O/our dog died today. Well, technically, she died yesterday.
And W/we are sad.
She is the submissive younger sister of O/our dog Duke, who died on 10/8/08. I've written about her before. The lack of bond I had with her, due in part I think, to her submissive nature. My bond with her brother was strong and deep, he was my heart and soul in many ways.
But in the past few years I've learned from her. And grown attached to her. And I miss her. Master misses her. Out vet and his assistants were crying too.
She was a trooper. She lived through a lot of adversity in her life - many surgeries for a variety of ailments, things that perhaps as the runt of the litter she had to deal with. Yet she never complained. Never cried or whined (unless kept separated from us.)
She was long-suffering, perhaps to a fault. Had she indicated how badly she was feeling W/we could have helped her sooner, made her more comfortable even if W/we couldn't prolong her life.
And in that lies a lesson to me. From one submissive to another. Ask for help. Don't be so stoic. It's not weakness to allow yourself to be a burden to someone else.
She loved to please people - especially Master. She was a Daddy's girl, like me, even though she clearly respected and obeyed me, our bond just wasn't as strong as hers with PirateDaddy. Can't fault her for that, He's the one I love to please also.
She was good to the cat, and kind to others. Protective and affectionate, and sweet natured.
RIP Duchess (12/4/97 - 7/19/11)
Dog's Purpose, from a 4-year-old
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.
We sat together for a while after Belker's death,wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.
He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."