*** This is not a nice post, you are forewarned ***
At about 19:00 today I was in the vets having Trigger put down. For those of you that don’t know Trigger was my dog. More than a dog she was my friend. I had kinda guessed it would be today. On Saturday her breathing had gotten very heavy, even when she was only walking around. I actually thought that it might be Sunday when we would have to put her down. But the medicine kept her going just about long enough for me to get home today.
Dad was not two minutes behind me and we started talking about how we would probably take her to the vets on Friday, she wasn’t the best and it would be bad to drag it out. Then I went to look for her and found her shivering in the corner of her yard. Now she did have a tendency to shiver on occasion, so I thought she’d be fine, until she threw up… a lot. Then all of a sudden it became a very bad day. The vet was called and dad and I rushed out of the house with the dog in tow. My brother didn’t come with use, opting instead to say goodbye as we left. Trigger was actually excited to be in the car, the first time I’d seen her excited in a week… it didn’t last long.
Being a Jack Rustle – Collie cross has meant that Trigger was always excited. You come in the door and she is jumping up on you. You go up the stairs and she wants to know what you are doing. You are asleep and it’s the perfect opportunity to give your face a good licking. When you brought her home from a hike, she would run into the house, find the football and place it at your feet and beg you to give it a good kicking. But that wasn’t happening anymore. She would chase the ball maybe three times before becoming too tired to go on. It was really difficult to watch. She stopped eating, hell she even stopped taking every opportunity to lick out faces. Hell it was once a favourite pastime to pin someone to the ground and have Trigger lick their faces until they could no longer breath.
The vets office was packed with big dogs, trigger would normally go ape at bigger dogs. But not today, she was a s quiet as a mouse, unless they got close. There was two people ahead of us and one being seen to. The wait was horrible. The pet owners were making small talk about their pets. Dad was trying to maintain some semblance of being ok and I was barely holding it all in. Nothing could distract me, not even as Triggers fur was coming out by the fist load and getting in my mouth. In the end I counted her breathing pattern. It was regular, but fast, really fast, like she had been running, even though she was just sitting there. Then there was an irregularity, where she would take 3 or 4 shallow breaths in really quick succession. I counted the breaths between these. It was always 9, followed by the rapid breathing. I did this 20 times. The waiting was killing me.
Finally it came to us. The vet had been an absolute blessing the whole time Trigger was suffering with the cancer, even when we didn’t know what was wrong. Dad said you could tell she was upset too. I couldn’t until later. We had to hold her as the injection went in. I held her head against mine, I was the last thing she saw before she went to sleep. We carried her into another room so that the vet could continue to work with the other animals that had arrived before us. I’m not ashamed to say I cried, I cried a lot. My dad cried too. It took her a while to die, her nose was twitching while it happened. It took a long time to stop twitching. But when it did I knew she was gone.
From then on the body on the table was no longer Trigger, no longer my close friend who died of cancer. It was just a collection of organs that no longer worked. There was talk about bringing her home for burial, but that would have been worse, better to end it here and get it over with. So I stood up and was done grieving. But not done missing her. We went back downstairs to talk to the vet and I could see she was upset too. Apparently Trigger was the third dog to be put down today. That sucks. Dad was too upset to drive home. So I took the wheel, my grief was being back processed and handled, I guess I have Asperger’s Syndrome to thank for that, I do feel the hurt but I can get past it much faster than most people.
When we get home I have to stop for a second when I walk in the door and remember that Trigger isn’t here anymore to great me. That one hurt, and probably will for a while. Sleeping tonight will be hard. My cat Sparks used to sleep with me, but with her old age she is getting grumpier and has less reliable bladder control, so Trigger filled in that gap. Now I don’t know, I’m going to feel lonely for a while I guess.
There is plans to make an album of photos thing for Trigger, I’m probably going to end up writing a poem (yes I write poetry). For now though the internet will get to see her through this image of Trigger lying in my bed… the lucky sod.
The arm on top is the one that had the cancer, this was taken in February this year. We didn’t even know it was cancer. Today it had spread up her chest, been putting pressure on her lungs and heart. It had even effected her kidneys (her eyes were slightly jaundiced).
I’m going to miss her.