One year ago we were trying to recover from a severe ice storm.
The sun was out and it was nice... but it was just too much for my dog, Tasha, who was 14 years old.
Tasha was a Norwegian Elkhound, the first dog I ever had (and the only one), and she was a couple years past her life expectancy.
When she went out for her morning walk she collapsed and never got up again. She was too weak. We were told by the vet that she had tumors in her stomach which were preventing her from ingesting food and she was more or less starving to death.
We had the option of taking her home from the vet and letting her starve until she died.. or putting her down.
I immediately called out to have her put down. Tasha was only the second of three pets we've ever had in my life time but the first pet in my memory- Nicki the cat- had gotten incredibly ill, suffered, and died. I didn't want Tasha to suffer anymore, I could already see how much she suffered and I knew it hurt her.
I couldn't stay with her when she was 'put to sleep' so I let my mother be the only one with her. She was more my mothers dog then anyones. It happened quickly, I've been told that if it's quick it means they were ready to go and just needed a little push, and soon enough I was back in the room by her side.
Today marks the one year that has passed since we put her do
wn and I miss having a dog. I miss the wag of her tail, having a friend to take walks with me, someone to bounce around and play with. She was my friend and incredibly dopey. We always suspected her silly ways to be because she ran head on into a tree while chasing a squirrel when she was younger. But still, despite her silly ways she knew how to be a good dog. She was friendly to everyone but the moment they showed any anomosity towards me she'd be protective. She would alert us to anything that might be going on. And when the world was crashing down around me and I would be hiding in my room crying (due to family and friends deaths, always deaths) Tasha would find her way in and just sit by my side.
I miss her so much and she's been on my mind a lot this week. N
eil Gaiman, author of books like Coraline and Stardust, had to put his cat 'to sleep' earlier this week and was very public with the process, and a neighbor of ours had to put their own dog 'to sleep' yesterday afternoon.
Some people don't understand the bond people have with their pets... well I think those people have never experienced the joy of having just the right pet. They can truly be your best friend and confidant. I've absolutely adored the pets I've ever had. Nicki, the first cat. Tasha, the first dog. And Oliver, my crazy cat whose currently cleaning himself on my bed. Even the turtle and fish I've had during my life I've cared for and felt sad when they died.
I've been urging my parents to get a new dog, preferably a Greyhound since they do need homes. See- all of our pets are rescued animals. Tasha was meant to be put down to make room in the kennel two days after we adopted her. In fact, we paid off the kennel to keep her alive until we made the proper arrangements to fully adopt her. I miss her and I feel guilty to have put her to sleep... but then I think if we had never gotten her when we did she never would have lived 4 years past her life expectancy.
But with all of this rambling what I really want to say is this:
I miss my dog.