The Devil and I have just had one of the most difficult conversations I have ever endured. In addition to the two little humans we are responsible for, we have also been blessed with having two of the cutest four legged friends in our lives for almost 16 years. Herein lies the problem. They are both about 110 or so in dog years. And they are not doing particularly well. Nothing terminal, old age. Tonight the Devil had to hold Jessie up so she could eat. Abbey can barely walk straight. I think I’ve known for a little while that a tough decision was awaiting me, I know I have secretly hoped they would nod off one evening and move on to doggy heaven of their own accord. But alas, they have it good here, and are desperately hanging on.
The discussion continues – risk something happening while we are at work, only to return home and find that they have suffered in the heat of the day. Or, take them to the vet and do the humane thing? I never ever thought there would be a discussion, I honestly thought I would do the right thing, the humane thing, but it is heartbreaking.
Both were rescue dogs. Jess had been hit by a car when she was about four months old and meticulously repaired, but needed a home. She has always been so pretty, for a dog. A gorgeous energetic Kelpie with beautiful brown almond shaped eyes. Abbey was being raised vegetarian, and was advertised right at the time we realised Jessie needed a playmate (she would escape the backyard and play at the school across the road with all the adoring kids!). Dogs are not vegetarian. Abbey has always been our quirky dog – a Blue Heeler crossed with a Jack Russell, I kid you not! Her ears have always been too big for her head! The most confident dog I have ever met, lucky she has always had Jessie to bail her out of trouble be it with a doberman or a kangaroo!
I have put up a couple of arguments this evening – it’s too close to Christmas and it will be Jessie’s birthday next month. However, as I sit here patting Jessie who can barely move her back legs, even I’m starting to appreciate my own selfishness. It’s damn hard, these four legged little creatures have been in our lives since the beginning. They made us a family. They were here when we brought our babies home.
So, while this week will involve the little humans singing Christmas carols, it has never felt any less like Christmas than it does right now.
There is no easy answer.