I just got back from having one of my dogs put down. Well, it’s been a couple of hours; enough time to relatively pull myself together.
I’ve been through this so many times. I can’t really count. I do know that I’ve lost 3 dogs within this past year. Which I think is a lot for anybody. One was my most favorite which really tore my heart out. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved all of my dogs completely. It’s gut-wrenching every time I have to say goodbye. But when one is so special to you, it takes a lot longer for the pain to lessen. She had Lymphoma and made it about 2 months after the diagnosis. Oddly enough, I found out I had Lymphoma shortly after she died.
The other dog I had to let go because of old age. He just couldn’t function anymore and I’m not one to let a dog suffer. He had just turned 16 and had lived a glorious life with us. He had always been an “old soul”, one that was wise beyond his years. He rarely did anything to get into trouble and always got along with everyone, even the cats. Such a sweet boy. I miss him so.
This dog, today, had been having some health problems for a while. We found out he had diabetes last March and had been giving him an insulin shot twice a day. It never bothered him or hurt him and he didn’t give it a second thought. Getting a treat after each shot probably helped. But, for the past couple of months he’d been having another issue that we, along with the vets, just couldn’t figure out. They couldn’t find anything wrong with him. He’d been to the vet at least 6 times in the past 2 months, getting blood work done, X-rays, whatever they could do to figure out why he would yelp for no reason when he was eating. Anyway, yesterday he had a small seizure. We immediately took him in and the vet looked at the x-ray of his head that they’d just taken a few days ago and thought he could see a couple of little tumors. It’s hard to see something like that on an x-ray. We decided to bring him home, after considering the other option, hoping that the seizures would be far and few in between. It wasn’t to be. We think he had another one last night, and then today he had a major one.
With all of that being said, it still wasn’t an easy decision. But it had to be done for his sake. It’s our duty to keep them from suffering. It’s because we love them that we make the decision. I saw what the seizure did to him and I could tell his health was going downhill. I’m thinking that the yelping must have somehow been connected to having the tumors. Along with that his behavior had gotten strange.
He was one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known. And I’ve known a lot of dogs. When he felt good, he was happy and bouncy and playful, even though he was 11. He had the cutest button eyes; the kind that most Mini Schnauzers have. He was white and his eyes were dark and so soft and kind.
I’ve done this enough times that I have a saying. “We take the pain so that they don’t have to.” It’s so very hard to take the pain of losing them, but I will not be selfish and let them suffer just so I can have them for a little longer. So here I sit, deep in the pit of anguish over the loss of a friend, a companion, a member of my family.