Second Guessing

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.

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6 thoughts on “Second Guessing

  1. It’s a hard decision, with no comfortable answers. I can only say I found it just as hard being with my Noah as it was to make the decision in the first place. But, I tend to go with what i learned many years ago, from one of my favorite authors, to wit: “When the need arises, and, it does, you must be able to shoot your own dog.” — Robert Heinlein

    There is also this, from an unlikely source, but, nonetheless true… “How we face death is at least as important as how we face life, don’t you think?” — James T. Kirk

    I am sure your dogs knew they were loved…

    gigoid

    • I am stronger about my own death than I am about my family (pets included) and friends. I have never been able to view the body at funerals, parents included, because I am afraid that will be the only thing I see when I think of them. Weird huh?

      James Kirk was so wise. 🙂

  2. I’m sorry you feel this way. You shouldn’t.
    I had a cat put to sleep when I was just a kid – I thought I would never stop crying. It’s the only reason I’m not a vet – I could NEVER look at a kid (or adult) having their beloved pet put down and not cry along with them.
    My husband never had experienced this until our Very Good Dog got too sick to carry on. I tried to warn him how hard it would be – it didn’t really help him prepare. I’m happy only that our vet gave us plenty of time alone with him, until we were both ready to let the body go. He simply went to sleep and didn’t wake up, so there was no parting on his end – just on ours. We knew when he was truly gone. And this is the most I’ve talked about it in 8 years…

    • That’s what I love about you the most, you always make me feel better about myself. I’ve had lots of pets die over the years and always cried and grieved for them, sometimes more than for a human.

      I’ve never wanted to watch them go and have been told by our vet and Mitch that it is something I don’t want to see and that it is so very hard for some, and not so hard for others. It was watching the video of the life cycle that made me wonder if I had let Charlie down. In my heart of hearts I hope he understood and still loved me, I think he did, I hope he did.

      I am pretty sure the vet and staff took very good care of him, because about 2 weeks after I got a card in the mail from the clinic and the whole staff had signed the card and wrote sweet notes. Also enclosed with the card was a laminated print of his paws and a packet of Forget Me Not seeds. That made me cry again, but in a good way.

      I have to either stop watching videos on Facebook or seriously sensor them.

      Thank you, you really are the best!

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