One morning, my 9 year old came upstairs to tell me Emma wouldn’t stand up. I immediately had that sinking feeling in my stomach. My 9 year old didn’t really understand what a dog not being able to stand meant. She was just annoyed that she would most likely have to assist 2 dogs out and in for potty time now. Spencer was having good days and bad days.
I went downstairs and sure enough, Em couldn’t stand or stay standing. I lifted her back end and she would just collapse. Between the 2 kids and myself we managed to get her outside and into the car for our trip to the vet. Once at the vet, they brought a stretcher out for her. Despite it all, her tail was wagging because all of the attention. She was an attention hound for sure. The vet checked her over and we decided on a corse of steroids rather than very expensive and painful tests. Emma was 14 and she didn’t like being away from me or the kids.
So, with just a little bit of hope, we went home and started her on the steroids. The vet said if they were going to work we would know by the next day. And the next day Em was trying hard to stand and walk. It was mostly alot of falling down but she was trying. Spencer was doing a bit better again. Not falling down as much. He even walked all the way up to my neighbor’s house just to say hello.
This was our routine for about a week. The kids would get up and help both dogs outside to pee and poop, clean them up after they inevitably fell IN the pee and poop, feed them both and go to school. I would then take over with the carrying Emma out to pee and poop, clean, feed and love. Then Spencer. Then Leo. The kids would come home and repeat the morning routine. Really, the kids did the majority of caretaking for both Em and Spence. I have good kids and very sweet animals.
I knew that Em couldn’t go on like she was. I was just trying so hard to get thru the week. I also couldn’t imagine Spencer without Emma. I couldn’t picture that sort of future. One evening my 13 year old came upstairs to tell me that Spencer just had “bloody diarrhea” all over the kitchen floor and “I don’t mean in the British sense of the word. It was literally bloody”. It was then I knew.
The next morning I called the vet, and explained that both dogs were ready. Our vet was wonderful. She knew they were both ready and that they had such an interesting and varied life. Spencer with the Coon Hounds Disease and Emma being about the sweetest dog in the entire world. The kids and I loaded both Em and Spence into the car and drove to the vet. Emma got another ride on the stretcher, Spencer staggered in with our help. The vet explained the procedure to myself and the kids. I had asked both kids if they wanted to be there and both were insistent that they wouldn’t leave Em and Spence until it was all over. I was very impressed with both my kids.
The process itself was very peaceful. And the kids and I sat and petted and held both dogs until they were gone. To say it was a hard to thing to do would be an understatement. I have never had an animal of mine put to sleep. I knew it was the absolute right thing to do for both of them. They came together, lived unseparated from each other for 14 years, and went together, as it should be.
The vet made paw prints for us to take home and we left.
The change in the house was immediate. Despite Em and Spence spending most of their time in “their room”, we could all feel the lost of their spirits. Cecelia definitely knew also. She was hanging around and being sweet. Leo went running into Em and Spencer’s room looking for them for a few days after.
Although I am absolutely positive I did the right thing at the right time, it is still such a grief. Those guys were with me for 14 years. They went thru my divorce with me, they lived with my mother (so they could relate 😉 ), we truly experienced “thru good times and bad, sickness and health” and they did love us unconditionally all the days of their lives. Neither one of my kids ever knew life without them.
They are gone and I know they are in a better place. I know Spencer is knocking over garbage cans and eating his fill of chocolate and Emma has a group of people assigned to simply pet her to her heart’s content. We miss them. We love them. It wasn’t a fairytail but it was a good life.