posted in Mom Stories
I asked the girls if they wanted to be there when we put Ruby, our Springer Spaniel, down.
We need to do it. Sooner than later. We’ve been in denial for months. But how does one look a decision like this in the face without blinking, or even looking the other way?
Ruby’s 14. She’s deaf. She is riddled with tumors. She looks at me and barks with cloudy eyes. Her back end is a loose caboose, always derailing. Her muscles have atrophied. She struggles to walk on our wide-pine floors. She has been pooping on the floor a lot. Her bladder leaks. She stinks like road kill because a tumor has exploded on her back. We have to breathe through our mouths when she’s in the car because the stench is so bad.
She’s got a tumor on her rear end that’s so big she can no longer wag her tail. If my sweet Ruby was known for anything, it was that perpetually wagging tail. That tail spoke volumes Now, she’s lost her voice.
We love our dog. I can’t stand to see her like this. Reduced. Sedentary. She’s happy just to be with her people. I think. But is that enough reason to go on?
How do you know when it’s time?
The girls love her. Isla loves her passionately. She has already told us if anyone kills Ruby she will kill them. She loves Ruby more than she loves us.
I believe her.
Esther loves Ruby too, but she sees Ruby with my eyes. Esther sees her aged dog through eyes of grownup concern. She asks me if she is in pain.
“I don’t know,” I say. “I don’t know.”
She moans and groans a lot. And she pants day or night. Hot or cold. Finally, both my kids sleep through the night and now my dog keeps me awake.
The vet has left it in our hands. He knows we can’t pay for lots of fruitless medical procedures or attempts to prolong her life.
“She’ll tell you,” he says. “You’ll know.”
She still does her business. She still eats. She still gets in the garbage like a cheeky puppy. She still sits on our feet or the feet of our guests.
She recognizes me, through cloudy eyes, from afar. I don’t get that. I am her mother. She has not forgiven Ian for being away for so long, so now I am the chosen one. She loves my mother too, since she took care of her while we were in France.
She follows me wherever I go. Even to the bathroom. Whether it’s the kids or the dog, I rarely sit on the toilet undisturbed.
I have to carry her from car to house, and up and down stairs. The other day I was carrying her up for a bath and the feel of her warm body, totally-relaxed, yielding, against my belly, made me weep.
I’ve always considered Ruby my first born. She’s been such a good dog. When both my kids were babies, she slept at the foot of their cribs, or beside the baby jogger, during naps. She wouldn’t leave their sides. And she came to tell me when they were awake.
She’s never growled even once at any human being. I have seen my children crawl over the top of her, pull her ears, her tail, even play tug of war with a bone that was already in her mouth and that dog never once got angry.
When it came to attention, love and affection, and a steady flow of dropped food, Ruby knew that sticking by these annoying little kids was a win- win situation.
She’s counting on us. We’re all she’s got.
Have any of you been through this. How did you handle it? Were your kids part of it?
Read more from source:“babycenter-com-baby”
when its time to put the family dog to sleep
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