC Champions. We got Rex from Jane, an AKC sheltie judge who had 2 litters of puppies at the time born 5 days apart. I don’t remember how we found Jane, but I think a sheltie club referred her to us.
When they were about 8 weeks old we went to Jane’s house to get a puppy. At the time we only wanted one. A little blue merle immediately crawled into Terry’s lap and that settled it. We decided to get him and name him Prince after the singer. Then we heard a commotion.
Jane was keeping the puppies in her basement, cordoned off by a wire fence so they couldn’t roam around. One of the puppies had escaped the fence and was prancing around barking and inciting the others. This fluffy little brown dog was quite a feisty character – and that was how we met Rex. We decided Prince needed a brother so we might as well get 2 puppies. Prince’s grandmother Edge of Party was Rex’s mother, so they were related. It gets complicated with pure bred dogs.
Potty training 2 puppies was a bit of a challenge. We took them out at regular intervals and kept track of the times and results. They were smart dogs so they trained pretty easily with only a few “accidents”. A week or two after bringing Rex home I accidently stepped on his front paw. I was wearing soft slippers so I don’t think I hurt him, but he squeaked. For about a month after that he acted like I was trying to murder him every time I walked by. He finally did forgive me.
Rex and Prince were inseparable. They slept on top of each other and wrestled over the same toy no matter how many other toys they had. They loved to play fetch with tennis balls and run around in the back yard. Terry took them for walks together and Rex always managed to find a pinecone to carry around. They both attended obedience training together. I was the handler for Rex and Terry was the handler for Prince. Terry says this is why Prince was better trained than Rex.
When they were 3 years old we decided to get a third sheltie. Rex and Prince were so inseparable we were afraid if something happened to one the other would die of a broken heart. That was when we got Avery, another blue merle pup. Rex didn’t know what to make of the new puppy and wasn’t overly welcoming. Whenever Avery came over to play, Rex would give him the “stink eye” and walk away. He was never mean – he just didn’t want to be bothered. Rex stopped fetching when Avery came to live with us. If you threw a tennis ball Prince and Avery would chase it but Rex just turned up his nose. I thought that was very sad because before then Rex really loved to play fetch. Prince was much more accepting and seemed to enjoy the new puppy. After a time, all three boys bonded and became good friends, although Rex never did play fetch again.
Rex became the alpha of the pack, but only in a very nice way. He tolerated the other dog’s antics and was never snappish. If one of the other dogs pestered him too much Rex would give him a very dirty look, then just walk away. Even that rarely happened. All three dogs loved to take naps together on the tile entryway near the front door. Whenever the air conditioning came on in the summer or the heat in the winter you would find each dog laying on top of a floor vent, blocking it.
For many years Rex was a therapy dog at a nursing home where he would go once each month to visit the seniors. They all thought he looked like Lassie. Rex did NOT like to be called Lassie! We would tease him at home, call him Lassie and ask him to find Timmy. He would bark at us – I don’t think he saw the humor in it. He continued to visit the seniors until shortly before his death.
His brother Prince passed away of heart cancer when he was just 10 years old in 2015. Although Rex and Avery had become good friends over the years, the bond between Rex and Prince was always something special. I’m sure Rex missed Prince very much.
In July 2017 we got Maxine, another sheltie puppy from Jane. Maxine was full of the devil. Rex wanted nothing to do with her. Avery on the other hand acted like we bought him a wind-up toy. Like before, Rex was nice to the new puppy, but aloof. Overall, Rex, Avery and Maxine got along nicely together.
Rex’s health was good throughout most of his life, but he gradually slowed down as he aged, as we all do. He spent more and more time sleeping and became a very finicky eater. You had to coax him to eat by adding treats to his food, like shredded cheese, green beans, or some canned food. This became challenging as time went on. He gradually lost a lot of weight. For about the last 6 months of his life he started acting “spacey” like he wasn’t sure where he was. He would become restless and start to pace. He would wake up several times during the middle of the night and walk around in circles before settling down again.
Our vet ran tests. Other than some minor gallbladder sludge she didn’t find anything physically wrong, although he had lost a lot of weight. She diagnosed him as having dementia. Other than his confusion, he didn’t seem to be suffering or in pain, so we just tried to make him happy and keep him comfortable.
Over the last few months Rex had slipped and fallen in the kitchen and front entryway several times. These areas are not carpeted, the tile could be slippery, and he didn’t have a lot of strength. The afternoon of September 8 we noticed he was having difficulty standing even on carpeted areas and outside in the grass. He would walk a step or two and fall over. He had never been this bad before. Because it was a Sunday and our regular vet was closed, we immediately took him to the emergency vet. They determined that Rex had suffered a stroke which primarily effected his left side. Given his age and overall weakness there was very little chance for his recovery. He kept trying to stand and falling which was making him extremely agitated. We did not want him to suffer any longer, so we decided it was time to say goodbye.
Rex passed away on Sunday, September 8, 2019 surrounded by the 2 people who loved him best. He was 14 ¾ years old. I find comfort in believing that he has been reunited with his brother Prince who loved him most of all.