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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Putting Down An Old Friend


Putting Down An Old Friend
 
My daughter lost an old friend today.  I think she knew it was coming.  Chester had lost his hearing and sometimes the control of his body.  He was a sweetheart and I know she held out as long as she could before putting him down.  There comes a time when an old friend is just in so much pain that you have to end it. 

Chester was a Springer Spaniel.  He was a beautiful dog with a wonderful disposition.  He grew up with three of my grandchildren and was their protector and companion.  I am sure they are very sad. 

My daughter has not had an easy year, I am sure that losing Chester is extra hard on her.

I only saw Chester infrequently, but when I visited he was always by my side.   He would stay by anyone willing to pet him endlessly.  Chester was a big mush.

The thing about dogs is you don’t really train them, instead you both just learn what the other needs.  You read his signals and know when he needs to go out, needs to be fed, needs water or needs some love.  He learns what he can chew and what he can’t, where he is allowed to go and where he can’t, when it is time to play and when it is time to just stay by your side.  It takes years for this man dog relationship to develop, but when it does it is a beautiful thing. 

And then they grow old.

All dogs have at least one thing that even though they know it is forbidden, they cannot help themselves, and will not obey.  I had a black lab, Minnie that loved to chew on tissues.  No matter how we disciplined her, if she had a shot at some tissues she would chew on them and make a mess. 

When the time came that we had to put her down, we stayed with her and bawled like babies.  The vet handed us some tissues.  Don’t you know that as that dog was taking her final breaths, she grabbed a tissue and chewed it?  She left this world doing the one thing we could never cure her of; she passed on with a used tissue in her mouth.

I am guessing that when Chester left this world he was dreaming of finally catching the tiny dog that the couple around the block walked by his house every day or of one last try at the garbage pail when no one was looking.

Rest in peace Chester.  You were a good dog.  You were loved and you will be missed.   Enjoy yourself in doggy heaven.  There is a friend waiting for you that you never met.  Look for a big black lab with a tissue in her mouth.  I think you two will get along very well.

14 comments:

  1. What a great post Cranky. It is spot on. Dogs have truly been man's, or at least THIS man's, best friend over the years. The hardest thing I ever did was put down my wonderful miniature schnauzer Emma Belle a little less than a year ago, December 19, 2011 to be exact. I even mention her in my Blogger profile. But in all cases you have to look at what is in the best interest of the dog, not yourself. I would love to have had her around much longer, but I knew she was sick and hurting, and there was nothing I could do about it. It was time. I couldn't allow her to suffer any longer just so I could have her by my side a few more days or weeks. What I will always have, of course, are great memories of her, just like your family will have great memories of Chester.

    Sorry to be so long winded, but this really struck a nerve.

    S

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  2. It is so sad when you lose a faithful pet. I hated it when we had to have our pointer Jazz put to sleep... You know you are doing the right thing but that doesn't make it hurt any less.

    Sending big hugs to your daughter and her family - well to all of you really!

    He was certainly a handsome boy :-)

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  3. I am so sorry for your daughter in losing Chester. This reminded me of the time I had to put down my sweet dachshund. She had a heart issue and it began to shut down her little body. That is something I don't ever want to have to do again.

    Heartfelt post.

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  4. I never thought a post from a cranky old man would make me cry, but this one did. When you are lucky enough to have a dog like Chester, he is not just like a member of your family--he IS a member of your family! Please give my sympathies to your daughter & her family.

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  5. We had a yellow lab we couldn't keep from chewing on chickens... live chickens

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  6. Darn you; now I need to go find a tissue to wipe my eyes. I'm a big softie when it comes to dogs.

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  7. To have to bid adieu to a furbaby is so very hard....but the consolation is that they appreciate that you love them that much, that you will let them go. Lovely post, Oma Linda

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  8. Going to hug the pups now. Lovely post. RIP Chester.

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  9. RIP Chester. It's hard - I know from experience - but it is also the ultimate act of love.

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  10. So now you've got me sniffling! Such a touching post...I look at my Sophie and pray I have so many more years with her...she is part of my heart. I'd be lost without her.

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  11. This made me think of the Springer Spaniel my family had when I was still very young. We had "tame" geese that lived at the pond across the road (my neighbor's great idea to clip their wings) and sometimes came over to our yard to visit. They were mean and vicious; when my dad tried to chase them out with his riding lawn mower, they would bite at the grill! Molly, our spaniel, loved nothing more than chasing out of the yard. She would stop at the edge of the pond, however, knowing somehow that she shouldn't follow them in. It kept the peace around the neighborhood but, most importantly, kept my young self safe. Thanks for bringing up such great memories!

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  12. Beautiful tribute to Chester. Heartfelt condolences to MB and her children. The most difficult thing to ever do is put your dog to sleep. Sure hope Chester and Minnie are having a blast in the "happy Hunting Ground".

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