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My dog is dying.

We have a 16 year old cocker spaniel named Cassie.  We got Cassie on June 1 of 1999 from a family with two young girls.  They had to get rid of her because she was starting to bite the kids.  As it turns out she was being locked in the laundry room each day because her then owners did not want her making a mess in the house they had just bought.  Cassie is a champion mess maker.  As a result of this daily imprisonment, she began to become very anti-social and would bite the girls.  For obvious reasons, this could not go on so they decided that Cassie would be happier in a new home.  That is where we came into the picture.

Casey had a friend, Kelly Paul(Buzutio) who had a friend who had a dog.  Kelly’s friend told her to put the word out that if anyone wanted a dog, they could have this one.  Casey and I, having been married for about nine months were looking at getting a dog.  When I was growing up my family had a cocker, Fluffy Wiggleworm Oliver.

Fluffy was the runt of the litter from a family of circus dogs.  I don’t exactly know how we ended up with him, but we did.  Fluffy had a few run ins with other dogs and at least one bought with cancer.  We ended up having her put down sometime in the 80’s.  Sometime between 83-85.

Over the past four days Cassie has been to the vet a few times, first for a bladder and kidney infection then for nausea from the meds for said infection.  About six months ago she ate more than a pound of chocolate that was I my father-in-laws suitcase.  We decided to let her ride it out, but at about 2 a.m. I found her in the back yard with a very bloated abdomen.   She couldn’t stand and was clearly in distress.  I decided to take her to the vet.  A few thousand dollars later (not kidding) she was home with a good disposition.  But ever since then, she has been a bit off.

Casey and I discussed having Cassie put down, but we can’t do it.  I have never been able
to understand the logic of putting someone out of their misery. It seems to me to be an excuse because you don’t want to watch something suffer. Or it may be because it is inconvenient to have an animal like that. We have to constantly watch her to make sure is not in pain, and even then we are not sure if what we are doing is working or not. Personally, I think that suffering can be redemptive. I understand that we are talking about a dog here, a broader lesson still applies. No matter what you do, you will never avoid suffering and pain. It is part of the human condition. You may find that you go through a period of suffering and achieve a new outlook on life, only to find that the ones you love don’t share it. It could be that the people who were by your side when you suffered don’t understand you now and you feel isolated. I think the important thing is to share what you went through. Really, that is all you can do.

Sorry, didn’t mean to stray like that.

So anywho, here we are with a dying dog.  She is asleep, snoring in the other room.  She  cannot walk right now and won’t eat or drink anything.  It could be tonight, or later.  We will just keep her safe, warm and as happy as we can.  Noelle seems to understand what is happening.  She keeps leaving her stuffed animals next to Cassie so she will not be scared at night.

And so it goes.

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3 responses »

  1. fri(end), thank you for sharing this. life and death are both beautiful and painful moments. my thoughts are with you guys.

  2. Pingback: Rossman « Sean’s Weblog

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