I watched one of those videos you find on Facebook that have been shared by anyone. Granted there was a disclaimer on the video telling me to have a tissue handy, so I should have known. It was one of those animal videos about a dog being rescued by a man who happened to come upon a trash bag on the side of a creek. When the man looked in the bag, it held a yellow Labrador puppy that someone had cast into the creek to drown. The video spanned the puppy’s life growing up with the man, going to ocean to play in the ocean, the man getting married, having a family and getting older with the daughter.
The video showed how the dog was thankful for being rescued and the life he had with the man. The video then went to the dog being old and in pain asking for the man to end his life. In the video the dog was saying that he was happy with his life and was thankful the man was there and with him at the end, when he was being euthanized. I knew what was coming, (not real) just inferred in the video, but it hit home hard. Having had Charlie euthanized less than three months ago, I was a blubbering mess.
I wasn’t second guessing our decision because there was no other option for us, I was second guessing my decision not to be there with Charlie at the end. I couldn’t watch AJ our black lab be euthanized when he was diagnosed with a massive tumor in his chest and couldn’t watch Charlie either. Now I wonder if I took the cowards way out. Would it have been better for Charlie if I had stayed by his side to the end? I don’t know. Mitch tells me no, that he has done it and it was very hard to watch. I know he is protecting me, but I wonder now if I did Charlie a disservice by not being there for him at a time when he needed to know he was still loved so much.
I have had friends and acquaintances tell me it is so peaceful being there with their beloved friend at the end. I watched Buddy, our first lab die gasping for breath on our kitchen floor and it wasn’t peaceful at all, it was horrible not knowing what was wrong, not knowing what to do, then all of a sudden there was nothing, he lay there so still, I looked at Mitch not understanding he had died, hoping for a miracle. I admit I don’t handle death well; I know it happens, I know we need it, but I don’t want to see it happen. Maybe that makes me a coward or a sissy, I don’t know, but I hope that Charlie knows I loved him even though I wasn’t there at the end.