On December 22nd, my girlfriend unexpectedly had to put her dog, Angel, down.
I accompanied her to the vet, which was two hours away, and the doctor’s prognosis was that the dog had a large tumor across the front of her neck, and she recommended a veterinary hospital to visit.
The following day, we were able to take her dog to the hospital, which was earlier than the original appointment we had had. When my girlfriend put angel in the backseat beside me, she was in worse shape than the day prior. This time she was drooling a ton and wouldn’t even prop herself up; she just lied beside me. I petted her head for a bit while my girlfriend drove, but then after about fifteen minutes, Angel started coughing a lot and had a seizure. She was gagging on her saliva. The rest of the drive to the hospital was very stressful.
When we got there, I ran inside to have emergency personnel take the dog on a gurney. Unsurprisingly, the surgeon recommended putting the dog down. My girlfriend called her mom to come to the hospital, and when her mom arrived, we moved to a special room so we could spend some time with the dog before we put her down. Unfortunately, the dog was in such bad shape, we didn’t have the opportunity to spend time with her. She was suffering so much so my girlfriend insisted they commence with the lethal procedure.
It was a relief when the dog stopped coughing and desperately gasping for breath. It was very sad though…it reminded me of when my cousin passed in the hospital. Her family had to decide to stop using the machines that were sustaining her life.
It was difficult to watch and to experience, despite the fact that I’ve never had a pet nor did I have a personal connection with Angel. I had met Angel one other time, last year when I slept over at my girlfriend’s house. It was sad to see my girlfriend and her mom so devastated, and the surprise of death and the pain that came with it resonated with me.
Anyway…my girlfriend and her family are coping with the loss. I lent her When Breath Becomes Air to read over the break because it helped me cope with the loss of my cousin.
Anyway, I’m on my way to my aunt’s house, where my deceased cousin used to live. My family usually hosts the holiday party, but she wanted to do it this year. We’ll be going to the grave tomorrow before we leave…I haven’t been there since she passed last September. I’m looking forward to going to the grave to visit my cousin.
One thing I’ve learned from these experiences is that loss is loss…whenever a connection is broken, it’s difficult to cope with for awhile. It does get better though…with time, self-love, and with the support of people that care about you.