The passing of a friend

(Written Sunday evening…)

With the exception of my paternal grandparents when I was about 23 and 28 respectively, I have not had to deal with much death. A few years ago, my parents had to put my beagle to sleep. We got him when I was about 13 and he was pretty old. I was sad, but mostly because my father loved that dog and had a hard time dealing with him being gone. About a year or so ago, they had to put their adopted greyhound to sleep as well; he had cancer.

Saturday morning, I woke up to find that Iggy, the third of our trio of Bostons, had thrown up in his crate. As usual, we suspected something he’d eaten in the yard; my dogs tend to do that. They throw up a few times during the day and get through it. But he didn’t. His breathing became shallower and he didn’t want to do anything. Sunday morning, we took him to the emergency vet and after blood work and xrays, found he has pneumonia, and badly. It had progressed very quickly. As of now, 8:20 PM, he’s still laboring to breathe but we gave him meds at the doc and took option #2, which was drugs at home. It was the option between break the bank and put to sleep. But he doesn’t seem to be improving much. I go back forth between “will he recover if the drugs start to work?” and “should we just end his misery?” I can’t decide if it’s his time to go or not. He’s not even seven and it just seems unnatural for him to get sick so suddenly. I realize he’s just a dog but he’s been a good one.

I admit to being irritated by the lot of them, especially after having kids. Mothers everywhere will tell you that if you had dogs before kids, you look at them very differently once the kids come along. There’s just a different attitude and feeling about them; the kids take so much precedence that, even if your dogs were your babies before, they seem like a nuisance, especially on days when the kids are bad and the world seems to be closing in around you. One little dog getting in your way can be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The decision is the hardest part. If he were visibly improving, I would say we’re in the clear. If he was so bad he had to be put to sleep, I’d even feel OK because I’d know he was in peace and in time, I would be alright with the emotions..


(Monday morning…)

New day. We made the decision to put him to sleep, because when he tried to get up, he couldn’t. It was really sad. Ash and I called my neighbour over to stay with Elliot and we took him in and said our goodbyes. The hardest part, I think, is how suddenly it came on and just ravaged him. Iggy was the runt and though never really sick, he did sometimes have eating issues and he was definitely a wee bit physically challenged. But of our three Bostons, he was the sweetest. He was never a pain, only ever wanted to make you happy. The other two have their annoying quirks, but never Iggs. I was happy that he was no longer suffering; the crying was more for the event and having to see it happen. And then thinking about all the times I ever said I didn’t want dogs anymore because they were annoying me.

But it is what it is and I can move on. He was a great dog and he’ll be remembered as such. Just another milestone in our lives. I hope everyone reading this goes and gives their pet a hug, and enjoys their day.

We’ll always remember you, Fat Face Iggy.

7 thoughts on “The passing of a friend

  1. Oh, Claire. I’m so sorry. There’s something just truly cruel about the experience of having to put an animal to sleep. You know you’re making the right decision, but having to make the decision at all is awful. We had to put my cat to sleep a few years ago, and the experience was dreadful. I’m sorry for your loss and hope the boys are doing okay with it.

  2. Animals worm their way into our hearts without us even realizing it. He had a good life and you are richer for having shared it. Hope the hole he made heals up soon.

  3. Such a good post about a very sad event. You chose the humane option for Iggs. I never had a dog until I moved to Florida. He’s 9 and I adore him. I’ll be crushed when he leaves me. 😦

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