Thursday, January 2, 2014

Saying Goodbye, Saying No

We had to let our Balto go on Monday.  He'd been slowing down and having difficulty moving, but we just worked with it - taking him out to the grass, carrying him back on the deck, cleaning him up when needed - but Sunday night he went downhill fast.  We had tremendous thunderstorms and lightning all night, and I couldn't even move him to the garage.  My husband stayed with him from midnight to 3 am, and then I went down until morning.  We called the vet as soon as they opened and tried to keep him comfortable until his 2 pm appointment. 

I texted our older son as we were driving down, in case he wanted to come to say good-bye - he lives not far from the vet's office.  He did come; it was very sad.  Our poor dog was never sick a day in his life, so he wasn't used to the vet; he was scared.  We stayed with him - I stayed while they put the catheter in and my husband and stepdad stayed until the end.

And this is where I get to express my immense appreciation for my husband.  He isn't sentimental about animals, but he sat for hours with Balto in the night - offering food (eventually he refused the food - and this dog never refused anything resembling food) and water - he helped me clean him up and make him comfortable in the morning.  This dog had dense fur which needed to be cleaned often once he became basically incontinent.  He stayed with the dog in his final moments and brought him home and buried him.  He put a cross (frankly, left over from a grave marker my kids made when this very dog killed one of a stream of steay cats - let us not speak ill of the dead, but this dog was deadly to stray cats, the occasional sheep, and two whole flocks of chickens - although I finally broke him off that habit) on the grave, picked a rose from our garden and placed it on the grave.  He did all of this in the rain.  I am so used to having to handle all these types of things, and this time I just couldn't, and my husband did.  I was so entirely grateful. 

At the same time, my family was here visiting for a couple of days.  Kind of a sad thing that this took up most of one of the two days my family was visiting.  I dropped them off at the airport yesterday, and then we rushed to our friend's for a BBQ.  While we were there, I heard a kid goat yelling in the pasture above their place.  It turned up on their lanai early this morning (more thunderstorms), and my friend called this morning asking if we'd take it.  I guess I have finally learned to ask my husband before saying "Yes" to animals.  After all, he's the one who would have to bottle it and take care of it for the next two months as I am gone 12-13 hours a day.  We said no - but it's so cute, and I want goats!!!  But it's very unfair of me to say that when I don't have to bottle it several times a day and deal with it if it jumps our sheep-not-goat-proof fences if it got bigger - we've never had a lot of luck with bottle kids.  It would be sad to lose another animal so soon.  I know people do it successfully, but we've never been able to.  


From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

It's so painful losing a dog. It's the habits that are so hard to get over. The mornings, taking them in the car for a ride. It's all so sad. I am so sorry for your loss. The bright side to this sadness is your husband. There is always something good that comes from something bad.

Barry said...

Balto was lucky to have you all there for him. I have done the same thing over the years for my dogs, and it never gets a bit easier. The best memories will stay forever in your hearts.

jj said...

I had to put down my Foxy Dog this last November, after ten good years together, and I still mist up every time I turn around expecting her to be at my heels. I'm sorry about the loss of your furry friend.