Friday, 22 July 2016

The Power Of The Dog

I took William to the vets today for his boosters and as we sat waiting we watched a man bringing in his dog to be euthanized. 
It was a dreadful scene to witness, and was as upsetting as anything I have witnessed on intensive care. 
The owner, who was presumably with his grown up son, refused to accompany the dog ( an elderly Labrador ) into the examination room and said his goodbyes in front of the half filled waiting room , with all of us sitting there with our pets trying not to notice.
" my girl......my poor poor girl" the man sobbed over and over again , 
His face pressed tightly into his dog's neck 
The younger man was equally upset and looked incredibly at a loss at what to do until the receptionist
thankfully ushered owners and dog into what looked like an office, to continue their goodbyes in private.
We could still hear the man's  sobs, with the door shut and one woman customer , almost in tears herself , quickly got up and walked outside. 
I almost followed her.

William sat quietly on my knee  watching the situation like All Welsh terriers do
And as I kissed the top of his head, grateful for his continued good health

This Kipling poem going around in my head as the waiting room customers and our animals sat in an icy silence

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find - it's your own affair, -
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!),
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone - wherever it goes - for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear! 

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent,
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve;
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long -
So why in - Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear? 



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A Quick note of thanks to end with 


 I must thank three friends who have sent a load of home made crafts, knitting and sewing to sell at the flower Show. Anne Marie, Kathryn Mc Glynn and June Taylor, all wonderful stuff...thank you all!

Jools' bean squid! 
And witche's chick! 


66 comments:

  1. oh god...what a bummer. you shouldn't expose a woman with a 10-1/2 year old chow to this. i worry every day.

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  2. I witnessed a similar scene a few years ago while I was taking my elderly dog to the vets. I couldn't stop sobbing for a poor young girl who was inconsolable- her dog lay dying in her car. The veterinary nurses were laughing at me behind the reception......I often think about that moment in time it was truly heartbreaking.

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    1. I would have put in a complaint and never gone there again! What an awful Vet practice to allow their staff to be so insensitive.

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    2. The vet nurses were laughing???? Sol is right. I would never, ever have gone there again.

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  3. I probably would have walked outside, as well. Heartbreaking and brings back awful memories.

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  4. Aw shucks! You have made me blubber like a big baby.

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  5. This made me cry as well.

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  6. My mum couldn't face going in with her dogs when they were euthanized, so I went in and held them so they were not alone.

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  7. :`(

    the chick is cute; and thanks for the shout-out!

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  8. So hard when the time comes to say goodbye to a loved pet

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  9. John, my vet had a new entrance added on to her clinic (at the back) for families to come through at a time like that. It includes a sitting area where you can wait in privacy with your beloved dog or cat. I think it is a wonderful vet and staff that have this done as they obviously feel tremendously for the grieving family. You should never have to come in to a full waiting room when you are obviously falling apart.

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    1. There is another entrance
      I caried meg out through it

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  10. I held my Sam til his last breath. Wrapped him in his blanket and drove him home to be buried. Still cry....

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  11. Shit, now I'm crying on my lunch break at work. I dread the next time I have to go through this.

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  12. Now that I have had a good sob....I have had to have two elderly much loved dogs put down this year. It never gets easier but my vet and staff are wonderful. When I was waiting in the room with Blitz one of the kennel girls who had had him in boarding over the years came in to give him a kiss and say goodbye.

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  13. Here in DC there a couple of vets that make house calls at such times. It is less stressful for the animal and the family - a couple of my co-workers have called when needed and found the service to be caring and compassionate.

    My grandfather couldn't bring himself to take his dogs in, he would leave on vacation and ask my father to take the dog to the vet.

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  14. Having gone through this three times in twelve years I couldn't face going through it again. I very much would love to have another pet but I don't think my heart could take it.

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  15. Crying too. Brings back memories of the times we had to go through this.
    Even though I was crying my heart out, and holding him so tight, our first dog seemed so happy, and kept giving us paws, as the vet prepared to euthanize him....distressing even now, after fourteen years.
    Not sure which is worse, making the terrible decision, or finding the dog dead by the side of the bed. We've experienced both, and had a dog die in kennels, when we've been away on holiday. No matter how it happens, it's still heart-breaking.

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  16. When I took Sam for his final ever visit to the Vet I said to myself, if he jumps up & woofs we are going home - but he didn't. I held him in their operations room until the end & said goodbye old boy you've been a wonderful dog. Walking home with his collar & lead was horrible.
    I'm dreading facing this again with Dillon one day xx

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  17. https://www.facebook.com/extremedogs1/videos/632157976936672
    This should cheer you up on a hot summer day!

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  18. Been through this too many times. I have always stayed with the cat (in my case it cats.) They purred till the end. I am then presented with a box of tissues and next day or day after get an In Sympathy Card. Which I am sorry makes me giggle. But thats me. (I do appreciate it.)

