If the wind doesn’t blow, when does the caretaker of the windmill decide to destroy the windmill? Indeed, is it the caretaker’s role to decide when to destroy the windmill? Surely it is the villagers’ decision (as a whole) to remove the windmill, considering that the windmill affects the whole community?
Max hasn’t eaten a substantial meal for a while now. To me, he looks gaunt and thin and he has diarrhea. Despite his beautiful, bountiful fur, his skeleton is so prominent when I rub my hands across his back and his sides. I know that the photographs on my blogposts are wonderful and to a large extent evade reality. I choose the best photos that I have – out of the hundreds taken daily - because I am weary of alarming my readers. But the fact is that Maxdog is deteriorating on a daily basis and there’s nothing I can do to stop this heartbreaking process.
This morning, soon after waking, I felt strongly that it was time to let Max go. As a family, we have discussed this at length over the past agonizing months and the general feeling has been that I will be the one to make the call. Despite this, I have been acutely aware that Max is a ‘family dog’, but since he has been my responsibility over the past 10 years, I finally made the decision…it was time...but...
Maxdog is really my husband’s dog. His admission into our family, 10 years ago, was a result of a whole year’s painstaking convincing, on his behalf , towards changing my mind about getting a big dog in our family . I was the reluctant one and systematically fought this for over the year. In the end, I conceded and resolved rather to admit this dog into our household but also committed myself to turn him into the best dog he could be – as a gift to my husband. My resticence however dissolved the day Maxdog arrived. I was totally and wholeheartedly bowled over once the pup arrived on my doorstep.
I am currently writing up the story of the early life of Maxdog. It is a story beyond this blog. I’m telling you this only so that you will understand the fact that Maxdog has a really special relationship with each member of my family both individually and collectively. As his primary caregiver, I have always been very understanding of Maxdogs various relationships and his ability to reach beyond me.
But let’s get back to this morning and my strong feeling that it was time to let Maxdog go. I took a moment to discuss this with my hubby. He seemed comfortable with the decision. I phoned the Vet and set up the appointment to take my boy in at 11.30am. I then went into ‘automatic’ mode (something I do when there are difficult things to face) and went about my routine –tidying up profusely and finding things in the house to do just so that I wouldn’t have to think about the inevitable.
Maxdog simply slept quietly on his various beds throughout the house. So long as he’s near me, he’s comfortable.
It wasn’t long after this when I realized that my hubby was struggling with the whole thing. Indeed he was a broken man. We sat down together and reopened the discussion. He feels that it’s not time yet for Maxdog.
I have always believed in the value of collective decision-making because it often smoothes over subjectivity. Our home too has always been focused on love, consideration and respect for one another – both human and animal alike.
The bottom line…
Max is still with us. He’s comfortably sleeping at my feet. I feel absolutely exhausted – like I have gone under a hangman’s noose but haven’t died.
I realize that I am sharing aspects of this process that are extremely personal but I also feel strongly that these things need to be shared. Euthanasia of a beloved companion is not always the sole decision of one person. In most cases animals form part of a larger family. The human animal bond is a complex one – it reaches into dimensions that we don’t understand fully. I am hoping that in the long run me sharing this with the world will serve to help others and provide strength to them in their times of extreme heartbreak.