This blog is probably more for me than for you.
My 14+ year old dog...well, here's the thing.
I don't know how to tell you what happened in a way that makes me feel okay and explains it accurately to you. The bottom line is that he died humanely, by our vet's hand, by our choice. It was time for him to go. He as much as told me himself.
To me, this is devastating. He was more than just a dog. He was my friend, son, business partner, teacher, student, and yes, my dog. My husband and I were his friends, his parents, his teachers and students, and, we were his people.
Most of you reading this will know how emotional and heartbreaking it is to lose a dog or any pet. There are others I'm not sure about and some that simply do not understand the relationship pets and their humans can have.
What do I tell those people? I think I need an elevator-pitch type answer.
It's probably ridiculous how much this stresses me out. In case I can be a comfort to you, though, I will tell you that I think about this a great deal every time certain types of people ask me a question that requires this answer.
If I say:
"He's gone." Might they think he ran away?
"He passed away." Ah; peacefully in his sleep? How nice.
"He died." Yes, but...see above
"He crossed the rainbow bridge." Sweet, but does a non-dog person get this?
"We put him down." It just sounds so negative--was he a bad dog?
"He's not with us anymore." Did you give him back? Did he go to live with someone else?
You get the idea.
I tend to say that we had to let him go. But still: Oh? Where did he want to go? I think I have decided what to say to people questioning my whereabouts for those couple of days. A family member passed away. I think anyone will get that. They probably won't ask a lot of questions, also. One can hope.
Lots of you will say, "What possible difference can all this agonizing make?" or "Who cares what other people think?" (Sigh.) Me. I care. I want everyone who asks to know what a wonderful, sweet, intelligent, funny, handsome, loyal individual he was. I want them to know that he and I had a beautiful, empathetic, trusting relationship. I want them to know that there are times when I hopelessly wonder how my life will be without him. I want them to know--(DING!) "I'm sorry, ma'am. This is my floor."
Those of you who get it--thank you.