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when its time to say goodbye to man’s best friend

Doodle was put down today. We went over to say goodbye last night. My aunt and uncle seemed to be in fairly decent spirits, considering they were taking their beloved dog of 14-ish years to the vet for the last time the next day. And not coming back with him. He had a cancerous lump on his face that grew exponentially within the week that I didn’t see him (from the size of a grape to almost another half of a face). When you see a pet suffer like that, you know its just better to put them down than let them live in pain (this could lead to an entirely different topic of human suffering, pulling the plug, etc., but I won’t go there. At least not for now).

I still remember when they first got him as a puppy. He was the darling of the family. Both our families. I remember my family going over to meet him for the first time, and having my aunt, uncle, cousins and us 3 in the family room, just watching this tiny little poodle running around, yapping, and getting to know his new surroundings and new family. He was the cutest thing. We had about a dozen nicknames for him, among them “Nootsh, Neursh, Doots, Doodoo”… and until today he responded to them all (except for the past couple years when he became quite deaf and somewhat blind). Its too bad Digohs, Yeegohs and Ming couldn’t be here to say bye too.

As I sat watching that little puppy run around that night 14-ish years ago, I never would have imagined that the day would come when he would have to be euthanized. But now its here and I echo the words of Lorlei (I hope you don’t mind me taking your words):

“If a dog is supposed to be man’s best friend, why didn’t God make them live as long as we do?”

I know the day will come when eventually Mitzu will pass away or, like Doodle, need to be put down. How empty the house would seem without the sound of his tags as he trots through the house or the sight of him curled up in a ball on the carpet as he naps, or the sight and sound of his excited greeting as we come in the door.

I guess my aunt and uncle will have to become accustomed to it. They really do have an empty nest now, what with all 3 sons away from home, and now Doodle too, permanently. I’ll miss him, even though he got quite dangerous the past couple years, biting people at the slightest (accidental/unintentional) provocation. I don’t think they’ll be getting another dog. Now Mitzu will have all the love and attention and he is BOUND to get all pudgy again as soon as I go back to school.



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May 2008
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