Gregor was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy a little more than a year ago, a spinal cord disease that is common for Czech shepherds in old age. The disease progresses quickly and affects the ability to stand and walk. While DM is a painless disease, there is no treatment or cure and it is fatal.
McPeak noticed Gregor dragging one of his back paws last winter during his daily walks, and a positive DM diagnosis followed shortly after. McPeak decided to retire Gregor from the police force in June, and since then McPeak made sure he got the most out of the last few months of his life as he possibly could.
He took Gregor to the beach so he could run and play, one of his favorite things to do, took frequent walks and trips to the lake and the park until Gregor couldn’t walk anymore. Even then, McPeak said he still carried Gregor everywhere he went, and despite losing his ability to walk, Gregor never lost his gusto for playing and living his best life.
“I’d take him everywhere I could go, everywhere I would go, he would go,” McPeak said.
While Gregor was still eating well and playing, McPeak said he couldn’t bear to put him down. But his condition worsened, he developed pressure sores, lost his appetite and his kidneys began to shut down. McPeak said a few days ago, he remembers Gregor looked up at him, and he knew it was time.
Monday night, the vet met McPeak at his father-in-law’s farm, where Gregor is now buried. He gave McPeak one last playful nip for to remember him by.
Gregor was 11 years old, and spent about eight years working with the Jonesborough Police Department. During his career, he went on more than 300 deployments and assisted in about 150 arrests.
McPeak said driving around in an empty cruiser didn’t feel right to him anymore, so he now works for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department as a School Resource Officer at Sulfur Springs Elementary School. He said losing Gregor has been hard, but he was glad for the memories he has and for all lives Gregor has touched.
“He was just a cool, cool dog,” McPeak said.
Email Jessica Fuller at [email protected] Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.