Gwen by Jen / Your Pet Jen

My name is Jen and for the past year I have been working at Golden Wood Kennels, a little place where people sometimes board their dogs and/or cats at in Pennsylvania. From the day I arrived Gwen has always been there. Gwen was a Golden Retriever mix and by far one of the sweetest and most companionable dog I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Gwen had already been living at the kennel a month or two when I met her. Why was she living there though? With very few exceptions, the only reason a dog would live at the kennel was because they were abandoned.

In this case, my boss is responsible to arrange for the dog to find a new home. But like I said, there are special cases. Like Gweny. Her owners, Jeff and Amy, were local veterinarians. In fact, when they were in collage, Gweny had served as an example patient for the students. When she got too old for that, Jeff and Amy took her in and kept her for many more years. Then the two vets, who had by now started their own practice, got a divorce. It could not be decided who should or would keep the dog so they put her in the kennel. They both already knew my boss because many of her clients used Jeff or Amy as their veterinarians, and my boss was glad to keep Gwen until something was decided.
Problem was, that never happened.

The divorce was settled, and Jeff continued to pay the cost of us keeping Gweny. So, she stayed. After this story was told to me I was thoroughly amazed at her energy and over all health after discovering her age and life story.

At the time I met her when she was sixteen years old, which was already outstanding for her breed. In general, Goldens only live to be between ten and twelve years old. Though in a way, I despised Jeff and Amy for leaving Gwen like that I couldn’t help being glad because I had fallen in love with their dog. Gwen and I hit it off wonderfully. Everybody loved Gwen and got along with her great. We would play sometimes,
when I wasn’t too busy working.

Occasionally, I would brush her. Her fur was so matted. She smelled horrible, especially, when it was warm out side. And it got even worse when she got weaker and started messing on herself. Most of the staff at that point was ready for her to be put down. I don’t believe in killing an animal by injection
unless they are suffering.

In my eyes, Gweny didn’t seem to be suffering much. The only time I considered agreeing with the others was when she fell down and messed herself. But even then I knew she’d be fine in and hour or two. In a little while she’s be running ahead of me and grinning at me as I came up behind her.

On Wednesday, May 12th, 2004, Gweny woke up suffering. My boss called Jeff and he came down and put her to sleep. I never saw it coming. I had seen her Monday night and she was fine. When I came in on Wednesday evening, she was gone. No note to tell me, just her card that hung on her run sitting on the desk. We had all hoped she would go peacefully in her sleep and I had to know if that was so or not. I called my boss’ house and her daughter, my co-worker, answered.

I asked – she answered – I wanted to die. It was all could to not burst out crying on the phone. I could hear my voice shaking as I said goodbye and as I hung up, I felt the knot in my throat and
the tears coming from my eyes.

I miss Gweny more that anyone should miss a dog that was not their own. But after seeing her at least five days a week for more than a year can really get you attached to a dog. Gwen died two days after I came down and took her picture. I am grateful for that. I am glad I will have a way to remember her. Forever…


Forever Loving You Gweny,