We had to put our beloved little Maddie down 9 days ago. She was old and declining, and had clearly told us that it was time, so the situation is not quite the same. But I also had to hold her as the light went out from her eyes. I'm trying to remember happier looks she gave me instead. Losing a beloved friend is a uniquely awful pain. Having to be a part of the decision to let them go is even worse. I will leave you with only two bits of possible comfort.
As humans, we can't help but live partly in the future. If someone told me I had cancer tomorrow, and I could either live for one year without treatment, or 3 years with treatment that made me miserable, I would take the extra time. It might mean that I could see my girls graduate from school, get married, or possibly be able to meet a grandchild before I died. And if I had the diagnosis, part of my sorrow we be over knowing that I would n't be around to see things like this, or celebrate my 50th anniversary, or go to Paris for 2 weeks after I retired. It's the lack of a future that makes us grieve for ourselves, and for the people and pets that we lose. Dogs live in the now. they know nothing of the future. They know how they feel right now, and can't feel sadness over what they might miss months or years down the road. Ruffalo knew that he was in pain right then. You knew that it was only going to get worse.
The second thing, and the only thought that let me know that I did the right thing with Maddie is this: when you woke up on the morning of that awful day, you felt fine, but your dog felt pain. Thanks to the decision you made, Ruffalo feels no pain, but you feel awful. You took his pain away from him and wrapped yourself in it so that he didn't have to feel it any more. If there is a more succinct definition of love in this world, I don't know what it is.
There are no words of comfort that can make that hurt any less. But you can at least know that you did the only loving thing that could do.
Thank you so much for stating dogs live in the now. Most of my guilt comes from feeing like I failed my boy. Feeling as if he was looking back at me that day which the vet was placing the mess in his IV as if he was upset with me. I replay that day over and over in my head, when I’m falling asleep it pops in my mind again and I’m terrified. Why Ruffalo, why cancer so young, why why why! I can’t grasp the fact that he had so much life ahead of him and it was all taken away within such a short time. I blame myself for working so much when he was alive, was it so important to work that overtime? Now it means nothing because I lost that precious time with my best friend.
The year 1/2 we did have with him were so full of memories though and I just try to focus on that. I have 100s of videos of him and pictures that it overwhelms me to think he’s gone. I watch them over and over and just cry. We are nearing almost 5 months since he has been gone and I feel like it hasn’t gotten any easier. I beg when I pray at night for him to just come back or just to see him running to me when I walk in the door and giving me kisses but it never happens. You’re right though he is no longer in pain from that nasty cancer and I can only hope he is running his little heart out and making friends like he always did! I really appreciate your kind words and I apologize for not writing sooner, as I stated to the previous reply I just could not bring myself to log one during the holidays, everyone is hurting and I couldn’t bare to see anything more to upset me. I pray things are good for you and you’re healing!! Thanks again for your kind words.