July 2, 2008
I just went through one of the hardest experiences ever! Putting down my dog of 16 years. While the experience is still fresh in my thoughts I want to get it out to help others who will go through this.
First of all, people always say “You’ll know when it’s the right time” and you do, to a point. For me the right time was when my little girl could no longer walk on her own. I could see in her eyes that she had enough. I still had thoughts in the back of my mind like “I can get wheels for her back legs…” “I can use something on her backside to hold her up…” And, if she was a younger dog I probably would have done something like that but she had gone blind & deaf 2 years prior & it took us a while to adjust to that & then a few months ago her back legs starting going. She went on for some time, with loving care from me.
This is a very individual decision and no one can tell you what to do. You need to figure it out on your own. But, you do need support from family & friends. That is what ultimately got me through this difficult time. I also recommend, you go to the vet with one or two family members or close friends – it helps to have someone else there as a buffer. I went in to the vet’s office deciding ahead of time that I was going to have my little girl cremated because I wanted to keep a bit of her close to me & also spread some of her ashes on the special places we had been to together. With guidance from my sister, I ended up not cremating her because it was the right thing to do. I thought it would be strange to have my dog’s body and I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it but it gave me one last time to hold her & say goodbye. I am fortunate because I have a wonderful, caring family…my sisters came with me to the vet & helped me through the experience and my brother gave Chia a proper burial. Chia is buried on my parents land next to other passed pets. She has a wooden cross with her name on it & I'm going to plant some wildflowers over her grave.
July 8, 2008
The days of grieving ahead… Give yourself time to grieve. Talk about your feelings and cry when you feel you need to. You may hear a particular song on the radio that makes you sad or you may walk past where the dog bed used to be & feel a pang. This is all normal & it will take time. One thing that we decided to do is have a celebration in honor of my dog & make it an annual event. Dogs are a very important part of the family & should be remembered & cherished.
It’s been @ 2 weeks now since Chia left this world…
We celebrated “Chia Fest 2008” last night (7/12/08). We set up a memory wall with all sorts of photos of Chia in many stages of her life. We also set up a “Chia Tree” with many Chia photos hanging from it. I had people write down their Chia Memories in a journal & later in the evening we all sat around a fire & did “Chia Blessings”… People wrote down good wishes to Chia & then offered them to the fire. I was so happy with the turnout. We ate, drank & shared memories of Chia. The next morning I woke up a bit sad that Chia is not here with me in body but I also know it was time to release her of her pain. It’s a process that will take time & the memories live on forever.
July 16, 2008
This experience has been especially hard since Chia was my one & only dog and I do not have any children. And, right now my boyfriend is away during the week for work & is only home on weekends so I have plenty of time to miss Chia.
People at work have been asking me when will I be getting another dog & I say I need time. I don’t think it would be right to just run out and get another dog and my boyfriend says “Oh no, don’t get another dog because we won’t be able to do anything.” Believe me, when it’s time, a dog will find me, they always do, and regardless of what the boyfriend says, I will someday have another dog & love it!
I hope reading some of this was helpful for anyone going thru just losing a dog or dealing with a sick dog. I know it helped me by writing down my thoughts.
May Chia Rest In Peace – 10/11/92 – 6/30/08