On August 13, 2018 my beloved family pet was euthanized. Trust me. This was not an easy decision to make. Shiloh, our beautiful white haired Schnoodle, was 12 and aging badly. He'd not been eating properly for five weeks. It had gotten to the point where I was hand feeding him morsels from a can of chicken flakes. Poor thing refused to eat any kind of dog food. He knew he was on his last days. Animals try to speed up the death process by deliberately foregoing meals in hopes to end their pain.
The choice to put him to sleep was excruciating for me. To watch him in pain day after day, week after week, was so painful. I felt selfish, because I wanted him alive, to be near as he always had, the faithful companion and the buddy who greeted me at the door as I came in from work. But seeing him deteriorate was more than enough to bear.
When my time comes and it's someone's choice to pull the plug, it won't be easy for them to make that call. We love those close to us and we beg God for "just one more day" in hopes of cherishing those 24 hours forever. Or praying for a miracle.
Shiloh was in my arms, so frail, in that vet office, when they came to take him away. I opted not to watch as they injected him. Instead, I stayed in a side room, sobbing hard. The tears fell like Niagara Falls and I felt so ashamed. What was my problem?He was going to be pain free, finally, and cross that rainbow bridge to doggie heaven to join the other loving souls. He would be at peace and his pain finally gone. But here i was...bawling like a baby. It was for the best, the vet assistant told me, trying to reassure. Yet we love our pets and we linger...hoping for one more hug, one more doggie kiss or wag of the tail that reminds us we are our loved and that we mattered to them.
My Shiloh is resting with angels now. Perhaps he has been greeted by Mr. Lou, our other Schnoodle who passed in October 2012. Or maybe he met with Lady, our beloved Springer Spaniel who died Dec.12, 2000. It's a nice thought to relish. At any rate, he is better off. Me? It took some time to adjust. I would lie in bed after his passing and swore I heard more than a few times his small whimper at my bedroom door to alert me that he wanted in. And I would wake in the morning before work to see his doggie bed was empty. How truly depressing that was. No more 6:00 a.m walks before I hurried off to work.
Now, though, there's a void where Shiloh inhabited my heart. I caught myself on kijiji the other day, perusing ads for puppies. One known breeder of CKC registered English Springer Spaniels had a litter of gorgeous pups born June 11th. Another slap in the face for me. The anniversary of my soulmate Trent passing. It's like the Universe just grabbed my heart and mocked me with a rollicking laugh that echoed off the walls. I cringed at the irony.
I know one day I'll own another dog. Because dogs love you like no one else. Humans leave you, betray you, mock you, deceive you...but dogs...they love you UNCONDITIONALLY. All they ask for in return is for a scratch behind the ears, a full food dish, walk to the park and some water. Not much at all.
My heart is heavy tonight. I miss you Shiloh. You were a good boy and faithful friend. Rest in peace. Till we meet again. Adios.