When we arrived at my parents’ house Wednesday night, the Geriatric Poodle was agitated. And he no longer had control of his bladder.
When my mom cleaned up the third puddle, I looked at my folks and admitted, “My dog is dying.”
Yes, honey. Yes, he is.
We stayed up late and talked through the entire situation. Ever since we rescued each other, I have been so focused on keeping the Geriatric Poodle alive. Lately, I have been sensing a shift in his health, his happiness, and the true goal here.
Even when I held him, he wasn’t always comforted.
He wasn’t eating. And he was doing this weird thing with the water dish – his complete lack of depth perception meant that even if I held the water dish right up to his mouth, he could sometimes be several inches from the surface of the water when he tried to lap it up.
I made a difficult decision. My mom e-mailed her friend who is the office manager at the vet’s office. We had an appointment for 1:30 this afternoon.
Thanksgiving Day was bittersweet. I was so thankful to be with my parents and my brother, Poochie. The Geriatric Poodle ate turkey with homemade gravy on it. It was a privilege to be together, and to talk about what a great dog we had in the Geriatric Poodle.
He would hoist his leg up almost perpendicular to the ground when he peed.
In his younger days, he would have entire conversations with himself – you’ve never seen a dog as talkative and vocal.
And as horrible as the beginning of his life was, he was an amazingly trusting, affectionate dog who would melt into you when you held him.
Foxie Doxie and my parents’ Shih Tzu Magic watched the Geriatric Poodle closely. They knew.
And I just cried and cried. I wanted to do right by this sweet little dog who has always done right by me. I feel like I’ve been crying all fall. I’m so tired of being sad. And the sadness is overwhelming.
Last night, I was tired, but I didn’t want to go to bed, because if I did, it would be today, and today was our appointment.
But I did.
This morning, we sat with various puppies on various laps. The time flew by and was also forever. In a moment alone, I whispered to my sweet deaf baby that he was a good boy and that he had done a very good job. And now his work was done, and it was ok to go. And I loved him so much and was so thankful for him, and I would love him every single day forever. And thank you for being my dog. Thank you for loving me.
My entire family and Foxie Doxie went to the vet. They led us right into a large, yellow room with a blue ceiling that had paw-shaped clouds painted on it. The wonderful vet tech hugged me and assured me that this was the hardest choice, but the kindest choice. She explained it all. And she hugged me again. And I just cried and held my baby.
They took him in the back to get the line in his paw and we could hear him screaming. I came completely unglued. My mom covered my ears with her hands and I sobbed.
The tech came back in. They hadn’t even touched him – he just didn’t want them to hold him. My mom went back to comfort him, and then my mom, the vet and the Geriatric Poodle all came back.
We sat on the floor, and I held him in my lap, wrapped in a fleece blankie my mom made him. I smelled his hair and stroked his head. And then his head got heavy and he was gone.
My dog is dead.
I know that now he can see and hear and chase squirrels and smell and eat and pee on whatever his heart desires. I know he’s running and he doesn’t hurt.
But I do.
I am so sad. I’m so tired of being sad. But I’m also thankful. I’m so thankful for eight years with this wonderful, loving little guy. I’m glad that I could stop his suffering. I’m glad that my entire family was there, and I’m glad he planned it that way, because he was smart like that.
He was a very good dog. His name was Reggie.