Life is not all sunshine and chocolate
It was somber this week in the Acevedo home. Our dog, Midnight, has gone to the big kennel in the sky. She was sixteen years old. The decision was not easy. She had seizures, kept falling over because of weakening hips, and suffered from worsening incontinence. But it was the bone cancer in her skull that forced us to put her down.
Here's Midnight as a puppy, being chaperoned by our cat Spotty, who is still with us.
Midnight in her prime.
We bought her for $30 from an animal shelter. She was a Lab-Pointer mix and would have made a great hunting dog. She had natural pointing behavior and when you walked her off the leash, she'd range in front of you left to right. She was also a powerful swimmer.
A loveable and well-behaved dog, she was also very stubborn, hence Nickname No 1: Cement Head.
The afternoon we took her to the vet, Midnight was excited by the trip and the attention. The injections are given in a cozy room with a loveseat, candles, a picture of a dog walking away from you down a woodsy trail, and framed odes to our departed pets. We were sad and quiet those first minutes and Midnight, keeping true to her personality, broke the tension by proving Nickname No 2: Poopmachine. A vet's assistant cleaned the mess up but the coziness turned stuffy with doggy poop smell.The final minutes:
My son Emil tending to Midnight after the sedative injection.
While convinced we were making the right decision, obviously no one had asked the dog. She had come along willingly, enthusiastically, trusting, when our true purpose was to have her killed. What treachery. After the sedative injection, Midnight circled the room for several minutes. Her hind legs then gave out, and she finally fell over. I'm amazed how expressive eyes are. She's a dog, I'm human, and as she lie there, I could read the confusion in her eyes. In true Midnight form, she collapsed with her butt in front of the fan for the humidifier and she started to fart. I pulled her away from the fan to make the last minutes more bearable for us the living.
Then the second injection.
The vet told us to expect one deep final breath before the end. Instead, Midnight started to chuff loudly before she lay still. My sons, Alex and Emil, started their final goodbyes. I hope that when my end comes, I go surrounded like this by loved ones .