Good Dog, Smart Dog, the Very Best Dog.

by statia on October 29, 2012

There’s no way for me to wrap this up nicely.  And I don’t even have it in me to be my usual hyperbolic self. We all knew that our time with Gromit was limited. And forgive me that this will be totally disjointed and rambling, but the Xanax was a necessary part of the day and my body is floating from my head, or my head my body.

Today was the day we had to say goodbye. It was time, but the worst part is the guilt. The guilt, and the anxiety of having to let him go. To watch his life leave his body. Everyone I’ve talked to said it was the right thing. You see his tumor had gotten big enough to finally split open, about the size of a golf ball, protruding from his foot. Splitting open, no doubt was painful for him. We kept it bandaged. He was getting an antibiotic, but eventually, it started to bleed. It stopped healing.

It was ultimately me who had to rip the band-aid off of my heart, rather quickly to make the executive decision and stop being around the bush. His back legs were horrible, his one foot constantly bandaged up and weeping. The Meester was taking a diplomatic avoidance approach, “yeah, I know, we have to call the vet, but I’ll get to it.” I don’t blame him. I feel no judgement. We both knew that the quality of life was declining. But here’s the problem, Gromit was the type of dog that was always content and happy. I’ve never once known that dog to whine in pain, and people, I saw that dog jump ten feet from the ground, over the side of a slide and rip his hip out socket. I saw him recover from surgery, and never once did he whine about it. He was just happy to be with his people. So watching him go from this happy dog, wagging his tail to seeing him quickly end up as a shell of a body that once hosted his soul, it’s just too much for my heart to handle. That image forever etched in my brain.

This is the first time I’ve had to put an animal to sleep. I’ve lost them over the years, hamsters, and things like that. This was my first dog. He was my first baby. He was there for me through a lot of things. He had an amazing spirit and personality. He didn’t want to do the typical dog things. He was happy being connected to us at the hip. He loved to bark at farts in Wisconsin (ok, maybe a little hyperboly).

This is the first time I’ve felt grief that has caused me duress. On top of the sadness there’s anxiety. “Maybe we should have waited.” I tell myself. But every single person that I’ve talked to, experts in grief counseling, experts in dog behavior, our vet, they all said, we were doing the right thing by not letting him get to the point of suffering for our own selfish reasons.

All of this advice has helped, but naturally the wound being fresh, It’s obvious that it’s going to hurt, and I have guilt over it, I’m going to give myself the time to not feel guilty about anything else associated with this day. But the way people truly experience grief in their own way. I’ve heard it before, but today it’s an epiphany.

{ 8 comments }

Betty M October 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

It’s a horrible time for all of you. I went through this decision a couple of times with my cats and with one we delayed too long and it was the wrong thing to have done. You made the better choice. I’m sorry.

Faith October 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I don’t have much to say other than I’m so sorry! And I’m sending you mental hugs from Kansas. You guys gave Gromit a loving home and a great life. You did good.

Shelly October 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I’m so very sorry.

As an adult, I’ve only had to put one animal down, my beloved cat Scooby. I was there through her last breath and it ripped me to pieces. I still remember that day more vividly than any other day in my life, including the day my kid was born.

Hugs to you, my friend.

Veronica October 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I’m so sorry Statia. It was the right thing to do, but it doesn’t make it hurt less. xxx

Shanna October 30, 2012 at 7:47 am

Big hugs to you. We went through this in August with our Helga. It is hard, I still think I see her somedays when I come home and walk past where her bed used to be. It gets better but it still sucks. Letting a fart in Wisconsin in honor of Gromet, really, I live in Wisconsin. ;) Hope you got a little smile out of that one.

Susannah October 30, 2012 at 8:21 am

Oh Statia. I’m so sorry. I know your heart is breaking.

jesser October 30, 2012 at 8:47 am

Man I am so sorry. There is nothing like it, putting a dog to sleep. You have my most sincere condolences.

Susan November 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I am so very sorry for your loss!! I have enjoyed reading many a Gromit tail. He was there for you over the years and it is evident in your writing that you loved him very much. You loved him enough to let him go. Many {{hugs}} to you and your family. Godspeed Gromit!!

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