Perhaps no 6 characters have been harder to type than the 6 characters of the title of this blog post.
Earlier today, Kristen and I took our much beloved dog, Stoney, to the vet to be put to sleep.
We were a mess.
I couldn’t even speak. It was completely the right thing to do, to end his suffering, but it hurt too much for words to come out of our mouths.
They quickly ushered the bawling couple with the barely-able-to-walk dog out of the waiting room and into an examination room. Prepared for our arrival they’d laid a nice blanket down on the floor. After a couple sniffs Stoney laid down one last time.
We were a mess.
An absolute proper mess. The lady asked me something about money and I just handed her my debit card.
Truth be told, it’s after 2 AM and I’m still a snotty mess. I keep expecting him to bump against my feet under my desk or let out a deep sigh or push open the living room door to remind me to go to bed.
Stoney has been constantly at our side for the past ten years. It’s hard to even know what to do without him, he’s such a part of our daily lives.
I grew up hearing the phrase, “Man’s best friend.” And you know what? I am feeling the loss of a best friend right now.
The past few weeks have been gut wrenching. At our last trip to the vet she let me know that Stoney was in very bad health. He had a heart murmur and at his age that likely meant he had heart disease. We could run some tests but at nearly 13 years old there wasn’t much we could do.
Leaving that day I had no concept of how fast the disease would take over. Over the past few weeks he went from being short of breath and a little bit slower to taking 20 minutes just to go one block.
By Sunday, he couldn’t get up the stairs into the house after going potty and he stopped eating. These were both our agreed upon indicators that it’d be time to let him go.
The older kids were already aware of what was going on… that the time was getting near. We didn’t want it to be a shock to them. When I made the appointment on Monday I let each of them know. We explained it to Jackson, but he’s 4 and it’s really hard to understand. I’m 39 and sometimes death doesn’t make sense to me either.
Then, after school, we all got on the floor with Stoney and spent some time giving him love and sharing stories about him… I’m so glad we did that.
Tonight, not really sure what else to do with myself, I made this video. It means a lot to me.
This dog has been so much more than a dog to our family.
We will, eventually, be fine.
But for today we are experiencing the loss.