So, I killed a dog the other day and people are surprisingly okay with it.

October 7, 2013

I’m trying to write this post about Husband’s dog that I killed last week but I’m just not feeling it anymore, you know? I mean, the dog was an asshole and all, but honestly (CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE) I never wished the little bitch to suffer and I certainly never did anything to harm her—unlike HUSBAND, who once tossed her over the fence after she had worked herself out of the yard for the heftyleventh time and IMPALED HER ON A BAMBOO SKEWER. Okay, I confess to a certain number of wistful fantasies in which she mysteriously disappeared, or we came home and found her run over by a car. . . I might even have threatened to toss her under a moving car once or twice, but I wouldn’t actually do it. Anyway, as explained in my last post about her, cars apparently had no power over her mortality.

So I’m still kind of incredulous that she’s gone, DEAD, and that I did the deading. Now before y’all all go PETA-nuts on my ass, let me assure you that this was a mercy killing. I EUTHANIZED the bitch. And Husband, who loved that dog more than he loves me, is grateful that I did it. She was sick, you see. Very sick. We’re not 100% sure because we didn’t take her to the vet, but I feel confident that she was eat up with the cancer. Now before y’all get all high Humane Society and mighty—you didn’t even take her to the vet? You don’t deserve to own a dog!—1) we couldn’t afford to take her to the vet, and 2) whatever was actually wrong with her was so wrong that taking her to the vet probably wouldn’t have done anything but prolong the inevitable and run up a massive bill. And before you get all preachy and start lecturing me on how I can afford the internet and a cell phone and Netflix and all the other shit that makes life somewhat bearable but can’t afford to seek medical care for another living being, my internet and cell phone and Netflix were paid up for the year way back in January when we did have money. My husband’s job, you see, is sort of seasonal, so it’s feast or famine around here, and these past few months we’ve been particularly famished since Husband had DOUBLE KNEE REPLACEMENT surgery back in May (kicking off what shall be forever known as The Worst Summer of My Goddamn Life) and didn’t work for three hellish months. So we really didn’t have any money, still don’t have any money; if you could see my refrigerator right now you would just cry because there’s some pickles and really old cake flour and that’s about it in there, and all that’s in the pantry is brown sugar and those packets of dry chicken noodle soup. And besides that, Husband knows enough about veterinary care, seeing how he put himself through college working for a vet and would have gone to veterinarian school himself except he realized he would never make any money because he never could turn away anyone who couldn’t pay and had terrible difficulty putting animals down for stupid reasons like they clawed the furniture or dug up the yard (yes! asshole people actually do take their pets to the vet to be killed for this kind of shit), that I’m sure he did everything a vet might have done short of cutting her open. I swear, he took better care of her than he ever has taken care of me when I’ve been sick, cooking her chicken and broth, feeding her with a medicine dropper, giving her penicillin shots. . .

But she continued to waste away, she couldn’t eat and she couldn’t drink and when she did try to get up and walk around she swayed and trembled and coughed, and she was dripping blood from her mouth everywhere, and her face was so swollen she looked like one of those stupid pictures that were everywhere a few years ago, you know the ones where the dogs were photographed in extreme wide angle so their heads were way out of proportion to their bodies, and then she was too weak to even cough. Oh, and she stunk. She seriously smelled like she was rotting from the inside, and this had gone on for two weeks, and the morning I noticed while he was feeding her that her mouth was GREEN and her tongue was BLACK, I made the decision. This dog was not getting any better.

So after everyone left for school and work and I was home alone except for the dogs, I did it. I won’t go into the details, you ghouls will have to get your perverted kicks somewhere else, but I shut the other dogs up in the bathroom, and I took care of her. I talked to her and tried to reassure her and I cried, quite a bit more than I would have ever imagined, and it was horrible but she went quickly, as weak as she was. Younger Son had dug a grave the day before, because Husband had thought he would do it, but that didn’t work out, so I wrapped her in a clean sheet and double-bagged her in some hefty trash bags because I was worried some critter might smell her and dig her up, and I buried her and I hope I never have to do anything like that ever again.

And Husband thanked me. Thanked me because it had to be done, and I saved him from doing it, and even though during her life I hated that dog, he trusted me to do right by her in her death. And I think I did.

It sure is quiet around here now.

RIP Bess.

RIP Bess.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Suniverse October 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm

You are a good, great, wonderful person.



Handflapper October 8, 2013 at 11:45 am

I’m really not (no, really), but I love you for saying so.


