Ten years ago, I brought 3 weeks old Buddy home. We didn't know what breed she was until long after. She looked mixed, but she looked great. We didn't have a dog for 5 years before we brought her. It was a big step, because for a long time we weren't prepared to go through the grief of losing a pet. Papa had made me promise we would get a male. Hence, the name Buddy. He was fed up in our women-dominated house. It was only when he first held her, that I let him know Buddy was female. He couldn't say no then, and after that, Buddy spent 10 years with us.
In 2003, when she was 5 she attacked me once. This was when Buddy and I stopped being friends- I had developed a genuine fear of her. She was pretty ferocious. I didn't walk her even once after that. I was never the one to leash or unleash her, or to feed her. I moved out, went to Bangalore, then Singapore, then back, but only last year did we warm up to each other again.
Two weeks back, she developed an infection in her liver. Because she's mixed she always had tremendous immunity, except this time. She hadn't eaten a thing in over two weeks and with every difficult breath she took she gave up a bit. In the last 4 days she couldn't even walk. She fell as she tried to climb up to her little corner behind the stairs. Proud Buddy fell. Her eyes started drooping. Yesterday she looked desperate. While I was the one who first brought her home she was Papa's dog. He taught her whatever little manners she had. He used to walk her every day, for 10 years. In the last 2 weeks, he had been taking her to the doctor every day and standing next to her for hours as she was given her IV. Last evening we felt her suffering wasn't fair. The doctor said she'll live for another few days, but without being able to move. He asked us to think about easing her pain. I broke down. Thankfully Papa agreed to sleep over it last night. He couldn't cry, and I conveniently left the decision to him. Before I wished her Goodnight I secretly asked her to let go during the night.I wished she'd go herself.
This morning, she was alive but lifeless. We took the call. I bawled- at home, at the doctor's, while driving. I couldn't look at the Euthanasia Consent Form. Papa didn't let me see the final shot. He asked me to say my Bye and leave. I didn't see him cry, but I know he cried. She looked at us so trustingly; there were no tears; some discomfort- she knew we'd do everything to ease her pain. Apparently she went in less than 5 seconds.
She was my favorite dog. I'll miss her. I might get another pet, but later in life. And he'll have large shoes to fill.