We had to put my husband's dog down on Saturday. The poor dog hadn't eaten (his favorite thing to do in the whole world) in 4 days, was skin and bones (and his nickname had formerly been "Tubs") and he would just collapse periodically and he had gotten an infection of some sort in his nasal packages which was making it even more difficult to breathe.
There is no love lost between me and this dog, but I didn't want him to suffer and I didn't want it to end like this.
We took the kids to the vet with us, because we honestly didn't know if that was going to be the end, or if there was something we could do that would give us a little more time with him. Doc advised that at best, we might be able to buy him a few more weeks by giving him antibiotics to clear up the infection. We didn't want to just take the dog away never to be seen again and not have Fuss say good-bye to him. We also had no idea she would get so upset at saying good-bye to him, because we assumed that she wouldn't understand what was happening, etc.
Well, you know what happens when you assume.
When we told her he couldn't feel better at home, that he was going to have to stay so that Doc could make him stop feeling sick and hurting she had a melt down. I think it made it harder on my husband by a lot and it certainly made it harder on me. No one wants to see their baby hurting. But then, I was surprised when my husband didn't want to stay with Buck. I had assumed that he would want to be there and - I don't know, hold his paw or something? If I had known that he wasn't going to stay, I might have offered to do so. Because now I have this image of Buck looking back at my husband as Doc carried him out of the examination room, sad and mournful and it's kind of haunting me.
I get sad every time I think about the end for the poor guy. He was miserable and we just didn't have a lot of time to spend with him on those last few days with the kids (and myself) being sick, too. I feel bad that the dog's last memory would not be one of my husband's (his master, Buck was his devoted slave) face, but that of some stranger. And then I think about the logic of that - how his last memory was just "the end" for him, it's not like I believe he goes to heaven or something. (Although, it dort of seems nice to think of some sort of doggy heaven, doesn't it? My mom talked about a Narnia-like place where the "good pets" would go and be able to frolic in the woods, etc. It's a nice thought.)
I had no idea I would get so upset about losing this dog. We really never had a good relationship. I mean, I'd scratch the velvet fur on his nose for him and share my snacks and give him a nice tummy rub periodically, but he really annoyed me more often than not. He had a horrible habit getting underfoot when I was cooking. He made these horrible noises and would rub himself against my furniture and get black furry marks all over the fabric of my sofas and chairs. He would stink up a blanket and steal any food we left in the living room, he broke numerous glasses and bowls, ate several salt shakers, used to shred my underwear... he also once jumped out a 2nd story window at our first apartment. (and survived unscathed.)
Starbuck "Buck" (aka: Buckles, Tubs, Spound, Buck-Daddy)
3/1/00 - 1/29/11