I had two childhood dogs: Lexi (Alexis), who came to join my family when I was two and Chloe, who joined our family when I was 16. Lexi started getting sick shortly before my 16th birthday – not being able to control her bladder, not being able to walk, etc. One night, my parents told me (but not my younger brother), that the next day, we were going to euthanize Lexi. We brought her to the vet and held her while I experienced the worst thing I had ever gone through to that point. They wrapped her in a sheet and we put her in the backseat of my parent’s mini van. I lied next to her on the floor the whole way home and sobbed. We buried her in my parents back yard with a wooden grave marker my dad made.
Later, we found Chloe, who brought our family joy for so many years. Having a puppy as a teenager is awesome – I highly recommend it. A few years ago, Chloe started getting sick, and had some bladder issues. After surgery to remove a tumor, my dad started referring to her as the $3,000.00 dog. But we all know that my dad would have paid $3 million for Chloe – she was, without question, my father’s dog. Two years ago, she took another turn for the worse. She wasn’t able to go to the bathroom, but kept trying over and over. My parents brought her to the vet for some ultrasounds. My parents were to call me the next morning to tell me how she was doing. I was at work on a Wednesday morning when my mom called. There was a tumor blocking her bladder, and it could not be removed. They would have to put her down that afternoon. I made my mom promise to wait for me, had a few moments of sobbing in my friend’s office, and then booked it out of work. I called The Man, who also rushed to the vet’s office. She was a little drugged up when she came toddling into the vet’s room greeting each of us over and over again. We were all hugging and kissing her and apologizing. Unlike Lexi, Chloe didn’t seem to understand what was happening, the thought of which even now makes me choke up. At one point during the procedure I suppressed the overwhelming urge to scream NO STOP! but I knew I couldn’t. The vet put her in a little doggie coffin, and we buried her next to Lexi in the backyard.
We got Luke and Lacey at the same time, and they are BFFs in every way. Although they’re only four, I am terrified of the thought of them leaving us. But even more so is knowing that one will leave before the other. Part of me thinks that if we’re forced to make a decision, it would be fair to bring the other to be there. Is that cruel? or is it more cruel to leave with one and never bring him or her back? I hope I don’t have to think about that for a long long time.
*This post was spurred by an article I read this evening. At the end, the author mentions that their other dog was present during the euthanasia, which was something I had (morbidly) considered.