Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Losing another friend....

On Friday we made the decision to have Juni put down. We had been struggling with the issue for weeks as Juni's condition declined. At first she had to be helped to her feet. A few days later she had to be supported as she walked until gaining her stride. By Friday she could barely stand. She could walk, but had intermittent collapses. The hardest thing was leaving her in the house: In our absence she would try to stand, but end up sliding across the floor backwards until she reached a wall or chair, where she would remain trapped until we got home.

It was an inglorious end for a dog who had been incredibly energetic for over twelve years. She had lost her ability to run, chase squirrels and birds, and sniff the borders - all characteristics that defined her  being.

As sad as the loss of Juni was in and of itself, it also brought up for us the post-traumatic distress of having lost Cayenne just over a year ago. We have had dogs close to the center of the family for the last 26 years, and all but about two years of our 36-year marriage.

Its only been a few days so I'm not surprised that I look for a dog when I enter the house or come down from the bedroom. Perhaps I'll grow accustomed to their absence in time. Perhaps the freedom to travel or be away from the house all day without figuring out what to do about the dog will grow on me. In the meantime I can't help but feel that my life is significantly diminished by the absence of the love, loyalty and presence of our long-time companions.

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