Booboo approached his fifteenth birthday, his congestive heart
failure took a serious turn for the worse. Combining that problem
with his blindness, deafness, and advanced spinal arthritis, it
became clear that his time with us was wrapping up. If we let his
congestive heart failure run its course, his last moments on earth
would be spent gasping for breath and dying in a panic. Not an
acceptable scenario for someone so deeply loved.
been struggling with this decision for weeks. My biggest fear was the
possibility of euthanizing him too soon…before he was ready…before
we were ready. I talked to Chuck and our three grown children about
their feelings and concerns. We all came to the same conclusion. When
the time was right, we would know. If we had any doubts, then it
wasn’t time yet.
we want, and what we know is right, are often two very different
things. I wanted to be able to help Booboo get better, but as his
health continued to decline and all glimpses of his personality were
overwhelmed by his failing body, I soon had to face the fact that it
was time to let him go…for his sake, far more than for ours.The
rest of the family sadly agreed.
date and time were set. Our vet, Kevin, agreed to come to our house.
This was a true example of Kevin’s complete understanding of the
loving bond between humans and their animal companions. I am deeply
grateful that he was willing to do the euthanasia at our home, and I
know that Booboo was grateful as well. Booboo never liked going to the vet.
night before his last day, we had a picnic dinner with Booboo on our
living room floor, while we watched a movie together. It was our last
supper with him. A celebration of our time together and the start of
our goodbyes. Booboo’s appetite had waned significantly in the past
week. It was becoming quite a challenge to get him to eat at all. Our
daughter Carolyn, who lived in town, brought cheese and speck for the
picnic…which peaked Boo’s interest a bit.
chosen movie had a picture of a human brain in the shape of a dog on
the cover. “Wrong”
was about a man desperately searching for his lost dog. It was a very
strange movie, yet entirely appropriate for the situation. Booboo
cuddled on our laps and snacked with us here and there, as we all
basked in the moment.
night Booboo had trouble sleeping again, due to discomfort from his
troubled body. Although I was already pretty exhausted from disrupted
sleep during many previous nights, I was able to approach this one
differently. As our last night together, I would stay up with him for
as long as he needed me. A couple hours later, we were able to settle
back down to sleep.
Booboo’s last day, he was not left alone. I brought him with me to
work, so I could take care of a few tasks and then take the rest of
the day off. People were surprised when I explained that this was
Booboo’s last day. That he would be leaving us at 5pm. But then
they looked straight at him, petted him gently, and said their
goodbyes. We don’t always get the opportunity to say goodbye. When
it happens, it should be appreciated and treasured.
and I walked downtown a bit. Actually, I did the walking. His
blindness, deafness, and tendency to walk in compulsive circles made
it impossible for him to go on walks anymore. So I carried him. We
stopped by one of his favorite parks. I put him in the sand of the
volleyball court, which used to trigger an immediate need to dig…but
not anymore. He stood there confused. I gently picked him up and we
the next couple of hours, Booboo and I lay on the couch together,
with him on my chest, sharing the warmth of our love and saying our
wordless goodbyes. At about 4pm, Carolyn arrived and took over the
Boo cuddling. At 5pm, Chuck got home…and shortly after that Kevin
first injection was a general anesthetic to make Booboo unconscious.
As the drug took effect, we held him close and showered him with our
love. Booboo was then laid next to me on the couch, and Kevin gave
him the final injection to shut down his poor, tired body. A few
minutes later he was gone. His spirit released. No longer in pain.
sent a text to our out-of-town kids that said, “Hey, hey, Booboo!
Let’s go get us some pic-a-nic baskets.” Booboo was now free to
do just that.