A little over a week ago we had to make the tough decision to put our dog down. Not that we will ever know how much pain he was in but we could tell he was in pain and couldn’t control his body as he once could. In fact, over the last couple of months he never really came out of his kennel except for to eat, drink, and go outside when we forced him to. Then in the final week before we made the decision he was throwing up almost every day and the accidents were happening more frequently.
My wife and I had had the conversation for probably the last couple of years but more seriously in the last couple of weeks before the day. Tucker had been with us for 13 years, with a birthday coming up this October 24th, he was the first of our “kids”, and he has lived in multiple houses/states. It was a really tough decision to make that I think looking back my wife and I didn’t really realize how hard it would be in the week(s) after. We believe our decision was right as we saw his health declining we didn’t want him to suffer day to day as he had to walk up/down steps to get outside and selfishly we didn’t want his last days to be ones where we would be angry that he was having accidents or throwing up all over.
As my wife and I talked about it in the weeks leading up to the day, we both wanted to be with him until the end and in our minds that was non-negotiable. We did not want to just drop him off at a vet or humane society where his last moments would be filled scared, nervous, or anxious as he heard other dogs barking in the background. We wanted him with us, with his sister PJ (who we have had for 11 years now), and his 3 human brother/sisters. My wife ended up finding this local service that would come out and perform the procedure at our house.
On Tucker’s final day I ended up waking up early to take him for a walk instead of my normal run by myself. I knew it was going to be a long day of tears, sadness, and thoughts as we waited until the scheduled time late in the day. I went to work as normal but ended up leaving work around noon and going home to take Tucker to the dog park one last time. He used to love the dog park when he was younger and my wife and I would take him all the time. You could see a little spark in his eyes while we were there but at the same time, you could tell he was frustrated that he couldn’t do what the other dogs were doing. He didn’t “run” around but still enjoyed wandering around and checking out the things to jump on. After the dog park, we went back home and I just laid on the couch with Tucker for probably 2 hours. Honestly, I am not even sure the last time I just sat in one place for two hours and did nothing. Then we ate dinner and I figured it was time to take him for another walk or his last walk with the whole family. Once we got back from our walk all the kids sat with Tucker and were reading him books while he laid next to them. Finally, around 7pm we got the knock on the door and knew it was time.
Tucker, you truly were an amazing dog and I will miss you dearly. Thank you for all the times you were there for me and making my life a little bit better/more exciting.