My life is some sort of cautionary tale lately and today upped the ante significantly as we had to put down my darling Mermaid Manatee Pit Bull, Trixie. She’s my last dog, at least for awhile (marriage, compromises, it’s horseshit, man) and she was of the soul mate variety.
The timing couldn’t have been worse, it being my 47th birthday, but she held on through a long, crummy summer to be my life support through heart surgery, a million migraines, sickness, the recent not-surgery disaster, and she needed to put her burden down. So we got up early to go to our vet, who has been my vet for over 20 years, and let her go. While normally I am the one who goes alone with the animal for that last trip, today we all went; husband, man-child and myself, and we cried and petted and said good-bye. We probably need to send the vet a case of tissues.
The man-child, being infinitely clever, crossed “Happy” off my birthday card so that it just says “Birthday.” Statement of fact, no implied state of mind. That, I guess, is what this year’s birthday is, just a birthday. My Leo self hates that fact, but this what adulting is about–it can’t all be streamers and frosting.
She was a gorgeous, shy, skittish and sometimes dumb dog who spent a summer slicing open her paws on the rabbit fencing in an effort to compel the Chihuahua to run away. Then she spent a year trying to kill him since releasing him didn’t work, and had to wear a basket muzzle so we could all co-exist. She liked whipped cream and Cheezits, and slept under the bed, right under me, and snuffled and gruffled all night in her sleep. She liked to place herself as a trip line, in dark doorways or hallways. She stared at me just like that photo the first time I saw her at the pound—all these yapping puppies and this one golden one just staring into my soul. I am going to miss her more than I’d think possible, but I also loved her too much to let her suffer. Such is the responsibility of stewarding these beings we call pets.