(This article is dedicated to my friend Don and his beloved Panda)
A friend of mine recently had to put his dog to sleep. It was a decision he had been struggling with for quite some time. A few days after Panda was put to rest, he was still broken up about it. Knowing when “the time has come” is one of the saddest decisions you will ever have to make. My heart went out to Don and his family. I told him I knew how he felt. Many years ago, we went through a similar experience when we had to put our cat Jewel to sleep.
Jewel came into our lives when my son Jeff was in the first grade. She was a calico who loved to curl up in the sun and softly snore her days away. Of course, this gave her plenty of energy to run up and down the halls at night. Her collar bell jingling like some sort of demented ice cream man. When the time came to put her to sleep, Jeff was in his third year at Michigan State. Years before, she had run into some serious problems with her kidneys. This required her to receive a bag of fluids every Saturday, for two and a half years. She hated it, and would always meow loudly in protest when we arrived in the vet lobby. She became known among the vet staff as 4 Pounds of Fury. However, she would always rebound after receiving her fluids. When we got home, she would always return to her spot, curled up in the sun on the back of the couch.
The dreaded day eventually came. She suddenly took a turn for the worse, and it was obvious she wouldn’t be able to carry on much longer. When our family took her to the vet to have her put to sleep, Dr. Julie told us the staff had asked to say their goodbyes to our 4 Pounds of Fury. It was an exceedingly sad day, and I’m getting choked up right now writing this. Unfortunately, it also makes me think of the day when our dog Skittles will eventually pass away on her own, or have to be put to sleep. We love our crazy dog, and she has been a beloved family member for over seven years. The thought of that day fills me with dread and sadness. This article is dedicated to my friend Don and anyone else who has lost a beloved family member. They live forever in our memories.
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