Thursday, June 5, 2008

His last day

It was weird going home last night to my dog, my best friend for 17 years, knowing this would be his last night at home. Last night alive. And that I was the one who made the decision to kill him.

He's old. Like, really old. He's falling to bits. The vet has been talking about this for a while (though he likes to call it 'putting him to sleep', sidestepping the whole killing/death issue). It's been a long time coming. He's totally deaf. Pretty blind. Senile. Has joint trouble. Kidney failure. And a whole rake of other really gross things.

But every time he wags his tail, it makes me think that this is not the right thing to do. And I've seen dogs on the street who seem older than he does.

If he's sitting there wagging his tail tonight, when the deed is to be done (not a neck-snapping, by the way - I hope), can I go through with it? I feel like a judge sentencing him to death. But his only crime was crapping on the carpet the odd time. And he's my best buddy. I was still a teenager living at home when I got him.

I don't want to be there. And yet I can't stand the thought of him not having me there at the time.

This sucks.


Mr. Trombley said...

Dear Sir, my neighbor's dog has cancer (in fact, my neighbor might have cancer but we don't know that yet).

The worst pet death for me was in high school when the new cat (still just a little thing) was run over by a car and I had to scrape up his corpse from the asphalt. The body was just sort of stuck, but the skull was crushed and was falling apart.

The point of that story is that I sympathize. I really know what it is like to lose a pet.

Andy Latham said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this. All you can do is try to think about it from the point of view of saving him from suffering. I'm sure if he was able to have an opinion on the matter, he would appreciate that.

It's still always hard though.

Howard Hoffman said...

This is a heartbreaker. I had to let go of my 18-year-old border collie a couple of years ago. I blogged about it here.

If I can give you one bit of advice if I'm not too late here: be there for the final deed. Don't let the last thing your dog sees or feels is a lab technician.

And be prepared to totally turn into Jell-o when the first person sends you "Rainbow Bridge".

Hope you find another fuzzball who can live up to your kid as we did after a couple of years.

Ron said...

My condolences.
I know how you feel.