Goodbye, Friend

In the end, Destructo lived up to his name.

Every day, he tried to get into the trash to find something to satisfy his insatiable hunger.  He tore up the  basement carpeting.  He chased the cats.  He pulled the blankets from Squints’ bed to cover himself.  He tore holes in clothing.  He destroyed the acorn tree I’d grown from seed.
But we forgave him.  He was just a pup, after all.

And I say lived here, because this morning, Destructo was killed.  Correction: my husband and I had him killed.  Put to sleep.  Put down. 



* * *

“Something’s wrong with Destructo, Mom!” Squints yelled yesterday afternoon.
I ran into the other room.

“What’s happening, Mom?”
Destructo was having a seizure.  A rough seizure.

I sent Squints upstairs and sat with Destructo, our other dog Toby keeping vigil at my side.  Finally, it ended.  Squints came down bringing me a handful of rags to clean up the mess.  While Destructo lay there, panting, Toby approached, gently licking and sniffing. 
Destructo growled at him.

I reached out my hand to reassure him.  He got to his feet and snarled at me.  He began barking.  The hair on his neck stood up.
“Go upstairs, Squints,” I whispered. 

He ran (a mistake, I know).  I followed.  Close at my heels was Toby.  We shut ourselves into my bedroom.    
Destructo ran around the first floor; barking angrily nonstop.  I thought about the stove turned on; I thought about calling a neighbor to help; I thought how strange it was that we were hiding from our dog.

I called my husband; told him the dog had had a seizure; told him not to try to get into the house until the dog calmed down.  I opened the door, called downstairs; tried to get the dog to come to his senses. 
He bounded up the stairs and stood there, barking and snarling on the other side of the bedroom door.

* * *

 Some people, I’m sure, will question our decision.  It was made too hastily, they will say; without considering all of our options.  But no one was there, except Squints and me.  Nobody else saw how our dog behaved.  Nobody else saw the terror on my child’s face.  Nobody else wondered what may have happened had Squints been alone.
This morning, I woke to sniffling from Squint’s room.  This was the day.  We headed downstairs to say our goodbyes.  “Be good,” Squints told him, posing him to take a final picture.  “Be a good boy,” he told him; and that lilt he gave his voice belied the truth: his eyes were red-rimmed; tears streamed down his cheeks.  Squints told him, “I love you.”   He told him, “I promise, it won’t hurt.”  And as my husband led Destructo out the door, Squints told him, “I’ll see you soon.”

And, for me, perhaps that is the biggest hurt of all—knowing we’ve deliberately hurt our child in order to protect him; knowing we’ve torn apart the greatest love a boy can have: the love between a boy and his dog.
When my husband got back from taking Destructo in, we reminisced over coffee and hot chocolate. 

“Who will lick my face in the morning?” Squints asked.
“Who will get into the trash?”

“Who will jump into my bed?”

“Who will drop the little green ball at my feet?”
“Who will step upon my toes?”

“Who will chase the cats?”
“Mom,” Squints said, taking a sip of his hot chocolate.  “I’ll bet he’s in heaven right now eating cheeseburgers and looking down on us.”

It’s way too early to think about seeds, but today, I planted: hickory seeds and walnut seeds and, yes, I even planted a few acorns.  And when they sprout and begin to grow, I’ll remember Destructo. 
And if Destructo is indeed looking down upon us and eating cheeseburgers, I hope that he forgives us.

Because he was just a pup, after all.


Read More: What's in a Name?
This post has been linked to LoveLinks

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Goodbye, Friend

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Goodbye, Friend

In the end, Destructo lived up to his name.

Every day, he tried to get into the trash to find something to satisfy his insatiable hunger.  He tore up the  basement carpeting.  He chased the cats.  He pulled the blankets from Squints’ bed to cover himself.  He tore holes in clothing.  He destroyed the acorn tree I’d grown from seed.
But we forgave him.  He was just a pup, after all.

And I say lived here, because this morning, Destructo was killed.  Correction: my husband and I had him killed.  Put to sleep.  Put down. 



* * *

“Something’s wrong with Destructo, Mom!” Squints yelled yesterday afternoon.
I ran into the other room.

“What’s happening, Mom?”
Destructo was having a seizure.  A rough seizure.

I sent Squints upstairs and sat with Destructo, our other dog Toby keeping vigil at my side.  Finally, it ended.  Squints came down bringing me a handful of rags to clean up the mess.  While Destructo lay there, panting, Toby approached, gently licking and sniffing. 
Destructo growled at him.

I reached out my hand to reassure him.  He got to his feet and snarled at me.  He began barking.  The hair on his neck stood up.
“Go upstairs, Squints,” I whispered. 

He ran (a mistake, I know).  I followed.  Close at my heels was Toby.  We shut ourselves into my bedroom.    
Destructo ran around the first floor; barking angrily nonstop.  I thought about the stove turned on; I thought about calling a neighbor to help; I thought how strange it was that we were hiding from our dog.

I called my husband; told him the dog had had a seizure; told him not to try to get into the house until the dog calmed down.  I opened the door, called downstairs; tried to get the dog to come to his senses. 
He bounded up the stairs and stood there, barking and snarling on the other side of the bedroom door.

