I wake up every morning and go check on my 12-year-old Shiloh Shepherd.
I wonder if today will be his last, then he looks at me, and I think, he’ll make it through today. I’m not sure if I’m doing him any favors, though.
He can’t do his favorite thing anymore, the 3-acre perimeter check. He can barely stand these days. His mind is still there, he still obeys, wags his tail, and grabs his cookies, although everything is done with a little more delay and care.
It’s gotten cold outside, and just like with my knees, he’s much worse in the cold. He even fell yesterday, his back end just wobbling over and causing him to spin around. It reminded me of someone driving a race car too fast into a corner, he spun and lost control. I tried to help him up, but you can see how upset it makes him when I have to help him.
He can’t, however, understand how upset it makes me to have to help him, and not be able to.
I’ve had him since he was an 8-week-old uncoordinated Baby Huey-esque puppy. He is a good dog. Just writing this brings tears to my eyes as I realize that I need to take care of him in the most difficult way possible for a pet owner. I hate this part. Even worse, I’ll have to carry him into the truck, out of the truck, and into the sterile room where he will take his last breath. The last 30 minutes of his life will be awful for him. He hates riding in the truck, and he hates the vet.
But because I want his suffering to end, I will call today and schedule his demise. I will cry like a child and remember all the times I had with him. I will go through the hundreds and hundreds of pictures I have of him and load them into a picture frame.
But the worst part of it is, I’ll survive this without him.