Tuesday, February 17, 2009
We had our 15 year old Labrador Susie put down last Saturday. What a trauma - tears seeping like acid to the bone. She had been with us since she was a tiny puppy and grew up to be an unfailingly sweet-natured and gentle dog. For a long time we thought she couldn't bark because she never chose to do so. However, as she grew older it emerged as a demonstration of indignation at being left outside. But she wouldn't dream of barking at a stranger, or of snapping at anyone. She was an ideal children's pet - indulging them in all their playfullness, and she become an integral part of the family.
In the past year her back legs had been getting very arthritic and she also had become increasingly deaf and incontinent. She could no longer enjoy walks on Killiney Hill or swims off Dun Laoghaire Pier, or even her annual trip to Schull. However, she still looked the picture of health with a her big wet nose and her ceaseless quest for more food. It was the hardest thing to see her back legs collapse as she went for a walk around the garden or try to jump up on the deck. And, punished for her errant toilet habits, it was heart-breaking to see her stumble to her cold kennel at night.
So we made the hard decision and lifted her into the car last Saturday for a final trip to the vet in Wicklow. A simple needle in the shaved paw and she was gone in a flash - all that life and love.