Well, around six years ago my parents got a dog that was meant to be my dad's and ended up being my mom's. She was about seven at the time, a kind a tree hound I think. She'd had puppies and then been fixed. We got her for free as her owners got a new dog and they didn't get along. Strange that the old dog got kicked out and not the new one. So she was rather nervous when they got her home. But she was very sweet and well behaved. At the time we only had my sister's dog so it wasn't a big deal. As time went on we suspected there may have been some abuse given that raised voices made her cringe and she tended to flinch when someone nudged her bed to wake her up. So we tried to be gentle with her.
But time passes and she wasn't a young dog so she started having problems. We think she had cataracts in both eyes and was losing hearing. Plus several tumors and spinal degeneration. We were told in a visit to the vet back in February or March that she was down to six months at best. So when my parents got back from their vacation and she only seemed to get worse(she spent the week I was there barking a lot while wheezing and not really eating or drinking. Thought it was loneliness as the smaller dogs went with my sister to join my parents, but she still didn't do much when they got back)it was time to put her out of her misery. My mom told me that she usually didn't get emotional over animals, but we've never had to put one to sleep before. And Marley was her dog.
So my parents took her to the vet yesterday and the nurse who's helped us calm Marley down on the previous visits came out to hear her trying to breathe and take in the fact that her ribs stood out every time, she just mentioned that it really was time for her to go.
Reminded me of a photography classmate's project a year or so ago. They went to the pound or animal shelter, I'm not sure which, to take pictures of the animals there waiting for a home. The first day they were there a dog maybe a year old was brought in to be put down. Why? because it was no longer a cute puppy and they wanted a new dog. Same day a family came in with a much older(not as old as Marley, but several years at least)dog who sadly had been hit by a car and either died or had to be put down as a result. Compare those two and which do you think was better?
My brother and I had a conversation about whether we had the right to put Marley to sleep when it's not right to do the same for people. But in Marley's case there really wasn't anything else we could do for her. We couldn't even give her pain relievers or something. They didn't give her the sedative they usually give before the I.V. because they felt it wouldn't do any good. But there is also the fact that it would be considered animal abuse not to put her to sleep.
Ah well, see you when it's my turn Marley.