The Moosedawg died today, at 14.
Or at least he will in a couple of hours, after my son comes home to say goodbye.
Buddy is my dog.
So the responsibility for determining when he is put down is mine and mine alone.
I made the decision about an hour ago when we were going walkies.
He couldn’t hardly make it up the driveway.
When we got into the street, he was listing hard to port, leaning against my leg.
Because Buddy’s had bad wheels for such a long time, I expected him to come right after getting warmed up.
But after we got about 70 yards down the road, he had to stop.
He’d been dragging his left hind leg, scraping the nails, unable to bring it forward.
His right leg was shaking, way worse than what’s been the norm.
So there we stood, on the side of the road.
I sure can’t carry a 100-pound dog anymore, at least not in a way that wouldn’t hurt him, so we were stuck.
But after a bit, I was able to get Buddy turned around. He just couldn’t walk up the hill.
Then, after he’d rested for a few minutes and sort of psyched himself up, he started walking.
It took awhile, but we made it home.
I’ve spent about the last two hours loving on him in our driveway. He smiled, but it was a sad smile.
When he tried to get up, he just couldn’t hardly do it.
And when he tried to get down, for the first time, I could really see and feel his pain.
His rear legs are now so bowed out, and they shake so bad.
He gets as low as he can go, maybe three-quarters down, and then collapses to the ground with a “hoooooommmpppphhhhh.”
So it’s time.
This will be the third time in about five years that I’ve made that dreaded drive to the after-hours vet to put a dog down.
First, it was Ling Ling II, my wife’s beloved Shih-Tzu.
Then it was lovely, stinky, happy Cassie, my son’s Shih-Tzu/Lhasa, whose story is here.
And now it’s the deaf, half-blind, tumor-ridden Moosedawg’s time.
But I should really call him Buddy now, because he has not been an enormously loud, total pain-in-the-butt Moosedawg for awhile — a beast who, truly, had a heart of gold, but dearly loved to scare the crap out of other dogs.
There are a lot of Moosedawg memories in the Doggies category here, if you are interested.
I will probably need to read them in a few days.
I couldn’t really see them now through the tears.
That’s the thing about a good dog.
When they die, a little bit of you dies, too.
Rest in Peace, Buddy Boy.
Despite it all, you were a good dawg.
I’m going to come hug on you, one last time.