posted on Sep, 30 2009 @ 12:17 PM
Over three years ago I had to make the decision to put my dog down.
He'd been not very well and not eating for a little while and the vet gave me some medicine but my dog didn't get any better.
The next time I took him he needed to be rehydrated which meant leaving him at the vet's surgery overnight. It broke me up to be told that he'd been
thirsty but couldn't drink. I'd tried to put a spoonful of water into his mouth the previous day, but he wouldn't take it.
Anyway, he had a scan or an xray and didn't need to be sedated for it as he was so still and quiet. It turned out he had cancer in his stomach. That
made the decision to have him 'put to sleep' very easy.
He was about 14 - I'd adopted him from an elderly friend when he was about 11 - and he'd had the best life I could give him. Up until just before
the end I always felt that he was still interested in life, but in that last week I jut got the feeling that he was 'sipping the dregs'.
A friend and I were with him when he died. He was a very thick set Staffordshire Bull Terrier and too heavy to put on a table so he was given the
injection while he was lying on the floor. We were on either side of him, holding him.
I decided to give him a proper funeral - it cost a lot of money but I never regretted it. I couldn't bear to think of him just being thrown out the
back of the vet's and carted off to a communal cremation.
The owner of the pet cemetery gave us a lift and on the way reassured me that I'd made the right decision. He pointed out that you wouldn't expect
your ninety-odd year old granny to try and fight off cancer.
My dog was in a coffin covered by a blanket when we got there. I didn't uncover him, but I was able to say goodbye.
After he'd been put in the ground we were left for a few moments before the grave was filled in. And just as we were standing there saying the final,
final farewell some May blossom blew over us. A great cloud of it. And all the trees were so far away, I don't know how it blew over to us.
I know I made the correct decision to have him put down although it was very hard to explain to the lady I adopted him from. She was expecting it but
was obviously still very upset.
I'll never regret being there with him when he died and I'm grateful to know that he's buried somewhere properly.
If you can, definitely make sure your son comes to say 'goodbye' and help the dog pass over. If it's possible, it really helps to know that they
are resting somewhere peacefully afterwards.
I hope it goes smoothly for you. It's going to be hard, but you are doing the kindest thing to help your dog avoid unnecessary suffering. Honestly,
your feelings or those of your son have to 'take a back seat' for the sake of the dog.
I didn't expect to get another dog for ages afterwards, but 'something' nudged me into finding the dog I have now. He'd suffered a lot in his life
before he was abandoned and then rescued.
I don't think you can just 'replace' pets as if they are commodities, but I had a space in my life and I've always been grateful to be able to
take on the little monster in my avatar.