Hard decisions


Todd was our first baby. We got him when Ash and I moved into a townhouse together – our first time not living with roommates. He’s been with us through so much: the births of three kids, a couple moves, everything. I admit that I paid less and less attention to the dogs as the children took over more of my life. But I still fed them and gave them good places to sleep and took them to get their yearly shots. Last visit, they told me he had glaucoma in one eye and it was developing in the other. Just two weeks later (and having been on a medication) his one eye has not improved. Now they are recommending another medication… that costs 100 bucks. So they have given me options: pay for these two meds (roughly 122 bucks/2.5 months), take him to a doggie opthamologist ($150) and see if they know of any other drugs, or the ultimate sadness: euthanize. I feel God-awful going that route because he still has so much energy. I feel like that’s just mean. But perhaps it is the humane thing to do. I don’t feel as if he’s really in a lot of pain though, which is the biggest problem with the disease.

SIGH. I just hate having to debate this; that his life is in my hands. I am sad and angry and I keep saying to myself how I am NEVER getting pets ever again. Some day, maybe. But will it ever get easier? No, probably not. Maybe some day when the kids are all moved out and it’s back to just the two of us, we’ll want that companionship, that reason to get up and take a walk every day.

My parents bought a beagle when I was about 14 and I remember when they had to put him to sleep. My father is a man of few emotions and I have never seen him cry. My mother said he cried on that day. When we had to put Iggy down two years ago, it was insanely hard. I cannot even believe I was present in that room as the life left his body. And that is what I keep thinking now. Can I handle that again? I almost wish I could just take him to the vet, say goodbye, and walk away. I don’t know if I can. With Iggy, he was practically gone by the time they injected him. With Todd, he’ll be full of life.

At this point, I am pretty sure that I will commit to the money for a little while and see if it works. It would be one thing if he was in poor health but he’s fine otherwise. I don’t want to spend the money, and Ash will say I’m being irrational, but I think that for now, that is what I can handle.

6 thoughts on “Hard decisions

  1. I think you’re making a good decision, at least to see if the meds help for a little while. I’m not even a pet lover, but I agree that it seems harsh to euthanize when he’s still so full of life & energy. I also understand the reluctance to spend that kind of cash on a dog, though, so wouldn’t blame you if that’s the decision you went with. Totally understand how torn you must feel!

    Funny, I had a dog when I was a kid – a really, really bad dog, but I loved him, and when I was gone to camp one summer, my parents had him put down (he had bitten several people, including a kid in our neighbourhood AND the minister from our church. whoops). When I got home and realized he was gone, my dad wouldn’t look me in the eye, and he was visibly upset about it. I was so angry at him, but my mom eventually told me that my dad, who never ever cried, did so on the day he took the dog to have it put down. Somehow, that made me feel better about it all.

  2. In these situations, there is no “right” answer, just the one that is the least wrong, i guess. Go with your gut and when it tells you it’s done, be at peace with it.

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