Goodbye, Old Friend

Goodbye Chico
You were the best dog this family could ever ask for.

Some days are harder than others. This day just about broke me. We said goodbye to our dog Chico today.

I think the anticipation was the worst. Knowing what was ahead, we tried to cherish the last hours. We let him sleep in our bed last night. I made bacon and gave him some this morning. He lounged in his favorite sunny spot by the back door. It was a pretty idyllic way to spend your last dog day on earth.

My husband, Mark, was supposed to meet me at home so we could go together. But a work meeting ran late, so he had to go directly to the vet. Picking Chico up and carrying him out of the house was awful. Knowing it was the last time. Knowing where we were going.

When we got to the vet’s office, I just held him close, trying to provide some sense of security for him. I was keeping it together pretty well until Mark walked in – gym towel in hand (guys never have kleenex when they need it), already crying the ugly cry. The ride over from the office, with nothing but his thoughts, was the part that got Mark.

After the vet explained the process to us and started to prepare the injections, Mark looked at me, tears streaming down his face, and said “I don’t want to do this.” I almost broke then. But instead I said, “We will never want to do this. This will never be easy. Not today or any day.”

I have to say, the final minutes were quite peaceful. Chico wasn’t shaking or scared. He was just snug in my arms, with soft whispers and gentle petting as he took his last breaths. I am so so very glad we searched for another vet. Our neighbors referred us to Dr. Barry at Skillman Animal Clinic and she could not have been more compassionate or loving.

After we pulled ourselves together, Mark said “I am amazed at how peaceful I am about this. I wasn’t – going into it. But now that it’s done, I know we did the right thing for him.” Cataracts, hips slipping, loss of hearing, skin lesions, and Cushings disease were all having their way with our companion of sixteen years. It was time to let him go.

But telling the children? Well that was a whole ‘nother thing.

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