Posted in Animals and conservation, Family life

Am I cruel or kind?

I feel like I’m playing God. I don’t want to and I don’t like it, but what else am I to do? As a family we made a decision that we wouldn’t let Boss suffer. The problem is she couldn’t tell us what she though about it. Does she want to be put to sleep? Would she understand that it means she’d never see us or Mahli again?

My favourite photo of Boss, taken when she was two.
My favourite photo of Boss, taken when she was two.

I guess she has an inkling after the resent visit to the vet. She absolutely knew she was sick when we got there. She walked out of there with a spring in her step, as if to say to me, “You finally took my hints and got me to the vet to get better.”

Lately she looks at me with sad old eyes, one partially blind, the other brown and full of animal sense. I’m sure she knows she’s dying. She must wonder why her breath is so laboured from where the tumour is pushing on her lungs. She must ponder why she can no longer fit out the doggy door, when she could only last week. So, I think sadly where is her quality of life so I thought if I had a list of what she can’t do and what she can I’d come to a conclusion that is right for her. Her wellbeing is all I care about and if that means she should be resting in peace, as much as that makes me cry, that’s how it has to be.

The things Boss can no longer do (I thought I’d start with the sad and build to the good):

  • Play with Mahli (and Mahli seems confused about it) Boss tries a bit of tugging but cannot run
  • Eat big meals (or she’ll throw up)
  • Bark properly (it sounds like she’s got a cold her voice is so raspy)
  • Jump up on the bed (she now has a comfy bed beside me on the floor)
  • Walk around the block (we only get to the park in stops and starts, but she’s still keen to go)
  • Play wrestles with Blake (she just dosen’t have the energy)
  • Walk properly (it’s not the arthritis that used to worry her, it’s the weight of the tumour)
  • Wade in the water trying to catch fish
  • Chase a ball and bring it back (actually she’s never done the bringing it back part anyway, she just catches and chews)

On the bright side things Boss can do:

  • Still give lot of I-Love-You licks (though her breath is reeeeaaaallly smelly, or foul as Blake says)
  • Get on the lounge beside me (but likes her own space)
  • Bark excitedly at dinner time
  • Give Mahli maternal company (and growl at her when she’s too annoying)
  • Greet us at the door when we arrive home (though Mahli pushes past her to get to us first)
  • At least walk to the park
  • Follow me like a shadow around the house, as I do my housework
  • Curl up on her bed in the sunlight
  • Beg for food (well she only sits on her bum and barks) while we are eating
  • Reprimand Mahli when she’s barking too much or excited over visitors
  • Remembers everyone with a wag of the tail and a lick
  • Gives me that your-the-most-important-thing-in-the-world look

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that she’s okay for now. When she loses her dignity, then it will be time to shed a tear, enjoy a final lick, look deeply into those aging eyes, with grey hair around them that used to be black, and say a fond farewell.

Maybe then I’ll have to cope with my grief. There’s help at: Coping with Pet Loss, Ten Tips on Pet Loss and one to help Mahli cope from the RSPCA.

Okay, whoo back! Not yet, Boss. I can’t wait to get home today and have you greet me at the door with your wet tongue and wagging tail.


Donna Munro is the author of The Zanzibar Moon, Kendwa's Secret and Elephant Creek, freelance writer, blogger, graphic designer, content writer, book marketer, administrator, web editor and book reader. She's been published in Take Five, The Australian Woman's Weekly, For Me, She, That's Life, Woman's Day and Club Life and other smaller publications. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of Australia and the current Administrative Assistant. Donna lives in Queensland and is addicted to beaches, reading, Peanut Butter, elephants, koalas, Sydney Roosters and Home & Away. You'll often find her digging her toes in the sand with a book in her hand.

One thought on “Am I cruel or kind?

Feel free to comment, thank you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s