Making the appointment to euthanize my dog Mr. Squishy was one of the most difficult things I have had to do in quite some time. It brought back all of the emotions of having to make the decision (along with my dad and my uncle) to put a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) in place for my hospitalized grandmother – my best friend in the entire world – she passed away shortly after, never recovering from the surgery to remove a nickel sized cancerous tumor from her lung. I still miss her, but my memories of her hurt less and less as time marches on. Each new loss can tap into the long dormant feelings of previous losses and the grief grips your heart as it shatters into a million pieces while your mind tries to find and hold onto each and every memory so you don’t forget any of the details as they are all that will exist after they slip away.
Even though it was obvious that Mr. Squishy wasn’t feeling well as his thick coat had thinned out considerably, I dispensed multiple medications twice daily and his dementia finally required him to wear diapers it was still difficult to say goodbye. After I made the appointment he declined rapidly and stopped eating and drinking, his behavior screaming at me to please love him enough to let him go…I made the decision to bring him in a day early. I held him until it was time and even though he slipped away so quickly, I lingered still to remind him once again how much I loved him and would miss him dearly. It has only been a month, so I am still raw and tears stream down my face as I remember having to let him go. I miss how he would hop a little when he barked his little “whoa!”, how he would run to join the other two dogs in their antics and his sweet little man smile. I know one day I will be able to remember him with a smile on my face, rather than tears.