My sweet little dog...this morning I had to do what all pet owners eventually have to face...putting their best friend to sleep forever. She had exhausted all remedies, all miracles, the vet and my wife agreed that it was best for my dog. I knew it was best myself, I know that, it's just so hard to do it. Nothing this sad, deep inside that doesn't let go. You think about all the licks on the face, the walks, the playing, the sweet little face greeting you every single day of her life. That little dog was all about...you. And now it's morning and I'm holding this dog in my arms like I'm rescueing her from an immenent danger. Stroking her head, making her feel confortable and safe. It's the correct thing to do, we all know that in our brains...but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt to act on.
The 10 minutes we are in the vet's room looking at the soft pillow bed before us is a tough, tough time. That's her deathbed before you. You kiss that little face over and over because when the time comes, it will be swift. No turning back, sweet little one, you fall asleep for all eternity. Not returning to your home of 12 1/2 years. The home where you've seen my family's best of times, you little dog were a part of that family history. That's why this day, this moment is so painful for all of us.
Grief comes and goes in waves, I'll be ok for 5 minutes then back into my intense sadness. This goes on for about 20 minutes, all the memories I can't stop the video from running through my head, I want to concentrate on something else, anything but the memories right now...but I can't. The toughest thing in all my years on this planet is happening right now.
The vet is wonderful and understands exactly what my wife and I are going through. We love this dog, this dog is a part of us, my child's life, my wife's life...but she always loved her daddy the most. And it was no surprise, everybody knew it. She went to me, she protected me, only I was allowed to hold her in a chair or car because, well because I was her daddy. Now, her daddy must put her down.
We kneel down beside her as the first sedative, the most powerful, is injected. Stroking her head, kissing her cheek...she begins to go...you can see it. The medicine is in her system now...she's still, sedate, calm. I know the next injection will send her away to dog heaven. Reality of the situation sets in for all in attendance. I stroke my dog's face, softly on her eyelids as my final 30 seconds of life with her are realized. The vet puts her stethoscope to my little dog's chest once, then twice, then quietly and respectfully gets up and her assistant does as well and leaves my wife and I alone with our sweetheart. The blanket of sadness comes across both of us like nothing else I've ever felt. I don't want to go, I want to keep stroking her furry face for another 15 minutes in silence...we both do. We have done the correct thing, but it sure doesn't feel like it at this moment. This is where strength comes into play. You've got to do what is best for your dog, not what makes you feel better. I say this to myself over and over...just get us through this moment.
Life for my dog is now over. It is reality...I am leaving with my wife and no dog. My wife understands how tough this is for me. People don't affect me, dogs do.
I'm at home now, putting all her things away. The dog bowl, water dish, her blankets...her medications, all readied for...whatever is done with them, I don't know at this point. The home looks like it did before she arrived 12 1/2 years ago...except there are pictures with her in our family portraits. She WAS here once...and we are all better because of that sweet little precious life.