We had to put our beloved family dog Duke down on Saturday.
It was so, so hard. For all of us. He was such a great dog, and an awesome companion. It was a difficult decision to make because we wondered, "is it the right time?" "Are we going to be letting him down in some small way?" "Is this the right thing to do?"
Duke was in a lot of pain towards the end of his long life. He wasn't eating all his food. He would go the the bathroom anywhere he pleased, sometimes without knowing it. He wasn't able to get up because sometimes his back legs acted like they were "dead." He already couldn't see or hear very well, so this compounded the issue even more.
He would bark and yelp in pain and frustration because his legs used to work, so why didn't they now? My mom said he would look at her sometimes, frustrated and confused, as if he was saying "help me, mom."
In the end, he was surrounded by friends and family who loved him dearly. My mom, her boyfriend, my brother (Duke used to follow him around all the time when he was younger...they were best pals), Josh and I, my grandma, and one of my best friends (who basically grew up with Duke because she grew up with me) were all there for his last, final send-off.
As he had a hard time with his back legs, he couldn't jump, which meant he couldn't get into the car. So, my mom opted to have a doctor come to her house, Duke's home, to finally put a stop to all of his pain.
The doctor who came seemed very "by the book" at first; she looked sort of puzzled by the fact that 7 people were there to say goodbye to a dog. I think she was a little nervous, to tell you the truth. She seemed kind enough, though, and explained what the process would be like. We all shared our stories as Duke was given a sedative to calm him down. Then, finally, after a short while, he was at peace. Once she realized that we had a wonderful history filled with loving stories of our dog, our companion, our "family member," you could visibly see that she looked sad for us when all was said and done.
I didn't mean for this post to get so sad, it was really just meant to share a photo of our ol' pal Duke...I'm sorry it turned out this way, but he was a good dog. I'm going to miss him, even if he was a pain in the ass sometimes. He was either 14 or 15, we think. We have had him since he was 3.
Rest in paradise, my lil' ol' Dukie boy. You will be missed.