Two days ago I had to put my beloved golden retriever down. Sadie suffered heart failure while we were bathing her on Saturday…I blame myself for the emergent situation, although the vet reassured us the yet-to-be diagnosed cancer somewhere in her body had either invaded her heart or compromised her system and she would have encountered the heart failure anyway. Nevertheless, the trauma of making the tough decision to end her suffering was wrought with the ultimate pain of being the voice for this dependent, trusting, and vulnerable friend, and I found myself in this situation for the sixth (and final!) time with a pet. I know people usually assert that they will never again have another pet. But I mean it this time…the pain and heavy responsibility of having to make that decision to end a friend’s life is not worth the twelve years of joy and happiness shared with the furry family member. I cannot endure the heart ache and distress involved in making the emotional choice nor can I endure again the saddest of sad goodbyes. The deafening silence when I come home from work magnifies the emptiness of the house; the leash and collar hanging quietly on the hook cry out with loneliness; the half-full bag of dog food in the utility room waits patiently to be opened. It’s too hard. Call me calloused, cynical, or a coward…the price of saying farewell is too high to bear again. Simply put, I desperately miss and mourn the loss of my dear, sweet Sadie.
I am a lower school educator navigating the complexities discovered while guiding the development of young minds.