Last week we lost the 5th animal in 12 months. I had our dog Sputnick put down. For a while he had been pacing all night every night. Originally it would work if I would just get up when it started (around midnight), turned on the lights and watched some TV, then he would relax and go in my room and fall asleep. For some reason he had to know I was UP! Someone was guarding the house. We also discovered he was completely deaf. We tried different things like locking him and his brother and sister in the bathroom at night, but he would just cry, therefore making them cry. As he was deaf, I know he was scared and disciplining him did’t work. A few weeks ago he just peed on the carpet right in front of the kids. He has been know to do this for years, but always when we aren’t looking….. To do this in front of the kids was a bad sign. I knew he was losing it. I was also constantly waking up to him shitting somewhere in the house. I wasn’t sleeping through the night. Jett was not sleeping through the night. The pacing or the TV would bother him. With the two other dogs we have ( all siblings) being the same age of 13 they sometimes had to go out in the middle of the night. I was NEVER sleeping through the night. I was up at least 3 times a night… sometimes 10….. I tried putting Sputnick on Prozac. I even gave him some of my sleeping pills that I was assured would knock his ass out for the night. It had the opposite effect… he paced more and slept less. we tried keeping him up during the day CONSTANTLY waking him up and making him move around.
The point of all this ……. I made the decision to kill him. I could have kept him alive. He was a happy dog. He loved walks, he loved running outside with his brother and sister. He loved people. I put my needs above his. I killed Sputnick. Since his death I have slept through the night most nights. The first 3 nights I slept so good it was like I was in a fantastical dream. Everyone else in the family slept better too. I did’t feel guilty about killing Sputnick, but I did. Having him gone was a HUGE weight off my shoulders. It is so quiet around the house…. less drama….. Its is soooo wonderful. However, I killed him. Maybe he could have lived two more years. Maybe we could have tried other options.
Now I firmly believe he is up in heaven with all of the people I have lost, especially a special little boy who died on the same day 8 years before. I know Sputnick is with his mom and his brother and his best buddy our big black lab Jake. He never left his side EVERY single day the two of them were together for at least ten years. We didn’t know how Sputnick would go on after Jake died. It was really something to see what a bond they had.
I made the decision. I killed Sputnick. His life was in my hands and I ended it. I think it was the right decision. However, who am I to play God? Do I think he was suffering? Yes. If Sputnick was a person I would have never been given this option? No. I think about my grandfather who suffered … I mean really really suffered at the end with his cancer. Was that necessary? I think of my dad, who obviously suffered mentally in order to kill himself. Was there a better way? I felt like I had my dads life in my hands and I killed him. I made the choice to hate him, to abandon him. That choice haunts me still. I just woke up from a horrible nightmare….. what 22…23 years later….. still the nightmares. My grandmother is not doing well. She has Dementia and Parkinsons. She sleeps 22 out of 24 hours of the day. She just wants to sleep. She needs to be cared for daily in her assisted living facility and it is more care every day. She doesn’t want to die though. Even though I know she is suffering, she doesn’t want to let go. I know Sputnick didn’t want to let us go even though I know he is happy where he is now. If my grandmother was one of my dogs would I have put her down by now? I know that is morbid, but it is a question. As a human I believe that when she sleeps so much she is in the process of crossing over. Whatever is happening when she sleeps it is preparing her for when she does cross over for good. I believe that with my daughter when I induced labor she wasn’t ready to be born yet….. there was still stuff happening to her soul. That is why when she was 1-4 she would have nightmares and talk about her “other family”. She missed them and wanted to go back to them. So with Sputnick…. if he wasn’t ready to go. I forced it. Part of having a pet is responsibility. You need to care for them when they are elderly just as you did when they were a puppy and just as much work.
I ended his life early. It was my choice. I am not sorry I did it. I just could not handle it anymore. It still makes me a weaker person, but I know the choice saved a part of me that was being devoured by stress….