As I put it on my FB page, he was “more than a pet, he was family” Devoted. Fiercely loyal. Companion. Partner. Beloved.
Cody was my “best friend.”
He developed cancer over the summer during another stressful, horrible time: my mother was dying.
At the time, I didn’t realize my mother was dying.
Nor that the bleeding stool and teeny, tiny “tag” protruding from my dog’s back end would be something–a BIG thing–that would eventually bring an end to his life. A life that spanned 16 years and four months.
A long life for a dog, for sure (though Bichon Frises live 15 years on average, so I guess I got 1 year and 4 months as a bonus). Despite that, I have wrestled with my decision to “put my dog down” these past couple of days. Even though I have long been an advocate of “assisted death” for people.
When it became apparent that my dog was terminal, I vowed to “keep watch” and “do the right thing” when the time came.
I didn’t want my dog to suffer. Just like I believe that people shouldn’t have to unreasonably suffer. People, unlike dogs, have direct agency over their lives. They can decide when they have suffered greatly and the benefits of still being here no longer outweigh the pain and suffering they feel.
With dogs we have to infer. Or intuit.
Cody had a horrific weekend. But a glorious Christmas Day. It snowed here and he asked to go out several times. He sniffed and sniffed (there is a wooded area behind us so birds and all manner of wildlife are always getting into the yard).
He bounced and played. Ran up and down the large expanse of back yard.
And ate snow.
Cody got a gift from the Universe that day. But not a Christmas miracle.
So we went to the vet. And I put my dog down.
My beloved canine companion. My best friend.
I will miss him beyond belief.