I did not expect my blog to take this turn, as most know I am working on a entry about my recent adventure to the great state of Alaska. But I cannot publish that story. Not today, at least.
Instead I must pay respects to my beloved dog Casey who after thirteen years of life was put to rest earlier this afternoon.
Enduring a rare form of tongue cancer for the last four months, Casey was no longer living a life worth saving. Unable to eat or drink in recent days, she quickly dropped weight and walked around in a zombie state. It seemed like over night she became a skeletal version of her former self.
All this week, my family discussed what to do and when to call it. Numerous conversations, tear filled and emotional, about what was best for our pack. Finally we concluded yesterday it was best to relieve her of the pain and to do so today. A decision never easy to make.
When I arrived at the veterinarian’s office, I decided I would not watch the procedure. I didn’t want to see her body become lifeless. I didn’t think I had the courage to stay the whole way through. I didn’t want to see an animal I have loved for so long leave her body. Too much for me to swallow.
But after some thought I changed my mind. I realized I owed it to Casey, a friend and companion who stood by me for so long and loved me no matter what. A dog who always waged her tail when I walked through the door and pawed me with affection even after a hard days work.
So when the time had come, I stood behind my mother and watched the vet inject the medicine. I didn’t turn away as Casey squirmed from discomfort. And I even continued to watch when our little girl jerked her neck around and gave my mom one final look of love. A moment that brought me closer to life and death than ever before. A moment I will never forget.
I am a marked man because of Casey. Because of her life and because of her death. Because of that final moment and because of our lasting relationship and endless love we shared.
We, as humans, so often love our animals for selfish reasons, not realizing or considering what is best for them. We put the animal’s needs second to what feels best to us.
Today we put Casey first and our feelings and emotions second.
RIP, Casey. You will be missed.