Difficult Easy Decisions

The Dog after my last dog

I had my dog Gracie put down this afternoon. It was an easy decision to make when it was a thought exercise. It was far more difficult when it was real. Gracie hadn’t moved of her own will in three days. She didn’t eat. She didn’t drink. She just laid in one spot until we forced her to move by physically getting he started. It was obvious that she was miserable, and there didn’t seem to be any point in letting her continue to suffer while we waited for her to die.

I took her to the vet this afternoon to discuss her options. After a few minutes, it became clear that none were particularly good. It sounded like we’d be trying things and hoping for the best. I thought of my friend Thom’s advice that we decide early on whether quantity or quality of life is more important because we often can’t have both. I couldn’t ask Gracie which she preferred. The vet told me that a guideline was when they stopped doing two of their three favorite things. Gracie had stopped doing all but her very favorite thing: sleeping.

Gracie died peacefully. I was by her side. I think dying alone is one of the worst things that can happen. I cried inconsolably.

These are the easy decisions that are so hard to make because we don’t get a do-over. Gracie is gone and I can’t change my mind and bring her back. I miss her. It was the right decision for her even if it may not have been the one I wanted to make for me.

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