Unless you’ve been avoiding the interwebs, chances are you’ve come across this article about this dog that was recently euthanized. I was drawn into it immediately since Duke looked exactly like my dog Maxx. Like Duke, Maxx suffered from tumors that had aggressively grown around his heart. It was a tough call but it was decided it’d be in his best interest to end his suffering. I’ve never really spoken about the experience much; but like Duke, we made sure to make his last moments with us the best we could.
I held on to a lot of guilt for not being the best friend he needed, especially early on. All the walks and swimming we passed on, the missed sessions, etc. In spite of all that, he still loved me regardless and always happy to be by my side no matter what. He always had this subtle playfulness that everyone loved. But those last few months, he lost that spark. I chalked it up to old age. Boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Balling like an unconsolable babe practically on the floor, the good vet did her best to explain there was no way of knowing this could happen. These messed up things just happen sometimes.
By this point, Maxx could barely walk without hacking up gobs of bloody phlegm. Even the pain medicine the vet provided couldn’t cull his pain. At this point, I contacted his ‘mom’ because the writing was clearly on the wall: He’s had enough. As a point of clarification, we did discuss euthanasia when I first learned of his condition. Now the procedure for euthanasia in veterinarian hospitals allows for loved ones to be present with their pet until they are in the deep sleep state. After all the good byes and what not are done, they are wheeled off to a private area where the lethal injection is given. In light of this knowledge, we thought it’d be best if his last days be with family and friends, not complete strangers.