For 12 years our yellow lab drove me crazy. Did I love him? Yes. Was I the one who fed him, walked him and picked up after him? Yes. But did he drive me crazy? Yes – and I drove him crazy, too. I loved him, and sometimes my heart swelled for him, but the times he had accidents in the houes, shed all over my clothes, would get out of a gate that wasn’t quite latched all the way, and would bark (literally) at shadows drove me crazy sometimes. But there were times too — especially when I was healing from my illness – I took comfort from him sleeping near me while I rested on the couch.
Today we said goodbye to him. It was time. He had arthritis, dementia, incontinence and was basically unhappy (ears down_ all the time and lived only to eat twice per day, which isn’t a great life. So after discussing it for months, we did it today. It was incredibly peaceful. The vet had a room with a couch and a carpet and pleasant lighting. She spent 10 minutes petting him, then gave him a sedative. When he was so drowsy his tongue was hiding out of the side of his mouth, she administered the sedative while we petted him and told him he was a good boy. He died moments later.
That was three hours ago, and even though I am not a big lover of dogs (I like dogs, I just am not a worshipper of them) I feel awful for him and there is a hole here. In short, it is painful. I miss him already. Hopefully he is at peace.
The book I wrote about my experience as a dog owner when I like dogs but am not crazy about all things dogs. There won’t be a sequel – it’s too painful right now 🙂