When my Daddy died, it was sudden, an accident. There were no choices to make except arragements... nothing to unplug, no forms to sign. It was done, with no input from me. I honestly think this is a good thing. Daddy wouldn't have wanted to live the way he would have had to if there had been any way to save him, and I wouldn't have wanted to see my strong, loving, caring Daddy living that way either -- but if you think for one second I would have been able to make the choice that so many people have to make for their parents, when it's "time," you would be wrong. I don't think I would have been that strong.
Now, many people will probably judge me negatively for the following statement, but you must understand that as an only child, my siblings growing up have always been our animals. Yesterday I had to make the choice, along with Mama, to let one of those siblings go. I've had Preppy Golden, since I was eleven years old. Having her around for over half of my life, I don't have one memory since then that doesn't have her in it. She was never the most active dog, never the one needing attention. She was just there. I remember crying into her fur the day Mama told me her and Daddy's divorce was final. I hugged her first when I got into UT. She always knew when I felt bad, and would come lay her blocky perfect head in my lap for as long as I needed to pet her velvet ears. She was always ready to high five you for a treat, even at the end. She was a rescue dog and has had a "nub" instead of a tail since we got her because the idiots uninformed people thought she was part cocker spaniel. Obviously you can't really shake a nub, so her whole hind end would wiggle out of control as soon as she saw me walk in the door every day. When we first got her, long before Preppy Lab and Preppy Pup were thought about, she used to sleep in my bed (and she still would have if my room was on the first floor still). Mama would tuck us in at night, me under the covers and PG on the floor next to the bed, and would come in the next morning to find two blonde heads on pillows. She knew how to hop on the bench at the bottom of my bed and scoot her way up under the covers.
She was the best dog ever. Better behaved than Preppy Pup, better mannered than Preppy Lab. After we did "it" yesterday, we took her to my grandparents' farm. My granddaddy, Pa (how country are we?), had a special bond with our golden girl. They shared a love for Mema's (my grandmother) pound cake and cheap beer (both of which she got Wednesday and yesterday). He never had inside dogs until he saw how she was with us, and then he said he got it, he understood what the fuss was about. My big strong Pa, who to this day cannot accept a thank you for anything or feel comfortable saying I love you back to us, was close to tears yesterday.
I miss my girl. I know she's not suffering anymore and that it was the right thing to do, but it is the single hardest thing I've had to do in my life. Don't judge me. I'm not saying animals are better than people (although I'm certainly more , just that I've never had to make a decision like that before and it shook me very badly. I haven't been able to wear makeup all week because I start crying at random moments -- me, who never leaves her house to go to the gas station at the entrance to the neighborhood without mascara.