see you later Ben

A few days ago I had one of my best friends killed.

He had a long and happy life but was in much pain towards the end. In the last few days not much of him remained. Just a shell. A sack of tired old meat that wandered aimlessly around the house, bumping into things, hardly knowing or caring.

A strange thing happened the day I had him killed.

During our years together he gave me much joy. But he aged far quicker than I could keep up with. Twelve is a ripe old age for someone his size.

His last two years went quickly. His muzzle turned grey. Arthritis attacked his hips and legs. He broke one tooth after another. You could read the pain and discomfort in his eyes.

On his last day we walked up the hill to the vet. Our last walk. I had to pause every few steps so he could keep up with me.

On the cold surgery floor I sat with his head resting on my knees. A couple minutes after the injection was administered, his life was over.

But before he went, in an instant he became young again. A look of pure joy crossed his face. His eyes were bright and shining, fixed on something I couldn't see, as if he were recognising something, returning somewhere. Then he was gone. And it hurts.

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veritas6464 said...

Hey CR,...A sad yarn, well told, I am sorry for the loss of your companion.

veritas

Shar said...

You didn't have him killed. You gave him peace.

I'm sorry it hurts

masterymistery said...

veritas6464, thanks for your kind thoughts. Appreciate it. Cheers, MM

masterymistery said...

Shar, I take comfort from your words --- thank you. Regards, MM

Faycin A Croud said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Of course when I am seeing it from the outside I would say no, no, no, you didn't have him killed, you allowed him to stop suffering. But whenever I've had to have a pet put to sleep, I felt exactly as you do. I felt like I had them killed.
I feel a little differently after what we went through with my father. He was suffering so badly during the last couple years of his life and his mind was going too. Although it was not technically an assisted suicide as that is still illegal in the United States, when he was in hospice he was on a continuous subcutaneous drip of dilaudid and haldol. Essentially, he had an overdose, so by all rights, it was an assisted suicide, done by permission of himself and my mother.
Was I glad that my father was dead? Yes and no. I was sorry that I would never see him again, in life at any rate. But I was so, so, so glad that his suffering was done.
This is what you allowed to have happen for Ben.

Karen said...

It still haunts me that I didn't do the same for Evie. She died on the Fourth of July while we were in New Orleans. Our neighbor John called us on the 5th as we were boarding the Riverfront streetcar.

She was just as old and obviously uncomfortable in the Florida summer. We should have her boarded or put to sleep. But we didn't.

Antares said...

Doggone it... if ever I turn into "a sack of tired old meat wandering aimlessly around the house, bumping into things, hardly knowing or caring"... please take me on my last walk and lovingly send me home to the stars! You did right by Ben, that's for sure, and I'm sure he's grateful and relieved. It's a crime that humans don't enjoy the privilege of euthanasia!

masterymistery said...

Dear Faycin, You're right, of course, but I still can't answer the question, as to whether I "had the right" to take his life.

If he could have spoken and told me that he wanted me to do it, I would have had no qualms. At least I think so.

Thank you for sharing the story of your father. It must have been a time of great anguish for you. I greatly appreciate your words of comfort.

S

masterymistery said...

Antares, thank you for your kind words. I totally agree about euthanasia, and I hope that if I'm ever in that situation, that someone would "do the honours" for me. Still, I'm sad he had no part in the decision, though I'm sure he would have agreed. But yes, I don't think I "did the wrong thing"; it was the right thing to do. And seriously, that final expression on his face... It was his parting gift to me

masterymistery said...

Hi Karen, thnks for stopping by. Animals are the best people. Unconditional love, freely given, no strings attached: we have a lot to learn from them. I suppose it's no good telling you not to blame yourself about Evie, but I'll try anyway: Don't go there --- you weren't to know. Anyway, thanks again, Cheers, MM.

Anonymous said...

I too am sorry for you...I couldn't take that last walk to the vet with MASON in 2003...my parents took my 20 year old terrier to the vet as I couldn't find the strength and then I felt guilty even so now sometimes. It really is a huge loss I know. I now have 2 best friends 6 1/2 and the female I found in LA tied under a dumpster...gave the Hispanic man 50.00 bucks and told him to fuck himself...She weighed 5 pounds at the time....Did you get another friend for yourself???? Kimberly "Lunar Lover" ps what do you mean by tick the box???

masterymistery said...

Hi Kimberly, No, not yet: still recovering from Ben's death. I no longer go on walks -- it reminds me of him, and then all the joy goes out of it. Which is wrong, I know, but I'm working on it. Likewise, I don't think you have anything to feel guilty about (hope you don't mind my presumptuousness).
The "box thing" is not that important: Somewhere in the comment form there should be a box, with text alongside it that says: "Follow-up comments will be sent to..." The purpose is to notify anyone who comments about any other comments made. So that a bit of a "conversation" can happen. Thanks for your comments, much appreciated. MM.