Friday, 4 November 2011

My Dog Is Dead

I didn't know what to title this post. I couldn't come up with the right words. I thought of emotional titles, I thought of heartwarming titles. The thing is, the fact remains.

Bamburgh Beach - 2007
My dog is dead.

Sounds brutal but it's the truth and at the moment I feel so numb it's untrue.

I thought I was prepared for this moment. I'd talked about 'this day' coming and I knew at almost 16 years of age she didn't have long with us but it's hit me badly.

If she'd just died in her sleep of old age I may have been able to handle it better but yesterday morning I was faced with that awful decision in the veterinary surgery - the decision that every pet owner dreads.

I had to put my dog to sleep.

It didn't help that my husband was away down in London and my parents were on holiday - plus I'm pregnant! I felt so alone.

I had to take Mini Cheddar with me as I had no-one to look after her. It didn't help that she was being very 'difficult' so I was trying to talk to the vet between my sobs whilst MC is running around the surgery having removed her wellies!

I know there will be people reading this who are thinking "it's just a dog, get over it". If that's you then please don't comment, I really don't want to hear it.

Sleeping - 2008
Betty was more than a dog, she was a massive part of my life for so long and, even though she was old and didn't run about as much as she used to, the house feels so empty without her.

She was such a loving little dog to those who really knew her. She could be a nasty piece of work when she was younger and she never got on with other dogs, she would regularly see off even the biggest of dogs if they got too close for comfort.

I feel sad that I haven't been able to give her the attention she has needed in these last couple of years of her life. I blogged about Betty at the beginning of the year when I realised how old she was getting. Her quality of life these past 6 months or so had gone downhill fast, she had cataracts and could hardly hear and what finally got her was an infection in her back legs. She was too old to undergo anaesthetic and the pain and lengthy treatment without it was something I couldn't have put her through.

"What would you do?" I asked the vet.

I knew her answer before she even spoke.

Meeting Mini Cheddar - 2009
So at 9.45am yesterday Betty was put to sleep. The thing that upsets me most is that I couldn't be there when she went because of MC. I had to wait in the echoey waiting room and just listen as I heard them shave her leg in preparation for the injection.

I was awake at 5am this morning crying. I'm wracked with guilt about my decision. I know it was for the best but I can't help it, it's one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make.

MC said to me this morning "I miss Betty" (we've told her she's gone on a long holiday and won't be coming back).

"I miss her too, sweetie" I say "I miss her too".


64 comments:

PhotoPuddle said...

As I said to you yesterday on Twitter this is so sad. I've never actually had a pet but I imagine this must be such a heartbreaking thing to have to do. Hope you're OK. Sending more hugs your way. Extra big squeezes this time x x x 

Kelly Wiffin said...

Oh I am so sorry :( My dog means the world to me so I can imagine how you feel. I have said goodbye to some very loved pets (chinchillas and a budgie), it's not nice at all. I am here if you need to chat x

Jennie said...

I am so so sorry about your dog. The photo of her meeting MC is just beautiful. I know how empty you must be feeling right now. Sending love and hugs x x

LauraCYMFT said...

So sorry to hear such sad news. We had to put one of our cats to sleep just before Miss C was born and it really isn't nice at all even when you know it is for the best.

chloewitters said...

Any dog owner knows that they are never 'just a dog'. I caught a train home from uni at 5am in my pyjamas in order to say goodbye to my old boy. This was five years ago, but I remember clearly how hard it was in that vet's room.

I still deeply miss my dog, he was part of my life for so long, but you know when it's time for them to go, and you know you have given them a good, long, happy life.

It sounds like you gave Betty a wonderful life, and she certainly looks very content in the photos. It must be a very sad time for your family at the moment.

Michelle Lawrence said...

I'm so sorry to hear your sad news, I know how sad you must feel, as well as knowing it was for the best. x

Claire2101 said...

Awwww so sorry about Betty. Dogs have such a presence in a home, she will be sorely missed.

And maybe a dog anecdote will cheer you up. I've heard it said that a man can find out who loves him the most by locking his dog and wife in the boot of his car. Who will be happy to see him afterwards? :)

Muminmeltdown said...

I know exactly what you are going through! Some people don't understand that they become part of the family. Really sad news. We opted for a year or two without any pets and now own a cat ( which was for my eldests birthday). We have had her over a year now and I cannot imagine the house without her, but we are still sad about 'jetty' when we look at pics etc!! x

reluctanthousedad said...

