As far to many of you know, making the decision to say goodbye to your four legged loved one is never easy. The first time I had to do so was in 2001, shortly after my dad died. Yesterday I had to let another of my best friends begin his journey to Rainbow Bridge.
When I got Tyson he replaced a hole in my heart after a very sad year. He also kept me on my toes as I had forgotten just how much work a new puppy could be! Every day he helped me out at the family pet store, and once I changed occupations to begin dog walking, he hardly missed a walk with me & the park crew.
There are far too many memories, but I can best describe Tyson as one of the most loving (nobody got away with a lackadaisical cuddle), neurotic (don't move that furniture!), attached dogs. If I ever walked into another room he would follow me even if I was in eyesight. It was cute the first 364 times!
This past year Tyson's age began to show. His vision & hearing went, and the past month I began noticing he would get confused easily (he got that from me). I knew we had limited time left together but hey, that tail was still wagging & the bad breath kisses kept coming.
Yesterday after our walks he came home to cuddle on his bed. After a short nap he tried to stand but couldn't. He let out a little cry so I assumed he had pulled a muscle. After gently prodding & pulling, I realized that was not the case. For the next 20 minutes he kept trying to get up but just couldn't get to his feet. I called the emergency vet and when I picked him up to put him on my bed, Tyson was already quite unresponsive and very limp. I knew what was coming, so the whole drive down to the vet not a second went by where I didn't tell him what a good boy he was and how much I loved him.
At the vet we determined that it was likely a brain tumour, and of course there was no need prolonging any suffering he may have been going through. As I watched through a window the technicians shaved his little leg & inserted a catheter. At one point Tyson looked up at me and started crying. When the technician came out I told her not to worry, he was never a fan of needles. She told me that actually he was great with the needle, it was when he saw me he started crying. Of course this broke my heart, but I was happy to have been the one he last saw in this world, as it should have been. The process of euthanasia was, as in almost every case, very peaceful. One last cuddle. One last kiss on the nose.
I always reiterate when people ask me, please go into the room for the euthanasia procedure. Hold your pet's paw. Kiss them & talk to them. Tell them just how much they have meant to you. If only we could be so lucky in every circumstance, be it human or animal.
I wish to thank The Veterinary Emergency Clinic (South Clinic) for their compassion last night. They were simply outstanding. I looked in the window at one point to see four staff members petting and talking to my little guy. I will be forever grateful to the staff and doctor for their professionalism and the love they showed Tyson in his last minutes.
I always complained to my friends and family that Tyson was too attached. That he didn't need to follow me through every room at home. Today I wish so badly to see his big brown eyes peering around a corner, just checking on dad.
Say hi to Billie, buddy. Make sure to follow her everywhere. It will irk her to no end but hey, isn't that what best friends are for?