I have always found stories from pet owners to be something I didn’t identify with, especially people who write about the death of a treasured pet. Maudlin, tacky, self-absorbed; I was never at a loss for words to find ways to denigrate pet stories.
I love my chocolate Lab Hershey, and consider him a member of the family. He is a good-tempered dog who never bites, barks menacingly at strangers, and –until recently – kept the neighborhood opossums, raccoons, and rabbits away from my gardens.
Like all pets, Hershey has developed unique bonds with the various family members, even my wonderful (but canine-suspicious) wife. If you were depressed, that innate dog ability to detect human emotions kicked in, and he would paddle over to give you a sloppy kiss to cheer you up.
But HistoryMike write a sappy blog entry or newspaper article about his dog? Never!
I am a serious writer, whatever the hell that is.
My dog’s veterinarian told me today that his hip dysplasia and arthritis had reached the point that his canine spinal cord was being distended, and that the only option left for Hershey is to be euthanized.
“No way, it’s not his time,” was the defiant response of my youngest son, ignoring the fact that the dog is pitifully hopping on three legs, and can’t climb steps any longer. “He has at least another year left.”
Another year of decreasing mobility, escalating pain, and loss of sensation.
This is just a dog, right? So why am I bawling my eyes out?