Our beloved german shepherd dog Ryder, died suddenly from what we think was likely cardiac arrest; doing what he loved most – following the quad. Thankfully it was quick and painless and Gord and I were both with him as he drew his last breath. Although Ryder was my 50th birthday present, he and Gord developed an extra special bond which gave him special privileges our previous dogs had never enjoyed. Ryder was the first dog to live in the house but more than that, he even had his own sofa to sleep on.
Ryder loved going for truck rides and Gord took him nearly everywhere he went. It seemed Ryder could tell if Gord had errands to run and would follow Gord around the house to ensure he wouldn't get left behind. Even when they returned home, Ryder would stay in the back seat of the truck as long as Gord would let him. And when Gord would ride Magic, Ryder rarely left Magic's heals.
Being the designated scooper of poop, I was delighted to discover early on that Ryder would not do his business on manicured lawns. In the nearly 10 years of having him with us, I could count on one hand how often I had to pick up poop because he always went out to the hay field, or horse pastures.
We have always adopted older dogs so we can better evaluate their temperaments. At 5 months old, Ryder was younger than we wanted, but we knew he was the right dog for us. We love GSD’s but we want friendly, calm dogs that we don’t have to worry about when we have visiting kids and pets. Ryder was so sweet, he wouldn’t hurt a mouse as proven when Gord presented him with a live mouse. Even when the mouse latched on to Ryder’s nose in self-defense, he refused to harm it – much to Gord’s chagrin. He was also very respectful around our kitties and although he would chase them on occasion, we knew and they knew it was a game and he wouldn’t harm them.
Ryder was plagued with itchy skin and hot spots - and we always wondered if it was because he was an indoor dog. Gord spent many hours searching for something to relieve his irritated skin and tried countless remedies to offer him relief. The last couple of years, a completely raw diet combined with Apoquel gave him the most relief and restored his beautiful coat.
As all dog lovers know, they leave a heartbreaking hole when they’re gone but the pain of losing them is offset by the many years of joy a great dog brings to our lives.
You were a great dog!
Tovie & Gord