Letting go is often kinder than holding on.

We are putting our beloved 12-yr-old dog down tomorrow. It’s hard to think about, and weird to type the words. He is old, and tired. His back legs no longer carry his weight, and the sight of them dragging behind his 50-pound frame has reached the point of pain, both for him and me.

Deciding to help move him through his last phase of life with the gift of sweet eternal sleep has been difficult, but it has come down to two things:

  1. Does he wake up every day happy to be alive?
  2. Does he go to sleep at night having enjoyed the day?

In the morning, he no longer rises happily to greet the day, or more importantly his food bowl. He looks at me wondering why he has to move so far to get so little.

In the evening he is asleep on his bed, having only moved to eat and the occasional request for love at the end of my day. I relish the evenings when he shifts over for a love scratch. I can’t imagine the other 12 hours of his day have been anything but pain and boredom. His once exuberant life has been reduced to existence without joy.

So, tomorrow I will say goodbye.

He has taught me an incredible amount about unconditional love, and anyone who knew him when he first arrived will remember the anxious barking, escape attempts, broken windows, and chewed everythings. We went through training, medication, all the way through to a second dog, that we have aptly nicknamed Prozac. Eventually we found a solution; and a lesson in tenacity.

He also taught us about overcoming stereotypes. As a 60-pound pitbull mix, he desired to be the lick ambassador of his half breed. He melted hearts, and quelled the fears of first impressions.

And now he gives the final lesson.

I know in my heart that letting him go is kinder than holding him here.

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About Blurb My Enthusiasm
40-something-yrs-old and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. My resume reads like a food court menu: educator, dog walker, product manager, executive director, managing editor - and that's just the notable titles. I entertain all offers and consider myself up for the job until someone tells me I'm not. I've never been fired. What I lack in direction, I make up for in enthusiasm.

14 Responses to Letting go is often kinder than holding on.

  1. Laurie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you.

  2. Wow this is so sad. Im so sorry you have to deal with this… I dread the day i have to make that decision. My little one is only two right now but shes like my child. If only they could live as long as we do. I wish u all the best as u go threw this emotional time. The love from a dog is like no other. Best wishes to u.

    • Thanks 🙂 Your little girl is precious, and hopefully you have a long time with her, like I had with mine, Thanks for taking a minute to read my blog, I appreciate all the kind words tonight.

  3. I’m sorry. This is such a difficult time.

  4. rsroesner says:

    My heart breaks for you!

  5. Melania says:

    I’m so sorry. Mahki will be missed. He was such a wonderful dog! I will never forget dog sitting for him overnight and he slept right next to me with his head on the pillow. He was such a cuddle bug and so loving! I know this is a very difficult time for you and your family. My thoughts are with you and don’t hesitate to call if you need a shoulder to cry on or a stiff drink to drown in. Love you. XOXO

  6. Leah says:

    I’m so sorry, Leah. I admire how you asked yourself those two tough questions and based your decision on that. Sounds like you did the right thing. Saying good bye to a pet has to be one of the hardest things in life. I’m now going to hug my dogs!

    • Blurb My Enthusiasm says:

      Go hug them! It’s been a hard day – but those two questions really help me know I did the right thing.

  7. whittygirl says:

    I dread this very day with my own large breed dog. You have been an excellent friend to him and he will go knowing he was loved. You 2 questions will be something I remember when to ask myself when our Mater gets old and feeble. Bless your heart.

    • Blurb My Enthusiasm says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words – and he was indeed well loved! People say “you know” when it’s time, and deep down you do. I just found these questions helped me make the call.

      Dogs are amazing creatures, and I imagine Mater is as much a part of your family as our Maki was to ours. We were lucky to have him for as long as we did.

  8. John Emmons says:

    I remember when we stayed with you and he decided to sleep with Jenifer and me when we visited Houston to argue about out property taxes and flew down. It’s a very tough decision, but you’re doing the right thing.

    • Blurb My Enthusiasm says:

      Thanks, John. He was a bit easy when it came to sleeping with others. That just meant he really liked you 🙂

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