Some of you know, I have (had) a dog named Jock. He’s been my buddy through everything imaginable for the last 16 years. He’s forgiven me of my sins…but I think he may not forgive me of my last sin that ended his life. I know I can’t.
Sixteen years ago, 2 puppies announced their arrival on our farm by chasing my boyfriend’s car into the driveway. They were the cutest pair…one…was a female whose long curly coat was as adventurous as her own personality. She was the most gregarious of the two.
The other was a small male, whose long thick coat was straight and fly away… it was hard not to fall in love with this guy too…he was shy, he was scared, and he kept only to his sister…except when it was time to eat.
One evening (about a week after their appearance) the puppies were lying in the garage…that was strange, they always greeted us when we got home. They were lying on the cold concrete floor, look stiff…almost as if dead! It’s January in Southwest MO. with snow in the ground…it was much too cold for these dogs to survive like this!
They both were very sick. Throwing up…dehydrated, limp…horrid…they were dying. We dragged in a bale of hay, found the big cardboard box the dishwasher came in…piled the hay and dogs in side the box. We then took a work light, and hooked that up so it hung over the puppies…we did all we could to keep them warm through the night…except take them in with us.
George and I went to our little travel trailer and ate…watched a little TV, then got ready for bed. I went out to check on the pups. The female was dead…my little Jocky was holding on by a thread. I picked him up…cuddled him in my arms and brought him into our little travel trailer.
My poor little Jocky…His sister died…I discovered they both had started to suffer from bowel disturbances…they were literally shitting their lives away….I stayed up with Jock all night…I cleaned him up…I took one of Mom’s syringes for her diabetes, filled it full of sterile water for wound cleansing and injected it under his skin. It took ages to do…small syringe…rather good sized puppy of about 12 pounds. I kept him warm, and cuddled, and loved…and he survived the night.
After that, he was my dog. Forever and always he was my best friend….who wanted nothing more than to please me….he would really get hurt feelings if he was corrected for something…and learned quickly the best way to avoid correction was not to do that thing….he was a very smart boy. All he wanted was to be loved and approved. He got plenty from every one in my life who ever dealt with him….he was such a loving and giving animal.
He was sixteen…his arthritis was horrible, in his spine, his hips, his elbows, his neck…if there was a joint there…it had arthritis. He’s been on two types of pain meds for a while now…the second type kept him pretty well dopey…slept all the time except to eat and go to the bathroom.
But last week, he became so weak he could not hold himself up to walk. He could stay standing if we put him on his feet…but walking was out. He would fall down, tumbling on his head. His bladder was also weakening…as he couldn’t hold his water long enough for us to get him out the door once he let us know he had to go. My poor little man was so embarrassed. You could see it in his demeanor. He was blind, and had been going blind for about five years now…he bumped into all the furniture…all the time when he was able to walk. I was so sad for him…
Talking to my vet, she told me, that he would let me know when he was ready to leave. Problem is…he wasn’t really ready to leave. His heart was strong, his mind was set, but his body was so weak…how could I allow him to continue like this? I wondered if I was doing him a dis service. I still can’t decide if allowing him to live would have been all that bad…I think it is…but, if your not ready to die, if your love of food is zesty still…if your excited at the prospect of eating…how can you be ready to die? I had to make a decision for Jocky though…
The Vet…I’m so upset, why don’t they tell you the injection they give the animal only freezes his muscles…so that he can’t breath? Whey didn’t she tell me his mental abilities would still be there, that he would know he couldn’t breath…I knew I had made a mistake, when after she injected the second chemical, he took two really deep breaths…that was not like him. I wondered about that…why would he do that? Then he stopped breathing….and the vet waited a few mins. then listened to his heart. She says: “He still has a faint heartbeat.” WHAT? AFTER TWO MINS. MY JOCKY, WHO HASN’T TAKEN A BREATH IS STILL ALIVE?
I was crying so hard, I croaked out a wail and told the vet “I told you he didn’t want to die!” It took my friend a good four mins. to die. What a horrible death….I didn’t know Jocky…or I wouldn’t have let you go like that. I’m so sad, I’m so guilty…I should have asked more about the chemicals and what they did. I should have made sure my buddy would be comfortable and not know what was happening to him.
I could hear him crying that night, after I went to bed. I’m not the only one. My MR. got up at 4:30 and went in to work, because he couldn’t stand the crying anymore…the doggie cry….the sound he made when he wanted to get up…or needed to go outside…we both could hear him…it was horrible.