I can say without a doubt, it was one of the most awful things I've had to go through. We knew we had to do it and it was best for her, but it was hard. After talking with my good friend and mentor, Sherri, she convinced me that I needed to be with Missy in the last moments. I was already convinced that we needed to be honest with Jenna about what was about to happen. She knew Missy wasn't well and knew there would come a day, but she really didn't understand. Not sure why Steve and I chose dinner (over meatloaf no less) to tell her, but she'd only had about two bites when we brought it up and she started sobbing. And I'm pretty sure she didn't stop until we were about halfway home from the emergency vet. I guess that is what made it pretty awful too is watching your child go through this and being powerless to help.
I will say, because our vet was not able to work us in for several days, we chose to go to the next county's emergency vet. They were so, so kind, sympathetic and thoughtful. They explained what would happen, what they would do and that it would be quick, painless and peaceful. And my only regret was that I didn't do it sooner. I know that sounds so cruel, but we didn't want to do it and so we both made excuses (Oh, she's not in pain) for too long. We really waited too long.
Sherri would be proud. Not only did I stay by her side, with my hand on her the whole time, but we ALL THREE stayed in until she was gone. Jenna wouldn't think of leaving. We kept asking her and through her sobs, she insisted on staying. All we all cried. For those of you who have never had to euthanize a pet, I would recommend staying with your friend until the end. Sherri told me this before when she went through the same thing with her beloved cats. I thought she was crazy. But before we left the house, I knew it was what I had to do. I feel like we were there with her to the end...
The beginning: Missy came to us in the spring of 1993, just a few short months after my mother passed away. Our across the street neighbor's daughter found her as a stray and was looking for a home for her. I guess my dad was still grieving too much to tell me no, so we took her in. She was about 3 months old then. We hadn't had a dog in some time...not a real dog since Smokey, my childhood german shepherd. Missy came in and shortly thereafter, I met and married Steve and she became "our" dog. I guess in a way, Missy became my comforter after my mother's death. And I guess that's why it became so important to me to be by her side at the end. We'd been through an awful lot together. She'd never deserted me and I wasn't about to do it to her. Anyway, she grew up and was such a loving dog...such a good girl. We brought in Mack, then Mocha (dogs), then Midnight (cat) adopted us and spent most of her time outside with Missy. Finally, came Fred. All the while, Missy was the "Mama". I'd like to think she is now wherever faithful pets go...running and playing with Midnight and Mocha and even Smokey. She's strong and nimble like when she was young. That's the way I'll choose to remember her.
I wish I could say this is the last time I'll have to go through this...watch my child and even my husband go through this, but it's not. In fact, for Steve and I, it's not even the first time. We had to have Mocha euthanized several years back after a full on seizure. Shortly after, we found Midnight in the neighbor's yard. So, this was not the first. And with Mack being 9 years old and both Maggie and Molly about 8, this day will come again.
It's part of loving something.
And letting go.
It's part of life.
Farewell old girl. Thanks for the last 14 years. We'll never forget you.