Thursday, February 5, 2009

Appointments

DH and I decided yesterday that it's time for Tyler's final appointment with the vet. It was a hard decision, since he still has good days, but his hard days are getting more frequent, and I'm afraid that something catastrophic will happen at some point soon. His eyes are sunken, and his back hips often just don't seem able to do what he wants them to do. Also, he has stopped all pretense of lowering himself to the ground, and basically just flops to the floor in a thud when he wants to lay down. Really, though, the deciding factor is the wheezing; he can't even take a walk around the block anymore because he wheezes for about an hour afterwards.

The hardest part about all of this is that his spirit is still there, so he's still loving and happy to see us when we get home from somewhere, and still wants to be petted and rubbed. He longs to not be left behind on walks and rides in the car, and I feel terrible seeing his face staring at Baci and I as we leave to go on an adventure without him. Part of me wished he seemed less interested, so I could be sure that I'm doing the right thing. My mother actually said something helpful in this department (amazingly); it's the worst decision to have to make, but it's a final gift we can give them, to spare them from a time when all their days are bad ones. I suppose I can try to be selfless, in return for the selfless love he has given all of us over all these years. He has always been unfailingly patient with all children, even when they were little and grabby or used him to climb on. He always responded with a lick and sigh, with a look to me that said, 'I'm a dog. It's my job.' Where his adopted brother, Cyrus, was a goofball to the bone, Tyler has always been the more serious, prissier dog, laying with his increasingly white paws crossed, and meticulously washing first Cyrus', and now Baci's, ears, faces, and any cuts or scrapes they may have. Even now, as I write, I can see Baci laying with his head on Tyler's paws, getting his morning ear bath.

I can only imagine what Baci will think on Saturday when DH comes home from the vet without Tyler. We decided that DH and Josie will take Tyler, since he has always preferred DH slightly to anyone else, and I will stay here with Baci and Patrick. I want to go, but I'm not sure Patrick is ready for this particular kind of appointment, and I think Baci is going to have an absolute bird the first time he is really and truly alone, particularly if his first time is after watching us leave without *him* but with Tyler, which has never happened. Plus, I want Tyler to have a quiet end, not a circus. I may change my mind on this, if Patrick seems to want to go, but I doubt it.

I haven't cried about this yet, although writing here I feel like I may start. We've had a lot of time to prepare, so it's not like with Cyrus where the cancer took him suddenly within a couple of weeks, leaving me bewildered and devastated, particularly since his passing was within weeks of our nephew's death. We've also started talking about what we will do once it's over, since having Baci alone isn't really a great option. We have always enjoyed having two dogs, and I remember the doggie joy of having two young dogs in the house that love each other and roll around the house playing. Granted, with labs, they more crash than roll, but you get the jist. So, soon there will be happier news of a new puppy in the house, but for the moment, there is only the quiet love and resignation as we prepare for Tyler to rejoin his brother, as well as our nephew, in heaven.

11 comments:

Swistle said...

I'm so sorry.

Kristi said...

I don't have any other words.I'm so sorry.

AndreAnna said...

God, this is so heart-wrenching. I don't know what it is about putting a dog down that always gets to me.

It's a whole slew of emotions other than grief and loss; it's almost more than that. Playing some sort of Giver and Keeper and Taker of Life. I had to put our dog down last October and still tear up thinking about it and the implications I felt it left me with. I knew I was doing the right thing. She was a rescue pit bull and aggressive towards kids - even my own baby - and other dogs. Rehabilitation and years amd thousands of dollars in training didn't help. My vet explained that sometimes, like people, dogs are sick in the head. I KNEW I was making the right decision. It was my CHILD on the line and the children of any other people had I tried to re-home her or had she escaped. I couldn't live with that.

But making the final decision to take her life and hold her in my arms as the vet injected in he pink barbiturate will be one of the most vividly horrible days of my life.

Ok, I totally used your comment sections to write my own post about my unresolved feelings of putting my dog down (even though in a totally different circumstance) but the point was that I know how truly painful it is and I am thinking of you.

And if you are ever interested in another puppy, I swear this Goldendoodle is the sweetest, smartest dog I have ever owned.

Shelly Overlook said...

Oh no. I am so, so sorry. I think what your mother said is absolutely correct, difficult as it may be.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

Oh, I'm so sorry.

d e v a n said...

I'm so sorry. That sucks.

onedecember said...

I'm so sorry. If only what was merciful was also easy.

LoriD said...

Man, why does being a grown-up have to suck so much sometimes? I'm so sorry. I like your mom's words of comfort.

Melissa said...

I started crying after the title, the whole thing got me in knots. I'm so sorry but your doing the best. Sounds a lot like the things that started happening to my dog before we had to put him down :(

Good luck with it,

Kristin.... said...

I am so sad for you. i will be thinking of you.

Kelsey said...

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. I'm so sorry.