Saturday, December 20, 2014

(I Hope) All Dogs Go to Heaven

Mischa as a puppy, ca. 2005
I took our dog, Mischa, in to be euthanized today.  Sometime back, she'd run across a "foxtail" weed, almost certainly in our back yard, and it had become embedded in her neck.  As was the case with her diabetes, we didn't know what was causing the open wound in her neck (and perhaps were derelict in addressing it) until there was nothing we could feasibly do about it.  Our daughter Heidi, Mischa's original owner, took her to see a couple of veterinarians, and both diagnosed the foxtail in the neck; however, one wanted to do surgery, whereas the other, noting that Mischa was almost ten years old and was diabetic and blind, recommended euthanasia.  We dithered, knowing we would not pay thousands for the surgery but still not having the heart to put her down.  But, after giving her three or four courses of expensive antibiotics, and knowing they were just a band-aid in any case, we finally faced up to the inevitable.  I have to admit that yesterday I tried to euthanize Mischa myself, overdosing her on insulin in the expectation that it would put her in a coma and allow her to slip away relatively painlessly; however, it didn't work, probably partly because I fed her a fairly large quantity of sirloin steak as sort of a "last meal."  Thus, today we called Vetco, a limited-service animal clinic here in Albuquerque, and they said we could bring Mischa in to be euthanized if we came within a half-hour.  Dorine knew she didn't have the heart for it, so she didn't go with us.  I got to say my good-byes to Mischa in an examination room for the few minutes before the sedation took effect, and then the attendant took her into another room to administer the coup de grรขce while I left, crying for only the second time since I started taking Zoloft. Mischa suffered a lot in her last couple of years of life; I'm glad she doesn't have to suffer anymore.