Oh Heather! So sorry. I have lost dogs, too - both called Sam - when I was growing up. My dad had to take them to the vet because their back legs had gone with old age. My brother was so distraught, he left home for a week, refusing to forgive my dad for what he'd done. But in time, he realised it was the only thing that could have been done. Anyone who says 'it's only a dog' is an idiot. They're not dogs - they're part of the family. Your post has reminded me of why I've resisted having a family dog ourselves for so long - the tragic inevitability of the premature parting. I posted only this week about discussions we're having about whether to have a puppy. It's not a decision to take lightly.
(Incidentally, Betty was my mother's name, who died a year ago next month. May they both rest in peace)

Glenda Gee said...

I am really sorry you have lost your dog.  It sounds as though she had a wonderful life and you will miss her terribly. This beautifully written piece explains so well what you are going through and you know that you have made the correct decision. Please don't feel guilty. You did not make that decision for yourself. You made it for her. It was her time...(Big hugs)

Notmyyearoff said...

I'm very sorry for your loss but please don't feel guilty. You did the most humane thing possible in the circumstance and that takes courage. RIP your wonderful dog. I hope you are ok xxx

geekmummy said...

Oh Heather, so sorry to hear this. It's always hard to lose a beloved pet. I had to have one of my cats put down earlier this year after 15 years, and I was a mess. Still am if I think about it too much. Must have been very difficult coping with all that on your own and with MC around.

*hugs*

workinglondonmummy said...

Im so sorry to hear this Heather, she was part of your family and it will be tough but you had to do what was best to alleviate her suffering. Take care and hope you are all ok xx

Blue Sky said...

Written from the heart ((hugs)) and so so sad to lose a member of your family and have to deal with it alone apart from Mini Cheddar xx

Mummyandthebeastie said...

I have already tweeted you but I wanted to comment on here too. I hope that it has helped just a tiny bit writing this post, I can imagine with streams of tears down your face. My eyes have welled up reading this and from the deaths of my beloved pets I remember the rawness of it all. When my cat died at 16 a few years back I was beside myself, there will never be another like him. It must have been so tough having MC with you and she just didn't understand that you needed to be with with your Betty. She had a very long life and you will treasure her memory forever :-) xx

Mari said...

You've only just arrived in my inbox but I did see this happen on Fb and I am so sorry. 
I don't think it would have been any better if she had gone in her sleep to be honest, every departure is difficult to cope with and after 16 years you are bound to feel sad and at a loss for a while.I hope as the days pass you focus more on the happy memories and if it's any consolation, I  had to bury my Schnautzer when living in Italy after she got knocked down by a car, it was a miserable day pouring with rain and we chose a mountain woods and walked far into the midst, we got soaked preparing her grave but we continued nonetheless and as we stood in silence contemplating our completed work the sun broke through the clouds and shone on the exact spot where Ellen lay. The sky then clouded over and the rain returned and that for me is a sign that one day I will see her again.Sorry for the long post and I hope it is uplifting as I intend it to be xxxx

Inside The Wendy House said...

A pet is part of the family and their loss is heartbreaking.  You did what had to be done for Betty's sake.  xxx

Michelle Twin Mum said...

Don't you dare feel guilty.  You adored your Betty and she had a wonderful life with you.  Sadly pets age long before us and we have to let them go for their own sake.

I don't expect those darn hormones are helping!  Mich x

All for Aleyna said...

Oh my gorgeous girl. I am sooooooooooo sorry. I have only just got back online and I am so sorry I didn't comment before.  Ohhh Betty Dogface. RIP.  You know how important Princess Daisy is to us and just the thought of it is hideous.  Bless you all. Never feel guilty for feeling this way.  She was a part of the best part of your life. Love you loads xxxx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Oh, flower. 

It's an incredibly hard decision to make and I am so very sorry you had to be the one to make it. There's no point me saying  you did the right thing because you already know that you did. You loved Betty with all your heart and you will carry her memories with you forever, and having her put to sleep was the kindest thing you could have done for an animal you loved dearly.

Beautiful photographs.
CJ xx

motherporridge said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Betty. Sending lots of love x

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Lexie x

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Kathryn. It was made much harder because my husband was away and I had to take MC with me to the vets. I just keep having flashbacks of the day and it's just horrible. I'm so sorry your friends lost Saracen - he looked like such a lovely dog xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Alex. Really hope you are feeling better. Will be popping over to your blog later as I miss you. Love you too hun xxx

SAHMlovingit said...

