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Hard choices…

Irene and I love our animals. Seven cats, a horse…

 …and until yesterday, a dog. We made the decision On July 3rd to have Sheena euthanized.

Goodbye, old girl…


It was a tough choice. Sheena was still alert and wasn’t screaming out in pain. Up until year ago, Sheena was still pretty active: she was at least 13 years old, which is pretty old for a dog her size.

Last year, though, she had a setback. She had what seemed to me to be a stroke: the vet thought it might have been a tumour or nerve damage of some kind. For over a week she couldn’t walk at all, and afterwards she was very weak. She recovered some of her mobility, though she stopped going on walks of more than a hundred yards or so. She never recovered her balance, really: a light bump would tip her over. And her hearing was mostly gone afterwards…cataracts took away most of her vision a few years ago.

 The last few months we watched Sheena getting more and more feeble. Recently, she reached the point where she often couldn’t stand up without help, and she was barely eating.

 I don’t know how Sheena felt about it, but I kept thinking that her quality of life had gotten pretty meager. Irene and I had talked several times about what it would take for us to decide it was “time” for Sheena. Ultimately, Irene called me up in tears and told me she felt that time had arrived.

 I am an agnostic. I don’t really believe in an afterlife, but then again I don’t disbelieve. I’d like to think that we made the right choice, and somewhere Sheena’s spirit is alive and healthy, enjoying a run through a grassy field with Irene’s horse Brandy like she did years ago. Maybe one day I’ll be there too, and Sheena will run over and let me scratch her ears the way she liked. I’d like that…

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