“We have had so many happy years,
That what’s to come can hold no fears,
You’d not want me to suffer so,
When the time comes, please let me go.”
I share these words with you since this past week my 18-year-old (?) rescue dog, Tuffy, was put to rest. He came to me five summers ago and by all standards filled my life with happiness, laughter and often frustration. Tuffy had come to me after he was rescued from a horrific life. Northwest Animal Shelter did all they could to deal with the five dogs and some cats they found living in their own feces for some time.
Each animal suffered in some way. Each dog found a forever home. I am thinking that one of the dogs had to be put down. Tuffy was harder to place since he was so old and was not house-trained. At the time I had a place in my heart and home for the little guy. He barked at everyone and anything making sure his voice was heard by many. Great watch dog. He ran free on my walking trails making sure rabbits, bears or whatever knew he was on duty.
New dogs come and go and Tuffy held his own until seizures and a heart issue made it necessary to decide for Tuffy. Dr. Mike at the Babine Vet Clinic kindly took Tuffy and I through the process. The staff was so kind to the little pooch.
“Take me where my needs they’ll tend
Only stay with me until the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me.
Until my eyes no longer see.”
I decided to let Tuffy go. The process began with an injection of some kind of drug to keep him calm. Still he had a few mores barks to get out. Just a few more things to say. He probably wanted to thank all the people who came here and showed him kindness. He might have thanked me for all those good dinners. Maybe he had a bark word for the old cat, River and Shea the other rescue dogs, who showed him love.
MORE SPICE OF LIFE:
He died peacefully. The staff at the clinic wrapped his little body in a blanket and home we came. Soon Tuffy was put in a special grave site that Cas had prepared. Ava and Ned finished the process and we all said goodbye to Tuffy.
The story continues as the other old dogs show genuine grief. River, even though he has a big tumour managed to get up on Tuffy’s bed and rest his head on his pillow. Shea has spent a good bit of time sitting by the grave. You just never know.
I tell you all this wondering if it will help you when your loved pet comes to the end of its life. This story just might make you want to take an old dog or cat into your home until they come to a peaceful end. Me? Will I take on another rescue dog? Since I have River with cancer and Shea at 16-years-old, I should wait and see.
“Do not grieve, it should be you
Who must decide this thing to do
We’ve been so close, all these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.”
These parts of a poem were sent to me many years ago from vet Callie Lancaster.
You can tell me your pet story when you call 250-846-5095 or send an email to: