This weekend was a long weekend here in South Australia and a very, very hard weekend it was for us. Our older dog who has just turned 13 years old had to be put to sleep on Sunday night. It was so incredibly hard. I miss him so much, particularly now that hubby is at work and the kids are at school and so much of my day would have had him in it. Even if I wasn't necessarily outside with him, he was always wandering around or sleeping right outside the door, so close that you would be continually treading over him to get outside lol.
We have had Billy since he was a puppy and the kids have all grown up with him, my younger two boys have never known life without him.
|Billy when he was about 12 weeks old, just after we got him|
We knew the time was coming, he was starting to sleep alot more, he became very picky with his food, his bark lost its volume and he began to have trouble with his back legs as many dogs do when they get older. The poor old fella was completely deaf and had begun to go blind, but he knew his yard and never had a problem getting around in it. He would until the last few weeks always demand a handshake and if you dared to try to come back inside without first patting him, well that was just not on lol. As soon as he saw that you were heading towards the back door, he would hurry over and plonk himself right down in front of it, so you had to stop first to give him his cuddle before entering the house.
On Sunday morning we got up to find him in his usual spot outside the door but he was laying with his back legs out to either side of him (dogs can't get up from this position). Hubby repositioned him and he seemed much happier and after a little while he got up and went for a walk. My Mr15 had a soccer game, so we all headed out then came home and had lunch. I noticed that Billy wasn't in his usual spot but thought that he was probably out under his favourite tree in the shade and I didn't think to check. An hour or two later, hubby heard a faint barking noise. We went outside to investigate and Billy was down the back in the dirt with his back legs once again out to either side of him. Hubby rearranged him again but he couldn't seem to stand up. We thought that he may have become dehydrated or something so Hubby carried him back over to his favourite spot and laid him on his beloved sheet. His tail was wagging at us and he had a large drink of water and some food, so we didn't worry too much. He then went to sleep. Dinner time, he ate his dinner but he didn't get up to do it, which was unusual. I went outside and hand fed him the last part of his dinner which he couldn't quite manouevre out of his bowl. I went and watered the garden and noticed that he was trying to get up to follow me as he usually does but he just couldn't seem to get up. I watched him for a little while and he begun to drag himself along using his front legs. I yelled to Hubby and he came out and lifted him to try to get him to stand but he just couldn't support himself. I lost it completely and was of no use to poor Hubby who was trying to work out what to do.
Quite honestly, I just hadn't wanted it to come to this. I felt and still feel like a murderer. I've been in this position before like so many of pet owners have but naturally it never gets easier. I particularly didn't want it to be a "necessity" kind of thing, particularly when all the kids were here. I sat with Billy while Hubby got all the kids together and told them what we needed to do. Mr9, 11 and Miss13 started bawling. Mr17 and Mr15 were tough cookies and came out to sit with me and Billy. The younger kids came out after a bit and gave Billy cuddles and we took a few photos of him.
Then came the time to put him in the car. I couldn't go with Hubby because we had my autistic stepson here and we had only just put him to bed and I also couldn't leave the other kids in the state they were in. Poor hubby had to do this on his own and I hated that. We laid him in the back of Hubby's van with one of his favourite sheets and said our final goodbyes. As hubby drove off the younger 3 kids started howling and my two boys were sick in the driveway. Hubby was gone for nearly an hour as he had trouble finding the vet as it was one that we hadn't been to before and of course being a Sunday night of a long weekend, your choices are pretty limited. Hubby said they were absolutely brilliant up there though.
The vet said that she could do xrays to find out the cause of the back/hip/leg problem but that going by what Hubby had told her regarding his behaviour over the last few weeks, there really wasn't any point, even if she was able to fix it, we would only have him with us for a few more weeks or so at the most, going by experience. While Hubby was gone I allowed the younger kids to watch a movie as there was no way they were going to be able to sleep until they had calmed a little. They calmed down a bit, then Hubby came home and as soon as they saw that Billy wasn't with him, the howling started again. They had all been hoping the vet could perform some magic and make him better and he would be back with us. When finally it was bed time, Mr9 went and sat on his bed and I heard him ask his step sister when Billy was going to wake up. I hadn't realised earlier but he thought "put to sleep" just meant like an anaesthetic and that Billy was going to wake up in the vets rooms and then come home again. Oh boy, it started over, explaining it was just so hard.
Yesterday was a horrible day with the kids bringing up Billy, crying occasionally and me just trying to avoid talking about him because it just makes me cry (yep you guessed it, I'm in tears now too).
I know that we did what we needed to do for Billy and I know that it was our one last thing we could do for him to show him how much we loved and cared for him but darn, I tell you it never gets easier! Today our younger dog, Mojo has been crying outside and he always used to be hopping on Billy's bed whenever Billy got off it or settling on Billy's sheet until Billy would come back and kick him off lol, today Mojo won't use the bed and won't even sleep near the door, like he normally would. His mate is missing and nothing will ever be the same.
Rest in Peace my Beautiful Boy, we love you and miss you so much my little Billy Boy!!!
|This was a pic taken on Sunday night. He had been laying in the dirt the day before and gotten gunk in his ears (as you can see his ears were a constant source of work lol). I hadn't had a chance to clean them, I had planned to do that on Monday :(|