Monday, July 27, 2009

Angel is gone.


A few weeks ago I made an appointment to have Angel put to sleep. Making that call to the vet was devastating. I kept second-guessing myself, as I wasn't at all sure it was Angel's time. I asked Jill for a sign, and I got one: Leaving the house to keep the appointment, I walked down the porch steps--and Angel jumped off them in one leap. We turned around and went back in the house, and I canceled the appointment.

Then suddenly this past week--although in reality it's been a long process, and not sudden at all--I knew it was time. I have wanted so badly to be 100% sure Angel's quality of life was diminishing, and when she fell a couple of times this weekend, and turned for home in the middle of our walks, I was convinced. When I called the vet to make the appointment this morning, there was no second-guessing.

I told the vet Angel was a tough dog--unusual for a dog her size, especially a Briard, to live to be 16--and she proved me right. It took three shots instead of the usual one to put her down. It wasn't terrible, though, because she was heavily sedated and not conscious at that point.

I may have told the story before of how I got Angel, but I'll tell it again because I love it. My daughter Jill was a teenager, going somewhere with her best friend and her friend's father. They passed a puppy who had that frantic look of a dog that had been abandoned on the road. Coming by again later, Jill spotted the puppy sprawled on the ground. She had been hit, but not injured.

Since this was in the days before cell phones, Jill knocked on a door and asked the homeowner if she could use her phone to call her mother. The woman said she could use the phone, but added, "You mother isn't going to want to come pick up a dog." Jill said, "You don't know my mother." Like I said, I love this story.

My husband drove us to get the puppy, and on the way home she rested her beautiful head on my arm. From that moment, I knew she was my dog. But right now Jill is taking care of her again until I get there.

10 comments:

mm said...

That is such a beautiful picture of her. And it's a wonderful story - of Angel and of Jill.

Helen said...

Thank goodness there are angels like you and Jill to rescue fallen angels. Many hugs Susan.

Susan said...

Thanks, both of you. I'm grateful to have had her in my life all those years. It's unlikely that I'll ever experience another Briard, but I'll certainly never forget this one.

Indigo Bunting said...

OK this one made me cry—both the story of Angel's beginning and ending.

Nell Jean said...

It isn't easy to do what you've just done. The memories of her life with you are precious. Thank you for letting us share at a fragile time.

crystal said...

I'm very sorry, Susan.

Mali said...

You made me cry too. I'm sorry she's gone, but glad that you had her in your life.

Eulalia (Lali) said...

Susan, from the beginning to the end you did the right thing for Angel. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I'm sending hugs and consoling vibes your way.

Dona said...

Since the post about your dogs a month or so ago I've wondered about them. Just now saw this in my rss feed.

So sorry, Susan. Your last sentence...

Damn

The Japanese Redneck said...

I left work on a friday, boo hooing because I knew it was time to put my old 14 year old lab mix Hershey to rest.

I e-mailed all my co-workers and told them I would be doing the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life on Monday morning.

I cried and cried that afternoon and night. The next morning my husband woke me up and said that Hershey was gone. I was sad, but so relieved that I didn't have to take him.

I'm sorry you had to take Angel, but am sure she knew how much you loved her and how hard it was for you to let her go.

Ramona