Sandy DeLisle's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘euthanize

Today I am hiding behind my keyboard. There is something I have to say that I cannot bear to use my voice to convey. Instead, I will allow the computer to tell of the grief that is welling up inside me so much that it is hard to speak.

Last week I learned that our  dear dog, Ghost, has an inoperable tumor on her heart. The vet said she has less than two months to live. Now she is lying at my feet and I am watching her sleep as her shaved belly heaves up and down with labor. Jazz, her one-year-old canine in crime, sleeps peacefully behind her, oblivious to the fact that soon her best friend will be gone.

For those of us who have pets, this is the decision we dread. We all hope that our pets will pass in their sleep and we won’t have to “play God”, making the decision to end their lives, but, unfortunately, that is not often the case.  In fact, it was only a little over a year ago that we euthanized our beloved Timber after a long and debilitating illness.

We adopted Timber and Ghost together at an adoption event. We went to meet Ghost, who was then between one and two-years-old, and came back with both her and Timber. Some people thought we were crazy bringing home over two hundred pounds of German shepherd with a two and five-year-old at home. We, however, have not regretted the decision even once. Our boys have learned compassion, patience, empathy and responsibility from their four-legged siblings. But most importantly, they are learning the preciousness of each moment of our lives, which includes the shared moments we have with the pets with whom we have chosen to travel. 

Our very social fifteen-year-old showed me just how much he understood this valuable lesson when, after learning of Ghost’s short time remaining, chose to stay home most of the weekend so he could be with her.  I was glad that both he and Ghost were asleep when I went to tell them goodnight Friday night, because I don’t think the words would have come easily then either, after what I saw. There, on the floor, was my 5′ 9″ jock of a young man cuddled up next to my dying dog. He wanted to sleep with her and give her comfort in her last days. Little does he know how much comfort that brought me as well.

Someday I will be able to speak of this and not cry, but until then I have my keyboard. It’s the perfect tool for reflecting on the life of a wonderful dog and the lessons she has taught her humans.


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