It saddens me deeply to report we lost our beloved Dakota this week. Dakota was our trusty sidekick that had a mind of her own. She was extremely smart and did things on her own time. Time to go inside in the evenings, no not Dakota she went and laid down outside until we got in the house and got settled then she decided she wanted in. And food, Oh my goodness, she loved food! You never wanted to be around her if you had food because she would take it right off your plate or right out of your hand!
Dakota was the inspiration for the "Wolf Creek Farm" People would come out just to see her I think. Because of her size she did scare people sometimes until they got to know her and knew she was just a big lovable bear. But we did try to keep her in the kennel during store hours because she loved to chase people out the drive. (something she learned from her sidekick Sammie).
When Dakota was about 8 months old she started stumbling around and couldn't jump on the couch (yes we let our fur babies on our furniture) and she just wasn't acting like a normal 8 month old pup running and playing. So we took her to the vet and to our surprise she had Lyme Disease. I had never once seen a tick on Dakota. But she as you can see she did have a lot of fur and it was thick. She was treated with antibiotics and seem to get better. But it wasn't long before we noticed the lasting effects of the Lyme Disease. Dakota had hip dysplasia and arthritis. She was in pain most of the time. You could tell by the way she walked sometimes that her hips were hurting her bad. Dakota was a big dog but she had a hard time gaining weight in her back end, no matter what or how much we fed her, due to the hip dysplasia and arthritis. She looked so big because she used her front legs and chest to basically carry herself around.
When Dakota was about 4 years old she tore her ACL and had to have surgery to fix it. This did not help with the dysplasia and arthritis issues. Dakota had to have pain medication most days especially when it was rainy and cold. She would lay in the snow/ice to help with the pain but she didn't understand that it made the pain worse later. Sometimes it was painful to watch her get up because she struggled so much, but other times she would run with the other dogs and you couldn't even tell she had anything wrong.
Dakota was only 8 1/2 years old, even though she was a big dog she should have had several years left. I truly believe that the lasting effect of the Lyme Disease contributed to her passing. So keep in mind this tick season to watch your pets closely and use preventatives if you can. Lyme Disease is serious and your pets can get it.
Dakota will be missed. She loved everyone and everyone loved her.
RIP my sweet, lovable friend.
I hope God lets you greet me at the Pearly Gates one day.