This past Wednesday I made the incredibly sad and painful decision to put my dog, Stockie, to sleep. She was 14 years old and her legs had been steadily deteriorating over the past year. Things took a bad turn last Friday when she started having painful and frequent attacks in her legs whenever she tried to settle down. The painkillers she was on didn’t seem to be helping at all. And so Wednesday morning, after a really bad and heart-wrenching night, I made the decision.
Out of instinct I still look up from my computer to see if she’s at the door and wants back in. When I go to get something out of my bedroom my head automatically turns to see if her food or water dish needs to be refilled. When I get up at night to go pee, I still turn on my bedside table lamp to make sure I don’t step on her. She’s gone, but so are these many little pieces of me and my day-to-day life and that will take some getting used to. But day by day things are sure to get better.
One of the reasons it hurts so much is because of how awesome a dog Stockie was. And as sad as I am to say goodbye, I’m so very thankful for having her in my life for as long as I did.
By the amount she barked when someone came to the door, you might assume she was a great guard dog. But in reality she was just really excited to see people. You needed only to look at her wildly wagging tail to know how un-ferocious she was.
She was a loyal dog but we all knew her real master was food. She was an expert at catching popcorn and if you spilled something on the floor, Stockie would have it cleaned up immediately.
She loved to chase squirrels and in recent months, the horses next door (although they just ignored her). She attempted to chase a neighbour’s cat once but slinked back inside the house when the cat turned and stood its ground. Big brave Stockie.
Stockie was a faithful companion throughout my cancer treatment as well. She was a source of great comfort and joy during that difficult time and no doubt played a role in my recovery.
I could go on and on about her, but suffice to say she was an amazing dog. And she was more than just a pet. She was a member of the family and one we’re all going to miss.
Thank you to everybody for your sympathy and kind words. Too many to respond to individually but they do mean a lot to me.
So here’s to Stockie! To a life well lived and to the rest she’s truly earned. I’m sad to see her go but so very grateful for everything she’s given me. Good girl.
What are you grateful for? Add your items to the Thanksgiving List—the goal is to have 1,000 items by the end of November. You can also add your items on my Facebook Page and on Twitter, using the #thanksgivingproject hashtag.
Funny stories. Good advice. Josh Martin is the author of “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments.” and “Balancing Priorities and Prioritizing Balance”. Click here to learn more and to purchase a copy.