woke up, walked the dog. went to work. went home at around 1pm. cleaned the house. hung with the dog. got pretty upset when i found a half-full bag of dog food which wouldn't have any purpose. cried a lot. went to my sister's house. at 6:30 we went to the vet. they were waiting for us and took us into a room immediately. there was a blanket on the table. the vet came in shortly and explained that once they injected him it would take up to two minutes for him to "fall asleep". when they finally got him all prepared and did the injection, it was less than ten seconds before he went limp and let out his last breath. 10 seconds. more evidence attesting to the weakness of his heart. the vet checked his heartbeat (there was none) and left us with him. his tail wagged, but it was just post-mortem twitching (optimist-peg thinks that was danny's way of saying "hey this new place is pretty cool, thanks!").

walking away and leaving him there was hard. thinking of his empty body at the vet while my life just went on didn't seem right or fair. despite being upset, i had made a card for the veterinarian... they've been wonderful to him even when cancer made him an ugly little mutt that most people wouldn't want to touch. i'm willing to bet euthanasia is harder for a vet than it ever could be for me. they went to school to make sick animals better.

since thursday

despite knowing i did the right thing, i still feel like i killed my dog.

i wake up thinking i need to get dressed and walk the dog. i come home and open the door slowly because he would wait for me just inside the front door and sometimes i'd accidentally hit him. i come home expecting to find a little mess from the old incontinent pooper. i come home expecting to shush him as he barks excitedly, waiting for me to take him out.

i am angry at my cat because she doesn't seem to care (or even notice) that there isn't a dog around the house anymore.

i know that my neighbour will ask about the danny eventually, and i've thought about my reply. "Danny's heart failed and he passed peacefully in my arms". it's kinda true. i feel bad -- i had wanted to stop by beforehand so that his dog, Lefty, could get in a final buttsniff.

today will be the first time since thursday that i will go home alone. my boyfriend and my family have been with me constantly. i can't cry around them. well, i do cry, but those are the tears that slip out accidentally. i don't want to cry in front of them. today, when i go home from work, i will go home to a house emptier than i have had in 18 years. today i am really going to cry. i already am. sitting in my office with my door locked. people don't expect me to be here anyway. i am supposed to be working from home, but i don't have much of a desire to do that right now. i don't want to go home today at all.

i just feel like i gave up on the dog. the hardest part of this whole thing was deciding to have him put down before he was in serious pain -- it's so hard because i will always have suspicions that given another few days he might have gotten better. even just a little better for a little while longer.

but i think i did my very best to give him everything i could.

A Dog's Prayer

monday night

came home. didn't want to. walked in and the air conditioning kicked on. the squeak of it sounded like danny's i-want-to-go-out whining.

i sorted my snail mail and found a card from the veterinarian. she included the following:

The Rainbow Bridge
A Prayer