Old dogs don't die; they can't. They've merely run up ahead;
I’ve had different dogs in my life from the time I was 18 years old. Daisy was the first of them though, that became my dog. Dogs love us unconditionally. They are always there for us no matter what the situation. Daisy was there for me through a divorce, the loss of my mother to cancer, meeting my lovely wife, Melody, and was a companion to both my children. At 17 years old, and realizing the toll the loss of hearing, sight and general health was causing Daisy, I knew it was time to let her go.
Daisy’s last day with us consisted of a long walk to visit all her “spots” around our neighbourhood and what was specifically tough about this one was how much energy she had. Lately it had been a struggle to get her around the block, but we went a figure-8 around our house 2 blocks each way. Arriving home, Daisy got to have steak for breakfast, which she devoured in almost no time.
The appointment was for 10:30am. The entire time between Daisy finishing her breakfast and the Doctor arriving at my place for the appointment, Daisy and I spent together snuggling, having treats and me repeatedly telling her she was a good girl and she was my favourite.
When the Doctor arrived, Daisy was curious to meet this new person and when I pulled Daisy back up on the couch with me, she looked at me and she knew. Daisy crawled up to me and snuggled into my arms for a last treat before the first shot to put her gently to sleep. She looked up at me, kissed my nose one last time and went to sleep. I held her in my arms and felt her last breath and heartbeat. I knew then, my good girl was gone.
In the days past, the struggle has been real. It’s very rare for me to cry and this process has broken my heart to the point that when the tears come, it’s an ugly cry. I know this is a big part of the grieving process so I let it happen because eventually I know things will get better. Perhaps the toughest thing is realizing that I’ve become conditioned to care for a 17 year old dog; always thinking I need to help carry her up the stairs from my basement office, let her out the back to do her business and ensure she has food and water each day. These things I do subconsciously and is the most painful process to amend.
I know I did the right thing. I know I will see her again. I am blessed that she got to be part of my family, meet my children and be loved by so many. Godspeed Daisy, until we meet again.