Dogs are awesome. They’re loyal companions, they love their humans unconditionally and they’d totally have your back in a bar fight.
That’s why saying goodbye to them totally sucks.
It’s bloody devastating. Farewelling my beloved family pet is right up there with root canals on my list of ‘things I don’t want to do ever again’.
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Yet, I’ve had to do both in the last few months – twice.
Just what is it about Fridays? One warm and sunny Friday afternoon in April, I had to put my beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to sleep. Now this Friday that has just passed, I had to do it again with my 13-year-old shih-tzu cross.
My eldest fur-kid had a dickey ticker and diseased lungs. We were able to manage it for over two years with a revolving concoction of expensive medications, but it was finally proving too painful for him to live with.
So my scrawny little ball of fur with big brown eyes and a fluffy blonde tail had a final meal of grated cheese – his favourite – and wagged his tale happily to greet the vet when she arrived, none the wiser about what was to come.
The vet gave him a checkup and confirmed that, yes, he was in a lot of pain and, yes, putting him to sleep was the kindest thing to do. Saying goodbye was awful. But over the weekend, my family and friends reminded me why they’re all such top people.
One friend dropped off a gorgeous scented candle, and told us the custom in her family is to light it three days after a family member (even the fur kind) has died to honour their passing.
Another told us to get our kids outside at night to choose a star for each of our dogs that have passed. Loads of friends and relatives have shared their memories of our boy on Facebook.
And this morning, my cousin offered to pop over with her puppy so that our third dog, aka last man standing, isn’t too lonely today.
The nightly news always reminds us of humanity’s violence and brutality, but this weekend has reminded me that sometimes, people show up for you in the kindest ways.
It’s all been very gratefully received. Now, it’s off to the vet with my third fur-kid for a full health-check. I’ve lost two dogs in the last few months – this guy better hang on for another couple of years yet!