This dog was our first baby. We got him less than a month after we were married. Tonight he had a medical emergency and our choices were emergency surgery that he probably wouldn’t survive or . . .
The or is so hard. But at least he didn’t die outside, alone. At least he died with someone who loved him by his side. At least is was a peaceful end, and the suffering that led up to it was short lived.
When we first brought him home from the pound, everybody told us how stupid we were for getting a chow mix. We heard all about how ill-tempered chows can be. But he was the best dog. Just the best dog. Except for his amazing Houdini-like ability to escape the yard and disappear, and the time he marked the Christmas tree. In front of company. He was amazingly patient with and tolerant of the children. He was good with other dogs. He had the softest fur I have ever felt. He was just a great dog, and he, along with the St. Bernard, undoubtedly protected me from the crazy stalker. I owe them both my life, or at least what measure of mental health and sense of security I have.
As McH was driving back from the veterinarian a little bit ago he called me and said, “You know, this has just been a hard year. The only stressful thing we haven’t experienced this year is divorce. Because this counts as a death in the family.”
And so it does.