Sarah October 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I, for one, won’t get preachy with you. We used to rescue rotties from bad situations when I was a kid. We lived way out, and had plenty of wooded land for them to run. It got to the point that the vet in town (yes, one vet- that small of a town) would sell us the vaccinations, etc. at cost and we would administer them ourselves.

We once rescued a female who then surprised us with a litter of puppies. Except… something went horribly, horribly wrong. Since I was the first one home in the evenings, and the first to see the nest the mother had made, and then abandoned (she knew something was really wrong, too), and something had to be done (I couldn’t wait for hours for my parents to get home), I contacted the vet, and learned how to euthanize at the age of 16. Not the most pleasant experience, but you have to do what has to be done.


Handflapper October 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

How awful! That was much worse than what I did. And at sixteen! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to do it. You have more guts than I.


Kath Galasso (@KatsTheory) October 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

My dog is getting close to the end too. My vet agrees with our decision to let nature take its course. We will know when it’s time. They always tell you when they have had enough.

Sorry you had to deal with it. No matter what, it’s not easy.


Handflapper October 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

This is not our first dog death. We had two excellent dogs for years, both mutts, really the best dogs ever, a mother and son combo although they looked nothing alike (she was a chow mix, his dad was a Dalmatian, he looked like a black lab with a white spotted chest). He got bone cancer and we chose to put him down rather than have the vet amputate a let and hope for the best. She lived to a ripe old age until she was so blind, deaf, and crippled and incontinent she cried all the time. We let the vet take care of that job. Yes, no matter what or how, it’s never easy.


Chelle B. October 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Ughhhh. I am having a mid-life crisis and I look at my beloved Brutus and realize he must be having one too. He is 7 now and roughly half-way through his own potential lifespan.

None of this is easy for me so when the time comes, can I ask a HUGE favor of you? I mean, you have experience and stuff… *sniffles back a tear*
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Handflapper October 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

Ugh. I guess. . . but my husband is really better at this stuff. This one was just hard because this was the first dog who was really HIS. Everyone else absolutely hated her and she hated everyone else, too.


A Pleasant House October 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I’ve done this several times. Once a hit a vulture feeding on road kill and bet my kids I could hit him. I did! Happy Days!And Mommy Fail! So proud.
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Handflapper October 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

I hate vultures and birds in general. I would be afraid to hit a vulture with my car. Around here they’re big enough to cause some damage. But I’ll smash a motherfucking pigeon with anything I can get my hands on.


Amy October 7, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I wouldn’t judge you. I worked at the Humane Society for 2 years. My job for a full year of that was putting animals down on a daily basis. Sometimes it has to be done. And you knew it was time, and you did it. There’s nothing wrong with that. At least you didn’t dump it out your car window outside the shelter, like SOME people used to do. No, they totally did. That’s how I got Dumbcat. Someone threw him out a car window and drove off all maniacally.

It’s our job as pet owners to know when it’s time. You knew; it was. You did the right thing. Your dog’s not suffering anymore. You’re a good person and a good pet owner and I love your face.


Handflapper October 8, 2013 at 11:57 am

Wow, I thought the Humane Society was all about no kill. When The Boy was four, my husband to him to the Humane Shelter here to adopt a kitten. He had picked his kitty out and was carrying her around and Husband was filling out paperwork and The Boy was jabbering with one of the volunteers, an old biddy with too much indignation, and somehow he told about how Husband had put down one of our dogs, and that bitch took his kitten away! Told Husband he should “take a couple of days and think it over some more.” He was LIVID and The Boy was heartbroken. The cunt didn’t even relent when he was SOBBING.

I love your face and happy birthday!


Aussa Lorens October 8, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Ah, I can’t even think about it… My dog is almost 5 now and… I just can’t think about it.

On the other hand, I did have a stray dog live with me for a few months after I found it wandering some country road on Christmas Day (don’t tempt karma by ignoring a stray on XMAS) and I was happy to turn it back over to a (no-kill) shelter– it also managed to survive being hit by a car. *shudder*
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Karen October 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm

My dog is getting close to the end, she’s almost 15 and earlier this week she got really sick and I got so scared but she actually got better. She still isn’t the pillar of good health, she’s blind, has hip dysplasia so she doesn’t get around too well but her appetite is back and I’ll take it! I am still taking her tomorrow to get checked out and to get her shots. I know her time is coming- sooner rather than later, but I’m going to keep as much good time with her as possible.


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