Goodbye Again

To: Ash
From: Crecente

We lost a second dog today: Ellie, our greyhound. She was 12. It's been six days since we put Lucy down.

Yesterday they discovered she had a rare disease that was attacking her kidneys. They also said that it was a zoonosis, a disease that can pass to humans.

This morning we learned that Ellie was going downhill fast. The right thing to do was to put her to sleep the specialist said.

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We adopted Ellie ten years ago, months after adopting Lucy. When we brought her home she discovered a tub filled with toys and spent the day delicately carrying them to our bedroom. At the end of the day we discovered her laying in our bed surrounded by dog toys, something she never had as a racer.

I packed my bag for CES this morning. We picked up the medication Trish, Tristan and I had to take because of the disease Ellie has. I popped one in my mouth and swallowed it down. Almost immediately my stomach started churning. I read the bottle for the meds, the same used for treating malaria. It said it could cause nausea and vomiting. An hour later, while we sat parked in front of the vet's office it did.

We went in and said goodbye to Ellie. I told her that soon she could chase all the squirrels she wanted, that she was going to a place where all of the beds are filled with dog toys.

She drifted off to sleep. She panted, running in her dreams I thought. Her heart stopped. I squeezed her paw one last time.

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As much as it hurts to lose a pet it can never outweigh how much we gain from these relationships.

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DISCUSSION

I've had dogs and cats my entire life, and the one thing I will never understand is euthanasia.

I am in no way a PETA fan- but for all the shouting we do as pet owners about the good that comes from a pet, I've never had the heart to be the one to agree to have one put to sleep. We won't do it for humans- the very people we can be empathetic for- but we'll do it to animals because "it's for the best". My friends grandfather committed suicide because he couldn't handle the pain from an injury any longer, and couldn't afford the ridiculously expensive surgery to have it fixed. Wouldn't it have been more "humane" to have allowed him to die his way, rather than tell him assisted suicide is wrong, but assisting our pet- our family member, to many- with suicide isn't?

I empathize for your loss, Brian, and I hope, from her perspective, it was for the best.