Friday, October 6, 2017

Photon - A Great Dog

Today is a very, very sad week for the Edstrom family.  Our 13 1/2 year old yellow lab, Photon, died on Wednesday.

We decided to get Photon in 2004 on a trip back to Minnesota.  We were driving in our van in the pouring rain when a big four door pickup looses control slides off the road and then slides back in front of us, luckily I missed hitting him.   After that incident I said we are getting a puppy and I am going to name it Photon.  We had two dogs at that time Spike and Toot.  Spike was our first dog in 1998 - a combination of a yellow lab and a golden retriever and Toot who was loaned to us from the breeder to help calm Spike down.

We got Photon in the summer of 2004 and he was the perfect dog.  Photon was an absolute sweetheart of a dog who looked like a white polar bear.  The most gentle dog I have ever witnessed, except for if another dog picked on Nero, our much younger black lab.  That happened twice that I can remember.  Photon absolutely loved to go for walks, even when the arthritis in his legs would barely keep his rear legs going.  He also loved following either Spike or Nero around our 1/2 acre lot going counter-clockwise around the fence as if they were in patrol mode.

I am really glad we had dogs for our three sons as I definitely believe it helps in the maturity of kids when they have to take care of pets.  The countless hours of pleasure that John, Michael, Tim, Julie and I got from Photon was simply priceless.  This past year I was in semi-retirement, so I got to spend much more time with Photon and go with Julie on walks with Photon and Nero.  You could just see how Photon’s spirit would lift when he would see us grabbing the leash.

Even though you know the day is coming, it is still one of the most heart-breaking things a person can do when you make the family decision that your beloved dog’s quality of life is not where you or your dog want it to be.  We were fortunate because Photon gave us a two week warning.  He completely collapsed two weeks ago with no movement whatsoever.  The next morning he was slowly moving again, much to the surprise of our vet.  Tons of tests revealed nothing that would explain the collapse.  We treated each day after that as it could be his last.  This past Wednesday he collapsed and then later passed away at home when I was on the phone with Michael.  It was like Photon knew this was a tough decision for us to make and he decided to go on his own terms - at home.

Here are some pictures of Photon over the years.  God bless Photon you were the perfect dog and now you’re with Spike…. 
 Photon was the cutest puppy.  Looked like a little polar bear.
Above is Photon and Spike pulling on Photons toy after Spike had an operation.

We tried to introduce Photon to our rabbit Bugs.  Bugs was not that thrilled with the introduction :-)

 Above is Spike with Photon on his right.   Photon loved Spike.
Below is Toot on the left, Photon in the middle and Spike on the right.  Toot was loaned to us by the breeder to try calm Spike down when he was a puppy.  Spike literally ate our grill, our couch and a chair.  He was the alpha's alpha dog :-)

Above is Photon, Nero (our black lab) and Spike on the right.
Below is something all three liked to do - lie at the front door.  Photon is near the door, Toot is in the middle and Spike is on the left.

Wherever Spike was, Photon wanted to be right next to him.  When Spike passed away, it was really hard on Photon, but luckily Photon had Nero.  Now Nero is alone as he will be our last dog.  Julie and I are getting too old for raising puppies.

 Above is Photon and Nero when Nero was much younger.

Above was taken in the past week.  Photon and Nero become good buddies.  Photon used to follow Spike around the yard and then he would follow Nero. 

Above is Michael with Photon when Photon was still growing.  Photon was really Michael's dog.

Above is John with Photon when he was a puppy.

Above is Tim with Photon.

Above is Julie taking Photon for one of his last walks.   God bless Photon you were the perfect dog and now you’re with Spike….