We put Bonnie down because she was suffering from intractable vomiting due to megaesophagus and pancreatitis. An xray showed that she also had a fused spinal column. Despite all this, we tried to treat her, and it worked initially, but she soon started vomiting again, and this time she couldn’t even keep her anti-nausea medicine down. A day later, Peggy and I started out on our daily walk, but only got a block before we agreed that it was time to toss in the towel. I called the vet’s office, and was told that we needed to get there fast because, it being Saturday, they closed at noon. As we drove, I wondered if we would make it on time, or if the new vet we were supposed to see would say that we should keep trying to treat her. Peggy asked if I wanted one of these things to happen, and I said no.
The new vet told us that Bonnie was doomed to die within 12-weeks, no matter what we did. Our original vet had failed to mention this, and it helped me considerably. Despite the hundreds of times I had wished she would die, I didn’t want her to die for my convenience or due to my negligence, and I had been blaming myself for stopping her first round of antibiotics too soon. I still don’t know why I did that, and it will always bother me. Dogs are ever a reminder that I am not so good a person as I should be.
I’ve yet to cry over Bonnie. Maybe the Cymbalta is in the way, or maybe it’s because I’m so relieved to have the stress behind me. I look at her grave, and am stricken that never for all eternity will I see her again, yet the tears won’t come. When she was young, she thought she was invincible. For example, she was lying on the car seat one day when a city bus pulled up beside us, and the sound so infuriated her that she tried to jump out the window and attack the bus (luckily, the window wasn’t open all the way). Her self-confidence was such that she almost had Peggy and me believing that she was the goddess she considered herself to be. Old age, arthritis, and blindness debased her, and she became as timid as she had been arrogant. The joy that had once filled her being died long before she did, and it was very, very hard to see it happen. I would watch her running into walls as she fled a cat that wasn’t even chasing her, and I would think, How low the mighty has fallen. How then am I supposed to grieve? What then am I supposed to grieve, the death of dog whose spirt died three years before she did? If I grieve anything, it’s not her death, but the three years before she died and my inability to be there for her in the way she deserved.