It’s already 18 months since our family dog had her first heart attack, and back then we were wary that the day would come when we had to say goodbye. But, we refused to let it happen and continued our daily routines, and so did she.
The only change was that she was on heart tablets, which I still find strange that you can actually give a dog that kind of medicine. Ol’ Mother Nature would have struck her down, whereas we pumped new life into her.
In fairness, she is part of the family, so we need to look after her.
We, and she in particular, soldiered on and made a remarkable recovery. At times it was as if she had actually gotten younger. She was bouncing around the place. Then, a few minutes later, I guess the energy burst was used up, she was snoring on her blanket.
While we went home to Denmark on Christmas holidays, the dogs stayed with our German Dog Whisperer (lets call him Fritz). They love that place, and get to play with 30-40 dogs in the fields and the odd time compare stamina with Fritz’s wolves.
Anyway, when we returned to the Emerald Isle, from the one snow covered isle to another, we collected the dogs. I did notice that the old princess was walking a bit slower than normal, but she bravely jumped to greet me. Her butt must have gained a few pounds, as she had difficulties dragging into the boot of the car – that do happen to some women as they get older.
Over the next few weeks, one of the dogs developed (or all) turned into puppies at night, and went to the bathroom; #1 and #2. I cannot explain how frustrating it is to step in a cold pool of pee or slide in a “Mars” bar with bare feet – in the darkness of the mornings.
This meant I had to clean up every morning and wash the floors. Our house was starting to smell of bleach 24/7, cleaner than a dentist’s clinic, which was not really a bad thing – but not ideal when this resulted in me developing a huntchback.
What’s even worse, the nightly accidents were soon moving into the days as well. The dogs that had been toilet trained since 6 months of age, were peeing and poohing randomly around the house. It was so bad that we couldn’t invite people over, afraid that they were been knocked out by the feces oder or the bleach fumes.
To our horror, the old lady had started to lose control of her lower body, which resulted in her losing control of a bowl movements. Her balanced and strength was slowly leaving her lower body too, so she was deteriorating quick.
We brought her to the vet and she confirmed that her body was suffering from old age, and her nerve system in the lower back meant her being somewhat paralyzed and movement would be restricted going forward.
The next 14 days we saw the old lady change from a somewhat mobile old dog to an old lady we had to walk around and lift into the garden. While in the garden, she was taking in all the sights and smells of Mother Nature, and almost seemed normal again.
One promise I made her, was that I would not see her suffer. If it came to that, then we would have to send her to the lush fields of the other side.
The day had emerged. I couldn’t stand seeing her like this, and it was no life for her. Even the other two dogs had started to distance themselves from her, probably because of the smell.
The missus and I sadly informed the kids that we had to say goodbye to the old lady. Amazingly, the kids were extremely brave and hugged the dog while saying goodbye.
I slowly carried her into the boot, as she could no longer walk, and wrapped her in a towel. I hated seeing her like this.
Because of the smell, I had to drive with all windows down.
I felt awful. The last visit to the vet. I wonder if she knew. “Dead Dog Walking” – “The Doggy Mile” – “Daddy Killed My Dog!”.
I slowly carried her in to the vet and placed on the table. She was calm and just looked at me with eyes that almost said “thank you”. The vet gave her a tranquilizer, making her sleep. Her head was in my arms and she kept looking at me. She became more and more relaxed, and was soon sleeping calmly. The final injection made her dream forever and she slowly passed to the other side. No pain.
This was more than what this old viking could handle, so I rushed out into the waiting room, tears rolling down my face. Fatherhood has made me a softy. I couldn’t let the rest of the waiting area see me like this, so I frantically tried to push the door open – only to realise that I had to pull it open.
I sat in the car for a few minutes, trying to calm down, before return to the vet. I still had to pay for the visit. It’s a cruel World. All the visitors in the visitor’s room, were quiet and avoided to look at me. Even all the animals sensed something and looked at me as if I was some sort of animal killer.
Thankfully the vet was very friendly and kindly gave me a leaflet for cremation and urns. Phew, that made me feel better … not! The pictures of the urn and images of my dog being cremated brought back the tears. I threw the money on the counter, told the vet in my most calm voice that I would call her tomorrow to make the final arrangements.
The drive back to the house was extremely long. Kids were sleeping and the house seemed empty – despite the two other dogs attacking me when I came home.
This was one of these experiences that makes you NOT want to have pets ever again. When I was a kid, my dad took the dogs to the vet, for the final time, but this time it was my turn.
These animals really get to you and you can’t just let them go without having some sad emotions. It’s natural I guess. But damn, it makes me feel bad.
Well, we still have two dogs left and Angel is now a real angel. She has probably met my dad and his dog already, running on the lush fields and gnawing on an olive branch.
Goodbye girl. We love and miss you.