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  19. I couldn't find the bean squid at first so cute.
    Love the wonderful perfect little golden chick !
    The tears.
    Watsons goodbye is still to raw for me.
    Thank Goodness Tucson has a vet who comes to your home and helps your sweet love ones fall asleep at home.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. Yes it was a little too soon for me too

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  20. You can ask the vet to come to your house. Less stressful for all I think and dog is in familiar surroundings. Always awful. X

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  21. I work in a vets surgery and this does happen, it seems to hit men harder than women and often I have to go armed with a box of tissues. In a slightly reversed situation, a man came in with his wife's dog and as he was signing in he suddenly said ... my wife died last night ... that threw me and we ended up both crying and reaching for the tissues. But thankfully these occasions are not the majority and we have more smiles, waggy tails and happy animals than sad occasions.

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    1. Oh my God, that poor man, but thank God he said to you and you were both able to share in that moment.

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  22. In 40 years of marriage and many, many dogs and cats, we have gone through this scenario too many times. You try to tell yourself that you don't want your pet to suffer and this is the right thing to do, but it doesn't make it any easier. One of our dogs, Pepe the chihuahua, was bitten by a rattlesnake and died on my bed as I watched helplessly. We had rushed him to the vet, but there was nothing they could do at that point but give him painkillers and send him home. That was twenty years ago on June 25 and I still get emotional talking about it.

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  23. Oh my...what a sad thing to see. I think about that a lot lately. Zippy will be 13 in Aug. and he is really, really slowing down. It is so hard, but I am glad that we can honor our beloved pets by letting them go when the time is right. Love the bean squid and the chick.

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  24. It never, ever gets easier. And yet we old softies seem to move on and find other wonderful creatures to give our hearts to tear. It's as it should be but...so very heartbreaking. Tears and very much missing my Buzzy right now. But a very good post. Thanks John. X

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    1. awwwww I miss your Buzzy too.
      I was thinking of you when I read this post.

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  25. Thank you for writing such a moving post. I remember every terrible last moment for all my dogs over the years but I also remember all the pleasure and I wouldn't change that. Jane xx

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  26. On the last couple of occasions I have had a pet euthanised, I have had the vet come to the house. It costs a little more but it's easier on everyone.
    My dog Taffy was struggling to breathe when the vets came and he still managed to drag himself up and outside to see the van back in to the drive way, always ready to make a new friend, he was.

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  27. Add me to the list of people sobbing. And the last time we made that awful trip to the vet, she was nearly as upset as we were.
    They wind their paws deep into our hearts, and take a piece of us with them when they leave.

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  28. When pup was dying, when we were living in Argentina, our vet walked to our apt every evening to check on him and give him a pain shot.
    When he woke me one morning very early, and I knew this was the end, we called the vet and she came to the house.
    We knew she would not euthanize but we needed her there with us .. she pumped him full of pain meds and he fell asleep there with us lying beside him, telling him what a Good Boy he was .
    I loved him so much. Right now I just have cats. One is very old, I adopted him old. I want the time he has left to be the best time ever in his life. But my heart will break and I will weep at my loss of him, like I have all my life for the dogs and cats that I have loved. They give us so much, it is only right that we grieve their passing.

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  29. My dog, Tate ..( yes, we named him after a Museum)
    The photo next to my screen name.

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  30. Such a difficult time in an animal owner's life.
    We see this quite often as we live next door to a vet hospital.

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  31. Well you did it John you made me cry...... tears just rolling down my face as i read this... sigh... I have been there too... in that old man's shoes....twice... and i swear its one of if not the hardest thing i have ever had o do in my life... But i would do it again.. I would give my heart again even knowing the inevitable... Because a dogs love is such a gift.. a treasure...And we are better for having known them and loved them..... I'm afraid i would have been with that lady and i would have had to leave.....Such a strong man you are John. Hugs! deb

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  32. Seeing stuff like that always tears me apart. I'm pretty indifferent with humans, but I'm a sucker for animals. My go-to isn't a poem but a song. Bronte by Gotye. Never fails to draw a tear.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le34ygtODfI

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  33. When it was time to euthanize our Nelly (cat, had her longer than our own children!) we had a vet who made house calls. She was incredibly understanding and gentle, and allowed all of us our time to say goodbye in whatever way we chose. We all knew it was time, but it doesn't make it any easier. My heart goes out to the gentleman and the son in the vets' office. -Jenn

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  34. It rips our hearts out whenever we have to euthanize a beloved pet, but I will never regret giving my heart to them. They are part of the joys that makes life worth living. I can't imagine living in a home without a pet or two.

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  35. Brought Back the sadness of saying goodbye last year. It was the best for him but I still see his ghostly self in the house and miss him every day

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  36. We went through this two weeks ago when my granddog, only nine but full of cancer, was put to his rest. My family's heart was broken that day not only for the loss of this most wonderful lab, but also for the pain that my granddaughters felt and will always remember. They stayed with him till it was over because they loved him and wanted him to know that they always would.

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  37. Applies to all our pets; a lovely true poem, John.

