I thought I’d write the end of the story. I took Lily to the absolutely wonderful vet here in Monte Vista, Dr. Crawford at Alpine Veterinary Hospital. I’d told the receptionist this morning that I wasn’t sure but what Lily might need to be put to sleep, so when I came in, they were ready. The place was empty; a coincidence, but I was relieved. I know what was happening was written on my face.
Lily had lost 12 pounds since our last visit in October; not a good sign. The Vet Tech (awesome guy, too) took us to an examining room. I sat in the chair and lifted Lily onto my lap and held her as close to me as I could. I didn’t have her when she was a pup and this was the first time I’d held her on my lap. I felt her relax in my arms and I wasn’t going to let go. Dr. Crawford came in and talked over all the options with me. “It won’t work very long,” he said, “but you’d have her a little while longer.” I honestly did not want Lily to experience any of this hell again, and we both agreed that as Lily was often terrified and almost always disoriented, we’d do the kind thing before she got worse. I did not want to set her down or let go of her. It must have been a pretty interesting picture. They moved the furniture out of the way and brought a clean quilt to put on the floor. Dr. C gave Lily a tranquilizer and soon Lily relaxed. At that point, I set her on the quilt and got on the floor with her.
Dr. C explained every single thing he did and though I’d been through this already many times in my life, I was grateful for what he was doing. He got on the floor with Lily and me. He let me help, which I appreciated. We talked about Lily’s life when she was “real” and all the things we’d done together. The Vet Tech had also had many huskies and he agreed they were wonderful. But, he said, “I couldn’t take it no more,” meaning what I was going through.
Lily went peacefully in my arms with kind men and a clean quilt and a quiet room. No one was dry-eyed, but we collected ourselves and Dr. C said, “We’ve been through this too. It’s just so very hard when it’s a dog who’s your friend.” I appreciated that because while I think the “Furbaby” thing is cute, my dogs have not been babies to me. They’ve been partners in crime, my equals, my friends. Furreinds as my friend L says. They both gave me big hugs and I went out and paid.
That was a shock. In San Diego that procedure was usually around $300. I paid $63. That is the difference between living in an economy where animals are a necessary aspect of most people’s lives vs. an environment where animals are life enhancements.
I came home with Lily’s smell and the smell of death on my clothes. Mindy and Dusty were busy smelling me and learning the whole story. They were excited for a while, but they’ve calmed down. Dogs are wise and I will take my cue from them.
Thank you everyone who’s read my posts about my dog and shared your care and concern and good advice. It has meant a lot to me and helped me.