Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My boy

It seems like this happens too often in my home, and it is never easy. We lost our boxer not long ago and my heart ached to lose him. Now, my buddy Linus (the little black guy in the pic), who we adopted on Christmas of 1998, has cancer and is in his last days. We have opted thus far, not to euthanize him. We have been providing hospice care to him during a very difficult time. He seemed at the end on Tuesday and had not eaten for over 24 hours. We were preparing to call the vet to come to the house and end his suffering, but suddenly, he started eating and regained some energy. He is still very weak and very thin, but he shows us the love in his eyes for us whenever we are near him...especially my wife. His ears go up and he sits up when we enter the room and he seems very at peace when my wife is with him.

I am torn between ending his suffering and providing him with every possible thing I can between now and the time of his passing. It seems unfair to end his life without his consent, but he couldn't give it to me anyway. I don't want him to suffer, but I can't bring myself to force his death prematurely. Right now, I have opted to provide him with the best possible care until he is in pain or simply cannot function. I want to keep him with us for as long as possible, but sometimes I feel like I am being selfish by doing so.

I love this dog more than words can possibly express and this decision is one of the most difficult I have ever had to make. I'm not a religious person, but I find myself praying for the strength to make the right decision. I can say that I have had some of the best days of my life with him (and his sister Lucy and, of course, Bugsy). He has made me a better person by reminding me to be patient and calm when I felt like coming apart. These last days will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Losing a pet is like losing family...probably because it is. I know that some people don't connect with animals the way many of us do, but if you have the chance, I recommend you do. You will never regret loving an animal...

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