One of Life’s Toughest Moments

Yesterday was tough. We had no choice but to put down our beloved dog, Spade. He had lost the use of his hind legs and couldn’t stand up anymore. He shook uncontrollably. On our last trip to the vet she discovered he had a heart murmur. The vet had hoped that he had arthritis and that medication would work, but it didn’t, and he would have needed thousands of dollars of tests and surgery to even find out what it was. It was time, hard as it is for everyone.

Obviously this was hard on Tracy and the kids, as Spade has been a member of the family for a very long time. He was the best dog I have ever known. When he had been doing his business around the house Tracy called and asked me to take him and I was thrilled, until she wanted him back, of course.

When I went to pick him up to take him to the vet I was going to try my best to hold it together, but, as soon as I opened her front door he came falling down the stairs to me, his usual excitement to see me but with no use of his back end. It was so sad. To make matters so much worse, my darling little Madison wanted to come with us. She was so young to go this, but it’s one of life’s tough lessons. Spade had always been her dog as they had grown up together. I knew I had to “buck up” and not fall apart in front of Madison, but it was very hard to do.

The trip to the vet was difficult, not only because Mads was with me, but because Spade kept pushing his head under my arm, as he always did when you weren’t paying quite enough attention to him. The tongue was going and the tail was wagging as always. He had that usual enthusiasm that his “Daddy” was taking him on yet another adventure. Thankfully he didn’t know this was our last trip. Driving is very hard when you’re eyes are filled with tears, as is typing.

When we got there the vet came out to help me get him out of the truck and carry him in. For the very first time ever he didn’t want to get out of the truck. It’s like he knew, which was really hard. The vet took him into a room and laid him on a blanket and I did the paperwork. Our last moment with him was watching him trying to come to us and falling down, and shaking uncontrollably. As horrible as this was I had some strength in knowing that we had made the right decision. If there had been any doubt that he could be cured, the guilt in putting him down would have killed me. Seeing him like that convinced me that there was really no other choice. I couldn’t bring myself to stay and we left before I would completely fell apart.

When I was a kid my Dad had to put our wonderful family dog. Hobie, down, so I certainly had a better understanding of what he went through at the time. We buried him on the hill on our farm and had a little ceremony, with of us bawling our eyes out. When I was younger I had allergies and we could never have a dog. Once I was cured Hobie was our first dog, so it was really hard to lose him. He was full of cancer and there was nothing we could do for him.

As I drove back memories of all the great times with my Spade came flooding back. He was a wonderful dog who will be sorely missed by everyone whose life he touched.

Goodbye My Spader. Rest In Peace boy.


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