Tuesday, 21 July 2009
The View from the Hill on Tuesday 21st July
I love my dogs. Here they are, Jake and Danny.
Like many pet owners, I dread the day when you have to make that heart breaking decision. Both of my dogs are getting on, (11 years in dog, 77 in human) and both are slowing down and Jake recently had to have an operation to remove a lump from under his shoulder. It was whilst returning to the vet to get his stitched removed that I was reminded of the torment that lies ahead.
In the surgery there was myself and Jake and then a young lad of about 18 or so and he was carrying a small terrier puppy. The puppy was there for his jabs. Unfortunately one of the surgery’s examination rooms is directly off the waiting area and the thin walls mean you can pretty much hear all that is happening.
Myself and the young man exchanged pleasantries, he was fussing the little puppy on his lap whilst Jake tried in vain to manoeuvre towards the exit door. Then we heard the people in the exam room talking to the vet as they came in through a rear door, and it soon became apparent that it was bad news, their dog was to be put to sleep.
Euphemisms don’t make it any easier to deal with do they?
The vet then fetched the dog and although we couldn’t see it, you could hear the dogs tail swishing and hitting the exam room table, the tail was being wagged enthusiastically as if to signal, look dad, there’s still life in the old dog yet!
Then a man’s voice said, “well this is it fella” and gradually the swishing got less and less and finally stopped.
I was stroking Jake and trying hard not to get emotional and then I looked across at the young man and he was sobbing his eyes out and he said to me, “this is my first dog and I never thought I would love him so much and then you get this”. I knew exactly what he meant and how he felt.
A short while later the door to the exam room opened and a tearful couple left the surgery.
Jake had his stitches out and returned home and since then has been full of energy and playful as a puppy. It’s either canine senile dementia or his clear indication to me that he is not ready to hear those words, “well this is it fella”!