Tuesday, August 18, 2009

good dog down

As a footnote on a blog I wrote a month ago about the decision of whether to euthanize the family pet, our 12-year-old black and silver miniature schnauzer, the dreaded day finally arrived yesterday.

After long lunch meeting with a publisher and potential author, I settled into my office and figured I’d deal with Colby another day. I finally had to man up when I looked at him on the back porch and saw how incredibly awful he felt. I had to force myself to face the fact that an occasional good day didn't mean he wasn't miserable.

Colby did have one great day the past week. Zach and I took him to the park on Saturday. Zach and two of his friends and I were passing the football. Colby trotted after the boys a little – though no mad dashes like the old days when he thought he was a defensive back. He then found some shade and and watched the boys run routes with his trademark little smile. He kept his head up the whole time, scanning left and right. I think he wanted to jump in the game one more time.

He never ate again after Saturday morning. He hardly moved the last day and a half. Despite efforts to get him moving and clean him up, he was lying in urine and vomit most of the time. So Monday afternoon it was time to end the work day early and take care of a different kind of business.

I had to carry him to the car, which in a sad way made the task at hand easier. I talked to him about old times on the drive over. He’d flick his eyebrows up when he heard his name, but otherwise didn’t move a muscle. When we got to the Williamson County Animal Control Center, I decided to stay in with him for his last shot. I don't think he quite noticed as he really was already gone.

I think it's Tim McGraw who sings the lyrics, 'I don’t know why they say grown men don’t cry.' That's what happens when you lose a pet who has been part of the family for 12 years.


  1. Nice entry, Mark. Very sweet, but I won't share with my daughter Britta--she'd cry for a week.

  2. We're sorry to hear about little Colby. We've been through that before....twice....it's no fun but one of those things in life you must do.