Wednesday, May 18, 2011
My heart is heavy and I am deeply melancholy this afternoon. After much deliberation my wife and I have to face the imminent need to "put down" one of our dogs. "Dixie" is pictured above about 15 years ago peering out the screen door of our old house waiting for me. She is sitting right next to our daughter. Nearly every evening when I got home, both the kid and the dog would report to the screen door of the kitchen in our first house and wait for me to come inside.
My wife and I adopted Dixie from the Chester County S.P.C.A. when she was 8 weeks old. I put many hours into training her and she is a well behaved and smart dog of great disposition and gentle temperment. Over the years we had many wonderful walks and hikes at Valley Forge park and in the woods at Rolling Hills Park. She walked off-leash at my heel and obeyed each and every command. I could put her in a sitting "stay" and walk 100 yards across a field...and she would not move a muscle until the command: "Dixie,COME!" She would then rocket across the open space between us and sit at my feet waiting for her reward: a piece of pretzel or biscuit. My kids have grown up with her and she is loved by all.
Sadly, she is now 16 1/2 years old. A combination of degenerative arthritis and muscle wasting has made her bascially incontinent and unable to get up or walk. Hence it is now time to acknowledge her dignity and comfort and carry out my last act of love as her master...I am literally tearing up as I type this. Tomorrow we have an appointment and it will be brutally hard but it is the only option.