No they aren't! Today hasn't been a bad day - I've only cried twice which is a major achievement for me as I've been a wreck since Thursday. Thanks Mich xx

SAHMlovingit said...

I know, just doesn't make it any easier. You have the right attitude having no pets Wendy, I don't think I can have any more after this xxx

SAHMlovingit said...

Aw thank you Mari. Having your dog knocked down by a car must have been truly awful for you. I've had Betty cremated so I can keep her ashes. Maybe if we go back to Bamburgh we can scatter her there :) xxx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Hannah. They do leave a hole - I feel like part of me and my life has gone. At least I have a lot to look forward to over the next 6 months to take my mind of it.  I've been out today and got some photos of Betty printed for frames around the house and MC even asked for one of her and Betty for her room :) xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thank you lovely, it was a hard post to write but it helped a lot to do it.  And yes, having to take her to the vets on my own was just awful xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks honey, I know it was for the best xx

SAHMlovingit said...

I hope you and bump are doing well too! xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Ruth. Sorry to hear about your cat. I've been a mess too - although I've only cried twice today which is better than the other days!  Thanks again for your comment, it means a lot x

Mummyandthebeastie said...

That's really moving that MC asked for one for her room :-) Pictures really do help as you are keeping her memory alive in photo's as well. I hope you are feeling a little better now xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks. It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever made but I know deep down it was for the best xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Glenda and thanks for your concern on Twitter too. It's been hard but I know it will get easier - and pregnancy hormones aren't helping at all! x

Inside The Wendy House said...

I had a cat when I was younger.  Her name was Hairbear and I loved her to bits.  She got a tumour when she about 12 years old and was put to sleep on my birthday.  Without fail I think of Hairbear on each and every birthday I celebrate.  I think that is why I've never wanted to own a pet again.  Losing them is too hard. xxx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks so much Keith. I've been a bit of a mess the past few days. We always had pets when I lived with my parents and whilst it was upsetting having them put to sleep when they got old, it was always my parents that did it. Experiencing it first hand with a dog I'd had for so long was just awful...I don't think I could ever put myself through that again so yes, you're right to resist!
Thanks again and your Mum has a great name - sorry to hear she passed away last year x

SAHMlovingit said...

Thank you so much. It is amazing how quickly they become part of your family and your life. I feel very much lost without Betty now x

SAHMlovingit said...

Hehe thanks for the anecdote and the comment, she will be sorely missed indeed x

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Michelle x

SAHMlovingit said...

Thanks Chloe. Yes it does take a dog owner to understand what you feel. I'm sorry to hear about your dog, like you I think I will always miss Betty x

SAHMlovingit said...

It is horrible indeed making that decision. Thanks Laura x

SAHMlovingit said...

Thank you Jennie. Empty is exactly what I'm feeling :( xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thank you so much Kelly. I know it will get easier - I have got some lovely pictures of her framed today which is helping a little x

SAHMlovingit said...

Thank you so much lovely - and thanks for being there on Twitter the other day. It was heartbreaking indeed xx

SAHMlovingit said...

Wendy that must have been awful on your birthday, I'm so sorry :( xxx

Minty aka waterbirthplease said...

Only just seen this post and my heart went out to you. I've had dogs all my life, and I honestly believe that the opportunity we are given to end their lives with a little dignity is a blessing, despite being so very hard. Betty is running free now bless her and if she could - I know she'd thank you.xxx

NicsNotebook said...

Oh no, you poor poor thing. How sad. I can't imagine anything happening to any of our animals. Our neighbour's cat who practically lived at our house had to be put down today as he had cancer & I am so upset about that.. :( Animals really are special aren't they? Your lovely Betty will have been glad that you didn't let her suffer... Lots of hugs xxxx

SAHMlovingit said...

Wendy that must have been awful on your birthday, I'm so sorry :( xxx

SAHMlovingit said...

Thank you so much. It is amazing how quickly they become part of your family and your life. I feel very much lost without Betty now x

Mummyandthebeastie said...

That's really moving that MC asked for one for her room :-) Pictures really do help as you are keeping her memory alive in photo's as well. I hope you are feeling a little better now xx

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