Well I have to bring some sad news to deliver, as if there wasn’t enough; on 12/11/12 we had to put our beloved dog of 10 years down.
Our dog had been having troubles breathing the weekend before but like most times when he had trouble breathing I assumed it was a cold. But something wasn’t right because he just seemed off. As the weekend ended and Monday began he just was so restless and unable to sleep for more than 5 minutes. He paced around the house incessantly, and ate very little. When we let him outside to go potty he would get so tired and just sit down in the snow, until he gathered enough strength to get back inside. He held his head up high to breathe better. At one point I was going to run to school to get my stethoscope to see if I could hear any wetness on his lungs. We had an appointment with the vet on Tuesday afternoon, but by Tuesday morning my hubby rescheduled for a sooner time slot. We couldn’t wait any longer, he was suffering so much.
The kids and I went to school and my hubby brought the dog to the vet, and I told my hubby not to make any decisions to put the dog down without me and the kids saying our last goodbyes.
My hubby called and said the vet told him our dog had a cancerous mass attached to his heart, and his lungs were filling up with blood. The vet thought the best thing to do was put him down. So I left after class, and mustered enough courage to get the kids out of school and tell them what was going on.
We made our way to the vet’s office and said our last goodbyes. I wasn’t able to say my last goodbye to my childhood dog growing up, so I made this one count. I even curled up on the floor next to him and told him all things I loved about him, that I was sorry for times I should have treated him better, and that I didn’t want to see him suffer any longer. Tears flowed freely between the four of us, and I think our dog knew we did the best we could for him.
Then we opted to stay and watch as the doc injected him with the medicine to stop his heart, and we finally saw him at peace. The staff imprinted his paw print in a piece of clay that we took home and baked until it hardened, as a memento.
Nothing prepares a person for death and the grieving process. At one point my hubby blamed himself for buying a dog, knowing the life expectancy wasn’t as long as human life and feeling bad the kids had to be in pain over his death. I told him the short amount of pain and grieving we’ll have won’t undo the 10 good years we had with the dog.
Either way our house doesn’t feel cozy and warm any longer. The light our dog had brought to our lives has gone out, and so has the motivation to be as happy as we once were with him by our side. He was the one creature who gave me unconditional love, helping to make all of my toughest of school/work days manageable. In a selfish way I’m upset he couldn’t have held on for one more semester.
I’m happy he isn’t suffering anymore. Slowly we are boxing up his things around the house. It’s tough to get over the habits we’ve formed like letting him outside before bed and first thing in the morning. Or driving past the dog park on a beautiful day thinking he would love to play with the other dogs, but realizing he cannot. The thought of getting another dog, at this point, is out of the question.
I’m really banking on the idea that pets go to Heaven, because our dog would help make it a cozier place.