On Friday, I had to put down another dog. This one was Genny, a fourteen year old schipperke. She had lymphoma. When one puts a dog to sleep one does so to end the dog’s suffering. That is only the reason you do it. It is a wretched process. If I ever have another dying dog, I will only do it if the dog is writhing in pain or profusely bleeding. Genny was neither of those things. She had stop eating on Tuesday and by Friday was nothing but skin and bones. She was living on my cuddles. Over the last two weeks I laid her on my chest a lot. She was never one to lay still for long, so this was special for us both.
Unfortunately, tragically, the euthanasia process was not reflective of a gentle falling to sleep. The vet at the clinic that day was not the one I had taken my dogs to for fourteen years. This vet was afraid of being bit. She had no confidence. She told me we needed to use a muzzle. I knew this was a bad idea. I should have gotten up and told her I would bring Genny back when my regular vet was there. But I didn’t.
Genny had never been muzzled and it put her a state of distress. The vet gave her a seditive via injection and it was painful. That coupled with the muzzle, threw Genny in a traumatized state. It scared the crap out of her, literally. I think it caused an instant stroke. Her body went limp instantly, her tongue hung out and her eyes went vacant. I could hear her breathing though. Only then did the muzzle come off for the rest of the procedure.
The only bright spot is I held her as she died. It was the least I could do for her.
The idea of controlling the death of the pet is just that, an idea. I chose this because I put my sixteen year old dog to sleep in late August and it was the compassionate procedure that everyone thinks of. That’s because a compassionate competent professional performed the procedure.
If the practitioner says to muzzle your dog and your dog has never been muzzled, do not do it.
Find another practitioner.
This morning my disposition and confusion have cleared with the clouds. The sun has a renewing effect on my soul. It’s ironic, as I can’t be in the summer sun directly for more than 15-20 minutes without being burned. And yet, and yet, and yet…beyond the vitamin D infusion, there’s something about that lemon yellow light that fills my heart. Perhaps my dark side has always had a debilitating crush on the sun.
On days like these, I am filled with piss and vinegar, ready to implement my plans for world domination, and catch up on all that has been neglected during the rumination. (Or should I call it roasting?) I have a flood of inspiration generally, all at once. My muses are bossy and frequently talk over each other. I must remind them, One at a time, please!
However, life and death happens. And for all my energetic pullings, I am being grounded by Fay, my almost 16 year old dog. She has a tumor in her mouth. Her old body is failing her. Cancer is taking over. I’ve made a decision I want her to die here at home with me by her side. She will be buried in the backyard next to Pooky, the cat I had a love-hate relationship with for 18 years.
So, I will stay close to home as much as possible for the rest of her days. She can lay next to me as she is now, while I work on my screenplay. I will be giving her extra love and permission to go, thanking her for her companionship, protection, and love she gave to me and my daughter for the last 15 years. Such a sweet gentle soul she has.
Namaste, my friends.
I’m feeling sad today. My old dog, Fay, is not eating her food. About two weeks ago, she was in the same predicament. I took her to the vet who found an infected tumor in her mouth. Beyond the infection, it looks cancerous. I’ve seen a cancerous tumor before. So, we got steroids and antibiotics, but I felt these were only a bandage.
I’m at a cross roads. I’ve vowed to never do heroics on her. I expected her to live to be about twelve. If she makes it another three months, she’ll be sixteen. She’ll not have surgery. She’ll not be prolonged again. Now, what I vacillate over is whether I take her in to be put down or if I ask the vet for pain meds and keep her home. I’m leaning toward the latter. She was so nervous and scared at the vet’s office. I really hate the idea of having to take her there to die. I think it would be better to be at home…Where she has lived since we brought her home at 8 months old from the Humane Society. I just can’t imagine having to bring her home after her death to be buried in the backyard. What a horrible drive home. I can’t bear the thought of having to do that by myself. At times like these I really wish I had a life partner.
This is the hardest part.