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  38. Totally empathise with your feelings. I was traumatised about 10 years ago when taking one of my cats to the vet. We were alone in the waiting area when an oldish lady came in trailing a little terrier on a leash. At the receptionist I could hear her saying in hushed tones "I've come to have it put down." Then she sat herself in the dog-waiting portion with the little creature sitting and visibly trembling under the chair, looking at me with pleading eyes. It surely must have known its fate. If there was any way I could have I'd have offered to take it home with me there and then, whether or not there was something wrong with it, though it only looked old to me. The scene has haunted me over and over ever since. Even now I'm on the edge of tears.

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  39. 2 a.m. in the morning, light on in lounge, I investigate and find 38 year old sleeping on the floor with his cat on the pillow next to him, the last night together. He sobbed all the way to the vet, carried the cage in and ran back to the car. The Vet did an exploratory and I'd told them not to bring her out if it was bad and it was so she went gently. The Vet nurse was in tears when she handed over the cage and gave me a photo to show Lucy wasn't distressed before the op. The brave boy was still sobbing in the car and did so for days. I will never forget the sight of them together on the floor sharing that sleeping bag.

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    1. Not only dogs give their hearts to you to tear x

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  40. My sis had to goodbye her 16 year old Ridgie the other week. They were very careful to keep low key for the sake of the dog, each going to sit with her during the morning and give her love and goodbyes, no dramatics. This was because it was the calmest and best way for the dog, so she wouldn't get upset. I know how hard it is, of course I do, but we always keep as calm as we can for the dog. Wailing is for after. And if you can manage, you should stay with them and hold them to the last. Personally I couldn't bear to do anything else. Let them leave me, not me leave them.

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  41. Oh what a sad story today I cried as I read it. and remember all the pets I have loved fully they have brought so much joy to my life and I think of them often, they have all been second hand dogs or even a third all with sad stories, but I think we gave them a good retirement.
    Our present dog is a rescue as well not the best dog we have ever had but we love him none the less.
    Jah Teh your story also made me cry I don't usually cry over a sad movie but when it comes to animals I need tissues close at hand.

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  42. The poem has me in floods of tears and I have never owned a dog. I am sure it would break my heart. You have some lovely craft donations and the chick is by far the best novelty fruit/vegetable entry!

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  43. I can remember every moment of being with the animals we have had to decide to have put to sleep and each and every occasion haunts me, but I would never let them go without me by their side and without my voice being the last kind words they hear and my touch being the last they feel.

    It's so painful to lose a little companion, but you have to be with them right to the end. They are a little part of our lives but we are their whole life.

    I love the poem, you sent it to me when we lost Charley.

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  44. I love lost many dogs; most naturally and in my arms at home. On April 1st I had to put my dog who was 2 month shy of 18 down for in inoperable splenic hemangiosarcoma. I'd fought for months to give him the best quality of life but once we found this...he was in pain you see.
    I spent a last night with him then a friend came in tho morning for the trip to the vet. They were amazingly kind and he died peacefully. But it was much more painful than an old dog simply slipping away. My vet said he was one of those little dogs who was simply too tough to die on his own...
    I placed a stone in my garden with the following inscription "if love alone could have saved you, you never would have died"
    Longtime reader. First time commenting. I love your blog, John
    Donna

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    1. Gthank you donna! Hello x

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  45. Heartbreaking . . .
    My greatest purest love is my Snickers . . .
    I can't imagine life without her.
    That dear, dear man . . .

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  46. That poor guy. Putting a dog to sleep is the hardest thing any of us can do, I think. Even with our own relatives, at least we can communicate and the death isn't our responsibility. With dogs, we just have to hope we're making the best decision. It's agony.

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  47. There are tears in my eyes just reading this; I can imagine how horrible it would have been to experience it in person. I wonder why the man decided to say goodbye in the waiting room in front of others, rather than in the exam room.

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  48. This entire post was heartbreaking , John and that poem by Kipling was new to me, I'll bring it along. Two dogs I've had to say goodbye to and when the last one died, even the vet cried, he thought he could save her. Thank you for this tearing and wonderful post!!

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  51. It is har for me to respond as i am deeply involved in dog rescues day in and day out and see the horors some humans inflict on these innocent creatures. Blessed are those that have known the joy of loving a dog and the love of a dog.

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  52. It is har for me to respond as i am deeply involved in dog rescues day in and day out and see the horors some humans inflict on these innocent creatures. Blessed are those that have known the joy of loving a dog and the love of a dog.

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  53. Thank you for the poem. As I write this my husband is taking our sweet Libby to the vet for her final time. I can hardly bear the thought.

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  54. Thank you for the poem. As I write this my husband is taking our sweet Libby to the vet for her final time. I can hardly bear the thought.

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    1. Feeling your pain Joann... it really does tear your heart. Just know you have given your Libby the best life she could have and the greatest love to know when their quality of life is diminished.
      I am watching one if our girls starting the aging process at 10 years and dread what is inevitable.. we all feel it those of us that have empathy with our wonderful companionsm

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    2. Dear John.. that would have been so difficult to witness particularly as it was not so long since losing your Meg..those type of things happening just don't leave you, but they do colour and impress the tapestry of our lives

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