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Saying Good-Bye to Dexter: His Legacy, His Story, and Our Loss

Time goes by so fast that it is important to take a moment every so often to reflect on how far things have come and the journey that we have taken. This type of reflection often happens during times when a loved one passes which is what happened when we recently lost our Australian Cattle Dog. Dexter was our first Cattle Dog, an important part of our family, and the inspiration for why we started GenSol Diagnostics. We thought it was important to share Dexter’s story and celebrate the life of a very special dog.

My wife helped deliver Dexter when he was born and an instant bond was formed. Although all dogs are special, everyone would always say that Dexter had a way of looking right into your soul with eyes that could communicate without words. He was accepted into our pack with our three other dogs almost instantly and our family flourished. It wasn’t long after that we found out that he tested as affected for a mutation that would lead to blindness later in life. Through Dexter, we learned about the high costs and other inadequacies in the dog genetic testing industry and we knew we could contribute so that other dogs would not have to be subject to genetic disease. He showed us we could provide the information people needed to make better healthcare and breeding decisions that would ultimately lead to reducing the number of puppies born with genetic disease. Dexter gave us the opportunity to make a difference in the life of other dogs and he became an ambassador for change.

As soon as we were aware of Dexter’s challenge, we started supporting his health through proper diet, supplements and a life of healthy outdoor activity. Dexter was always at our heels outside doing farm chores, hiking through the woods, or swimming away the hot summer days in a pond or stock tank. He knew how to live life to the fullest and we did everything we could to help him have the best life. Dexter started showing the early signs of his genetic disease around age 10 which was later in life than most dogs that have the PRA-PRCD mutation. It progressed slowly and we were by his side to help him feel comfortable as the world around him darkened. By the time Dexter was 11 he unfortunately developed spondylosis which eventually made it hard for him to walk and balance.  We built ramps down the front porch stairs and helped him find his way when he was lost or needed help getting from here to there. Through it all, he never lost the spark in his eyes and our love for him only grew as we continued to help our boy as he neared the end of his life. Dexter left us recently at the age of 12 and he will forever live in our hearts. Dexter’s story and GenSol’s story will forever be intertwined as we continue to honor Dexter’s life and legacy. He showed us the path to be able to make a difference in the lives of so many other dogs, dog breeders, and pet owners.

As we continue to look back over our journey, we now mark the one year anniversary since we launched our newest innovation of fully customizable breed specific panels. It has been our goal since the beginning to make genetic disease testing fast, accurate, and affordable so that we could provide our customers with the important results they need for making breeding and healthcare decisions. It was Dexter that showed us the need for change and we will always fondly look back and remember the smile on a puppy that somehow knew what needed to be done. We know Dexter will always be part of our lives through the memories he gave us and the impact he had on the world and today we celebrate our boy.

Thank you all for being part of this journey and we look forward to a healthier future for dogs everywhere.