Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yes, Luke is gone.

[Somehow, I prefer ‘gone; to dead’ although I know they mean the same thing.] It’s been anticipated for a few months now, maybe longer. And while the decision was not a hard one to make – it was a hard thing to do. And I have to say that I have a wonderful husband who took him in without me – probably understanding that as hard as THAT was – it would’ve been doubly hard with me in the mix. So it’s done. And I’ll admit – I’m a little sad and know that one day I’ll remember the fun times with the little guy – but right now all I remember is his deafness and confusion and poopies [and pee pees] all over the floor.

Luke was our miniature schnauzer. This IS a favorite photo of him and me – with his little bomber jacket on [we were both a little younger then.] He was, what? Eleven – twelve years old? And a good dog. Here’s the thing – I believe that God created humans and animals differently and the value of human life is much greater than that of an animal. We’re created in the image of God, after all, and have a soul and a connection to our God that animals just don’t have.

So for those who have said – Do you want to be put down when you’re old, incontinent, and deaf? I answer that I value a human life much more strongly than that of an animal, and I hope you do too. [And will say that my opinions of keeping a dying person alive -- one whose system is shutting down -- are probably vastly different than some one who hasn’t worked with the frail and disabled and dying for 25+ years…] I believe we should care for and protect the animals we are responsible for – and I also believe that there comes a time [perhaps when they appear to not even know where they are] when it’s time to let an animal go.

I don’t live a life where I can crate and go home and deal with an incontinent dog day in and day out. I know people who do and have…and that’s their choice to make – it’s just not for us. So I’ve joked most of the summer that we have Luke on a behavior modification plan – our behavior – because every time he’d even look at the door we sent him out. We sadly watched as he’d come back to the wrong door and couldn’t hear us call to him as we stood less than two feet away. And even with all that we continued to clean up after him. We talked about this and decided that we’d try our best to wait until the late fall – maybe Christmas [I somehow wanted us to all be together when this happened, because being the social worker that I am I want us to all ‘process’ this together…] But after I spent most of the morning Saturday with my Little Green Mean Machine [thanks once again to Susanne for letting me in on the secret of this great little cleaner] I declared it must be done on Monday but by Sunday night I was saying [once again] that we needed to wait a bit longer. I worked out of town Tuesday and Wednesday of last week and was told that he seemed to have lost all continence and that my guys spent both days cleaning carpet off and on as it continued. So the decision was made. And while I am a little sad, I have no regrets. It was the right thing, for us, to do at this time.

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