Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dog Day Afternoon

Queenie (4/1/1994 - 8/25/2010)

  On Monday I wrote about how sick my dog Queenie was. When I came home yesterday, Kathy said she had been laying on her side all day and Kathy had to wash off her backside when Queenie ‘went’ on herself. I made the call to the vet for a 4:30 appointment today to have her put to sleep and told the kids. We have been laying her on a towel to make cleanup easier. I needed to wash her off again last night and this morning. I took her upstairs to sleep in our bedroom and I could her snoring in the night.

  I got up, took Queenie outside to lay in the backyard while I walked Tuffy, and brought her into the kitchen while I hung out before I left for work. She picked her head up a couple of times, but she didn’t want to eat or drink any water. I went to work and told my boss and my bosses boss that I needed the afternoon off today and why. My boss’s boss also has a 16 year old beagle and we commiserated for awhile.

I left work a couple of hours early and got home at 3. I sat around on the kitchen floor where Queenie was lying and just kept my hand on her head. She had her eyes open but barely moved. At 4:10, Kathy, Matt, and Ben said their final farewells and I picked Queenie up and put her in the car. When she went outside, she picked her nose up a little to sniff, but only for a second. I laid her in the seat beside me and rubbed her head as we drove to the vet’s. I must have hit every red light and even got stuck behind a tractor for half a mile, but this one time I didn’t mind. We got to the vet’s, I carried her inside to the room and the vet came in with the syringe. I kept rubbing her head and looked her in the eyes while she got the shot. I could see the life go out of her eyes and even though they stayed open, she was gone. It was very peaceful.

  In retrospect, I was 2 days late putting Queenie to sleep, but I’m comfortable with my thinking there was hope for a recovery and it’s not like I’d get a gold star for perfect timing. I’m pretty emotional over losing my dog, but I was blessed to have had such a great companion for 16+ years. I had a dream once where I was walking Queenie and all my dogs. We were all young and bouncy and it seemed very real. I think that was a glimpse of heaven and it gives me something to look forward to.

  When I got home, Tuffy looked at me strange with a ‘Where’s Mommy?' expression, but got back to his goofy self on our walk. When Whitey’s mom Happy passed away in New Jersey, Whitey was normal for about a week until he lost her scent. I expect the same thing to happen here.

This is how I'll remember my awesome dog Queenie.

  A couple of my co-workers talked about how we can put our animals to sleep to save them some pain and suffering and wondered why we can’t do the same for parents and loved ones instead of watching them slowly waste away, sometimes when they are in incredible pain and may not even know who or where they are. It sounds good, but the knife cuts both ways. I knew a fellow who had inherited a dog when his grandfather died but shortly after he moved in with his girlfriend to an apartment that didn’t want pets and so he had the dog put to sleep. I could see a guy like that making sure he had a copy of a parent’s will and then bringing them to Dr. N. Ditall for a ‘special’ treatment ('end it all', get it?). The only question is how long would the line be.