My friend’s staffie, Rocky, was put down today. He’d been awfully ill for some time: he used to have a voracious appetite, but for the past couple of months he’d been right off his food; he was vomiting at least once a day (usually more); and the once-active dog was reduced to lying spread-eagled on the floor all day. If he needed to answer the call of nature, he could just about stagger outside to the garden, then peed and crapped right there. And his crap was so dark, almost black.
This morning my friend took Rocky to the vet’s for a scan – a few hours later he got the dreaded phone call: “He’s got tumours spreading through his insides. There’s nothing we can do. I advise you to have him put down now, before his suffering becomes too much to bear.”
So my friend returned to the vet’s, gave Rocky some fuss, a piece of his favourite chocolate, and bade him farewell. Then the lethal injection was administered and Rocky fell asleep forever.
Rocky had had a good innings – he was approximately 11 or 12 years old, and for the last 10 years he’d been spoilt rotten. He’s had a good life; but that doesn’t make it feel any better. And now my thoughts have turned to my own dog’s mortality. DD, my American bulldog, is only six-ish, and she is as healthy as can be – but I’m well aware that I’m probably going to outlive her. It isn’t fair: why can’t dogs live forever? You get a pet, love it as much as any human, and then it dies. Life is so unfair.
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