Heartbreak Comes in Many Forms

21 Jan

He has been part of the family for 13 years.  When we got him, he was so tiny that he could fit right in the palm of your hand – he was just 2 weeks old.  We were living in Mexico City at the time, and my sister demanded her own dog.   He could barely walk, and had no teeth-which meant that he couldn’t chew.  For 3 weeks we fed him baby food.

He would sleep in bed with my sister on most nights.  Since he was so small, he would wander over to the end of the bed in the middle of the night and do his business, then he’d waddle back up to the pillow and go back to sleep.  My sister would often wake up with little bits of dog poop on the end of the bed.  I thought it was hilarious, my mother was disgusted.  And then the dog started sleeping in my mother’s room.  I still thought it was hilarious when he took to peeing at the end of her bed, and my mother suddenly started tolerating his filthy little habits.  After all, he was just a tiny puppy.  In the mornings, he had this habit of attacking whomever he was sleeping with.  He fancied himself a vampire and would latch onto your neck and try to rip it out.  Bugger had sharp little teeth too, but as he weighed no more than 4 pounds, he didn’t do much damage.

When he was scared or cold, he would lay underneath the stove in the kitchen.  The years passed and he grew to surpass 90 pounds.  He has always been playful and very energetic.  He loved running in the woods, playing with my brother-in-law, and begging for table scraps.  That is, up until about 2 weeks ago.  Suddenly, he just didn’t seem like himself anymore.  The vet visits started as they tried to determine what was wrong with him.

This afternoon my sister was given the news that he is very sick.  Most likely, it’s Cancer.  For a dog that age, surgery isn’t really the best option. You have to consider if you’re putting him under because it’s what’s right for him, or because you don’t want to live without them.  My sister knows better.  The doctors don’t know how long it will be, but it’s only a matter of time now.  For now, he’ll just be made comfortable and we’ll hope that he still enjoys the things that he’s always loved.

Once things change, we’ll have to let him go.

Those of you that are pet owners know how much a part of your family a pet is.  They are the ones that are always happy to greet you when you come home.  That will snuggle with you when you are cold.  That will always love you no matter what you’ve done.  And when a time like this comes, when you know that soon they won’t be around to nudge you with their paws or brush up against you, it is heartbreaking.

I will always have fond memories of him.  Always.  And though he is not my dog, I have always loved him.  And I always will.

24 Responses to “Heartbreak Comes in Many Forms”

  1. Philly January 21, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    Ahhhhh, poor dog. !! I can’t imagine not having my little sweetness with me, she is 12 and I know I might only have a few years left.

    Feel better !!


  2. kristina January 21, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    Been there with a much-loved pet as well… much sympathy to you and your family…

    Damn, you made me cry, you b*tch…

  3. kat January 21, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    aw. i’m sorry. :[
    one of my cats just had to be put down. he was old, but still. so i know how you feel.

  4. Mo January 21, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    I was there last year. It’s heartbreaking. I am so sorry.

  5. Michele January 21, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    It will be a year Feb. that I lost my 10 year old sheltie, Belle, so I know what it’s like. She had sudden medical problems, and I knew putting her through surgery would be more for me to keep her with me at any cost, than for her comfort. So, I put her down, knowing she wouldn’t suffer anymore.

    You, your family, and your much loved companion are in my thoughts.


  6. Laura January 21, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    I’m so sorry :(. Poor baby — sounds like he’s had a great doggie life, though.

  7. jon January 21, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    It’s sad to say good-bye, but the dog you love deserves dignity. Your sister is doing the right thing not to let him suffer without chance of recovery. The many good memories may be the best comfort for your heavy heart….my thoughts.

  8. Skylers Dad January 21, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    My heart is breaking for you. I have had to put to sleep 5 dogs in my life, each one was a decision much like you have had to make. It is never easy, but I am always thankful that at least it is an option.

    You are in my thoughts, and I am sending out all my prayers/positive vibes to you right now.

  9. Steph January 21, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    ugh, I am SO sorry… I’ve been there too. I’m so sorry:(

  10. annoyedangelrants January 21, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    Oh, so sorry to hear that. I just lost my cat last summer. It’s hard but it gets better after a while. 🙂

  11. Cinnkitty January 21, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    Oh sweetie… I’m so..so sorry! They are our family!!


  12. Babs January 21, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    it sucks, I’m sorry

    our family dog died 2 years ago 😦 my dad told me at a restaurant (when I was away for college) and I burst into tears and so did he.

  13. couldvebeengirl January 21, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    I had to put down my dog about a year ago too. I didn;t even have enough time to day goodbye, a drunk jack@ss hit her and left us with no choice but to put her to sleep.
    I’m so sorry for your lose

  14. The ambiguous blob January 21, 2009 at 9:27 pm #

    I lost my first dog, “woof” when I was still a kid. It doesn’t ever get easier, no matter how much you prepare yourself for it. Poor baby puppy.

  15. The Q January 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    I’m so sorry your family is going through this. I just recently had to put my 14 year old cat to sleep (liver failure that morphed into other horrible ailments) and it was so devastating. Even though he had been sick (although not in pain) for 6 months, it still blindsided me when I had to make the decision.

    My dog just turned 4 years old today and I’m hoping (fingers crossed) for many, MANY more years together!

  16. Foss January 21, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    I understand perfectly and that story brought a tear to my eye. I’ve had the experience of putting a beloved pet down. t’s not easy.
    You put it so well Catherine

  17. Mike January 21, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    Aw that’s so sad. Been there many times and it’s never an easy place to be.

  18. pistols at dawn January 22, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    Sorry, miss. As a heartless man, I can’t empathize, but I can sympathize.

  19. cinnamon & honey January 22, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Oh, I am so, so sorry.
    I too had to put down a beloved pet last year. It’s heartbreaking. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  20. Jenna January 22, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    Aww, poor doggie. My sympathies to you and your sis.

  21. Erica January 22, 2009 at 11:10 am #

    I’m so sorry for you and your family. Simply put, it fucking sucks, and it’s ridiculously heartbreaking.
    Our dog was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago, and she passed away just a couple of weeks ago. We had her for more than 15 years, and I still burst into tears when I think of the fact that she won’t be there the next time I go home.

  22. sister January 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    awwww! now you went and made me cry again.

  23. SinCity January 25, 2009 at 11:50 pm #

    Catherinette, I’m so sorry.

    My dad is dying of pancreatic cancer and just tonight told my mother and I he wasn’t sure how long he had. He’s in so much pain; the upside to pets in pain is at least it’s considered humane to stop their suffering.

    my thoughts are with you…

  24. Catherinette February 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Thank you to everyone who left a comment, called me, and/or sent me an email message.

    It’s always nice when someone makes the effort to reach out during such a shitty ass time. -CS

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