Last week the date finally came and it was time to let the dog go. We made the appointment for Friday so that we could have the weekend to help the kids in case they were upset. Of course, it would be easier for us too. I gave him a nice walk and then fed him quite a bit of cheese. My husband came home so that I could go alone with the dog. The dog had always loved me best and I wanted to be there for him. I was trying to be calm because I had to got out to do this thing, but my husband started to cry. DH is such an amazingly caring guy. I am so very lucky to have him.
We arrived for the appointment at the end of the day. I paid the money and since we had decided to have him cremated, I had to fill in forms. One of the assistants showed me a choice of font for the cedar box for the remains and I told her that she would have to pick. I had no opinion. I was still trying to be calm, but obviously it was wearing a bit thin. We got him into the room and onto the table. He has never really minded the vet because she fed him! The vet had these bacon strips and I can tell you he really enjoyed them. I was feeding him bacon strips while she gave him the injection and I don't think he even noticed what she was doing. I was trying not to cry, and failing horribly. Alright, I was bawling and telling him he was a good dog over and over. Finally the vet told me that he was gone. Then I entered the realm of deep sobs. They were very kind and gave me time alone with him. I didn't want to stop petting him because then he would really be gone. Since I had had the foresight to have paid everything I was able to just leave. Of course, I was in no shape to drive even the short distance home so I sat in the car and tried to pull myself together. Another women was just arriving at the vet to pick up the ashes of her late cat. Her cat had died unexpected at home after dental surgery. It helped a lot to share a few moments with her. When I got home, my youngest was just waking up. I was numb.
My youngest in not yet two and so while I tried to explain to him that our dog had died, I am not sure what he understood. I told him the dog was broken and could not be fixed. At one point in the weekend, he patted the dog bed and looked at me questioningly. He was looking like he wanted to say "where is he?" I had put the dog dishes away and he got them out again and wanted me to fill them. I know that he is young enough that the will have no memory of our dog and in a way that hurts even more.
My oldest took the news quite calmly. We had been talking about how sick the dog was and how it did not look like he was getting better. We told him that we took the dog to the vet and that the dog died there. We did not want to get into the issue of putting animals to sleep. He is not yet 6 and I don't think he is ready for the concept. We have been getting questions here and there about heaven. We are not religious, but I believe in heaven. I don't believe in hell but that is a discussion for another day. We talked about him playing with another of our dogs who died before he was born. The next day he told me that he had a dream and that the dog is fine now. I hope that he is right.
My DH and I have been feeling sad. My DH had to go away overnight and the dog was not there. It is funny how it is the habits that trip you up. You think, "Does the dog have enough water?" or "Walk time." and then have that moment of realization again. It was time to let go. He was falling and loosing himself. He was having moments of obvious confusion, despite the drugs. I know we have done the right thing, but I just miss him.