This is where I use this space as my diary. I’m not concerned with spelling or grammar or correct sentence structure. I’m not worried about sounding profound or funny or even remotely intelligent. I’m not asking for opinions or even sympathy. I’m just writing. Because sometimes that’s all I can do.
Also, family, if you’re not ready to read this, please don’t. Come back to it later. In a week, or a month, or never. I don’t want to upset anyone. Like I said, I’m just writing.
She was blind. Deaf. Thin. She lost her sense of smell, control of her bodily functions, and several teeth. Her legs were so weak they shook, she got dizzy when she walked, fell and bumped into things. She got lost outside, with no senses left to aid in her search for a way home. She slept all day, only waking to urinate wherever she happened to be. She slept briefly at night, wandering the halls, searching for something she had no chance of finding.
She was 17 ½ years old. That’s 83 in dog years. She was an old 83. Tired and spent.
She was our first real puppy. So unbelievably adorable you couldn’t help but want to squeeze her. She was the baby of the family and treated as such. She slept on our beds, our laps, wherever she wanted. She came with us everywhere we went because we couldn’t stand to be away from her for longer than a few minutes.
And she was a fantastic dog. Affectionate, obedient, friendly. She was the reason why we got three more Shih Tzu’s. In her prime, she was a beautiful, beautiful girl. Snowy white fur with splotches of warm brown. So delicate and fine, until she discovered food, then so pudgy and waddly. So cute.
My first instinct would be to post a picture of her in better times, but I won’t. Scrolling through these pages and passing this entry will be hard enough without the visual reminder of what we’ve lost. Just know she was beautiful at one time. She wasn’t near the end, but years ago, she was a show-stopper.
She wasn’t sick, but she was not well. There were many signs pointing to her organs shutting down. She rarely ate anymore. Didn’t react when she was petted. Fell down the stairs. She was not sick, per se, but she was very much not well.
Thursday was her last day. We couldn’t wait until she’s suffering with pain, because how is that more humane? At 17 1/2, with no sight, hearing, smell, bladder control, strength, or any apparent will to actively participate in continuing to live, her quality of life was incredibly poor.
We have no reason to feel guilty about making this incredibly painful and difficult decision. When looked at objectively, it was for the best, but that didn’t make it any easier. She was…is…a part of the family as much as any one of us, so losing her is heartbreaking. But it was the right decision. Of course it was. It will be hard to remember at times, but of course it was.