Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Selfish Pain

This week we asked you to explore your worst memory.

He'd been through so much. Arthritis in his rear legs and hips. His front legs were beginning to show signs also. A neurological problem in his hips made his front legs have to do most of the support. 

He had an ongoing antibiotic resistant ear infection. The odor was awful, sickly sweet and rotten all at once. Ear washes and cocktails of meds. The infection would finally go away, only to return in another month. Along with the ear infection were fleshy growths that bled if he scratched too hard. 

He was fourteen, not young for a dog. Most of his teeth were gone. The problems in his hips meant his tail couldn't speak for him anymore. . The arthritis meds were supplemented with pain pills. He slept more and more. 

One day he refused to take the pills. No matter how we tried to give them. He wasn't tricked by food around them. We couldn't force his jaws open to push them down. As pained and frail as he'd become, his stubborn streak was still strong. 

For two night we were awakened by his barking. I'd go into the other room to see what was bothering him. He'd be gazing past me at something I couldn't see. 

The second night I sat up with him until morning. At 7:30am I made the call. Choking through tears I explained that it was time.  The receptionist at the vet's office was sympathetic, asked if I was sure. I was. The appointment was made. 

It was fast and painless. For him. I knew it was the right thing to do. Selfishness had kept him in pain too long. 

I am a cat person.  But cats have their own agenda. They come and go as they please. 

Ari, my Shih Tzu was often underfoot.  Following me from room to room.  There is still, two years later an empty spot in my heart.  And an empty spot at my feet. 

                     * * * * * * *
It's been two years and i still miss him. We did adopt a troubled dog last year. I try not to compare. It's hard still. 


  1. Aww...it is so hard to make that decision. I am dreading that time for my dogs, now that they are 11. And I know I can never find another dog like my Gable. xo

  2. Oh, I am in tears for you. I am amazed at how animals can truly display human characteristics - stubbornness, loyalty, love.

    Thank you for sharing this. Your love and devotion are so clear here.

  3. Im so sorry for your loss, and for the ache that remains still. I have not had to make that decision, and remembering your story will help if/when I must. Thank you for linking up and sharing this.

  4. This made me cry. I have a one year old Shih Tzu/Maltese mix but before that we had a Golden Retriever. She was my best friend and kept me company all day while the kids were at school. I am a dog person through and through, so I understand the grief that you still feel. Hugs to you. (And thank you for your sweet comment on my post yesterday.)Here is about our Chelsea: http://mypajamadays.com/2010/05/19/goodnight-sweet-chelsea-girl/

  5. I still remember the first time I went through it. A fourteen year old Golden I loved beyond words.

    I was twelve and I knew it needed to happen, but I hid him in my room and screamed at my parents to leave us alone. I sobbed for hours when my mom took him away. And I've had to try very hard not to compare every subsequent dog to him.

    A good dog is an amazing, blessed thing.