Saturday, March 14, 2009

Abbey *** 1993-2009

The dreaded day finally arrived when we had to put our West Highland Terrier, Abbey to sleep. She came to our family as a 6 week old puppy in October 1993 to the wide smiles and enthusiastic excitement of our 2 kids, Oliver and MarKay. Abbey spent many happy years sleeping and cuddling with the kids, which was here favorite thing to do. She loved to be around people loved to sit on your lap and just cuddle. She wasn't hyper and was content to just sit around and visit.

Over the last 2 years her life changed dramatically. She developed cataracts and lost most of her hearing and just getting around from room to room was a slow process. She no longer could jump up on the hot tub and watch people walk by or go freely up and down the stairs. Walks on the golf course became shorter and less frequent and her pace slowed to a crawl. She no longer pulled us around on her leash and we sometimes had to carry her because she was just too tired. Her world got smaller and smaller, but she never complained. I think that is what made yesterday so hard.

I've never experienced the anguish associated with making a decision to end the life of an animal you love like a family member. I've spoken with countless of you that have expereinced this before and I now know the pain you have felt. It's not good at all. I have tears in my eyes as I type this and wonder why I'm putting my feelings in to words. I feel really, really bad, but I know it had to be done and she's better off, and out of pain.

Dr. Witty came to our home and gave her an examination upon his arrival. He felt she had either lung or bladder cancer and that she had maybe a few months, at the most. He said even though she did not cry or react like she was in pain, her inability to releive herself was painful and would only get worse, and her silent suffering would intensify. After a group hug and reassurance from each other that this was the right thing to do, we allowed the Doctor to proceed.

The procedure involved first administering a sedative that completely relaxed her in about 10 minutes. As the sedative took effect, we took turns sitting on her favortie couch holding, cuddling and kissing her as she fell asleep and we said good-bye. She was very calm during the entire procedure and seemed to be at peace. The final 2 medicines slowed her breathing and her heart and she passed very peacefully. The doctor said she was ready because the medicine reacted faster that he expected, so that gave us some comfort. But, she was gone.

Our hearts are broken and the house doesn't feel the same this morning. Second thoughts cloud my vision and I'm overwhelmed with sadness and emotion that I supressed yesterday. It know it was time and we did the humane thing, yet I'm selfish and we want her back. I know she'll forgive us and she's happy.

I'm sorry for such a downer post, but I just needed to get this off my chest. I'm a baby and I admit it. To all of you pet owners, please know that when you have to cross this bridge, my heart is with you and I feel your sadness.

Good-bye Abbey Dog.