* * *

 Some people, I’m sure, will question our decision.  It was made too hastily, they will say; without considering all of our options.  But no one was there, except Squints and me.  Nobody else saw how our dog behaved.  Nobody else saw the terror on my child’s face.  Nobody else wondered what may have happened had Squints been alone.
This morning, I woke to sniffling from Squint’s room.  This was the day.  We headed downstairs to say our goodbyes.  “Be good,” Squints told him, posing him to take a final picture.  “Be a good boy,” he told him; and that lilt he gave his voice belied the truth: his eyes were red-rimmed; tears streamed down his cheeks.  Squints told him, “I love you.”   He told him, “I promise, it won’t hurt.”  And as my husband led Destructo out the door, Squints told him, “I’ll see you soon.”

And, for me, perhaps that is the biggest hurt of all—knowing we’ve deliberately hurt our child in order to protect him; knowing we’ve torn apart the greatest love a boy can have: the love between a boy and his dog.
When my husband got back from taking Destructo in, we reminisced over coffee and hot chocolate. 

“Who will lick my face in the morning?” Squints asked.
“Who will get into the trash?”

“Who will jump into my bed?”

“Who will drop the little green ball at my feet?”
“Who will step upon my toes?”

“Who will chase the cats?”
“Mom,” Squints said, taking a sip of his hot chocolate.  “I’ll bet he’s in heaven right now eating cheeseburgers and looking down on us.”

It’s way too early to think about seeds, but today, I planted: hickory seeds and walnut seeds and, yes, I even planted a few acorns.  And when they sprout and begin to grow, I’ll remember Destructo. 
And if Destructo is indeed looking down upon us and eating cheeseburgers, I hope that he forgives us.

Because he was just a pup, after all.


Read More: What's in a Name?
This post has been linked to LoveLinks

Labels: , ,

34 Comments:

At November 12, 2011 at 6:25 PM , Anonymous Bernie B said...

Kelly
I'm so sorry.
Nice writing BTW. I felt both the terror and the weight of the decision it brought down on you. Remember when I used to tell you you were holding stuff back? I take it all back.

 
At November 13, 2011 at 4:09 AM , Anonymous MarcyTooTimid said...

I'm so sorry. How hard.

 
At November 13, 2011 at 8:03 AM , Anonymous DeborahBatterman said...

It' never easy . . .one of the hardest phone calls I've ever made was to my daughter in L.A., to tell her that our dog, Maggie, was diagnosed with lymphoma. That was a little over a year ago. My daughter came home for a weekend when Maggie was still reasonably spirited, and we were all glad she could go back to L.A. with good memories, knowing full well that the next time she came home it was unlikely that Maggie would still be with us. You capture the full complexity of your family's relationship with Destructo (what a great name!) wonderfully.

 
At November 13, 2011 at 8:47 AM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

I'm so sorry. That's never an easy decision to have to make.

 
At November 14, 2011 at 7:27 PM , Anonymous clgossett said...

I teared up. I'm sorry but you DID do the right thing! So sad for all of you! He is eating cheeseburgers you know! And he's laughing AT you because you aren't!

 
At November 15, 2011 at 5:23 AM , Anonymous Katie E said...

I'm so sorry for your loss - but you definitely did the right thing. My husband still says that making the decision to have our old dog put to sleep was one of the hardest days of his life (and his dad died when he was only 16).

 
At November 15, 2011 at 7:42 AM , Anonymous Erica M said...

Such a sorrowful post. I'm sorry this happened, yet I'm glad you made the right decision for your family. Thanks for sharing this with us at lovelinks.

 
At November 15, 2011 at 7:52 AM , Anonymous Ado said...

Gosh, what a horrid Sophie's Choice decision. Very powerful post to read. When you say your dog was a "pup" - was it a puppy? Or fully-grown?
That is so sad for you, but I wouldn't second-guess your decision - which put the safety of your family and kids first.

 
At November 15, 2011 at 8:32 AM , Anonymous A Morning Grouch said...

Oh, that is hard. No one can make those decisions but you, and you've got to go with your gut.

 
At November 15, 2011 at 5:19 PM , Anonymous Laura At Catharsis said...

Um, I am in tears over here. You certainly made the right decision. But that doesn't make it any easier. Gosh, I remember being a kid and discovering my beloved dog, dead on the side of the house where he always lay in the grass. But you know what? Aside from that, I have fond memories of him. That's what Squints will have...fond memories, not scary ones. Damn. Being a parent is HARD.

 
At November 16, 2011 at 8:45 AM , Anonymous Erika Marie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss....

 
At November 17, 2011 at 8:47 AM , Anonymous Katie687 said...

Kell, I am so sorry. How is "Squints" ?

 
At November 17, 2011 at 9:20 AM , Anonymous Mommy Twocents said...

I am so sorry you had to go through this; and I'm sorry for your loss. ((hugs))

 
At November 18, 2011 at 5:35 AM , Anonymous Michelle said...

I am sorry for the loss. We lost our cat last spring, and seeing pictures of him still breaks my heart. My two youngest reacted like Squints, which broke my heart even more.

On a side note, I love the way this was written. I found you through the Blog Hop Til You Drop, and will be stopping by often. Great blog.

 
At November 18, 2011 at 7:09 PM , Anonymous lisa said...

I'm so sorry you and your family had to go through this. There is no way anyone can hold your decision against you. You have to do what you know is best for your child and your family.

Lisa
P.S. Thanks for stopping by and linking up to the Getting to Know Your Blog Hop!

 
At November 19, 2011 at 5:09 AM , Anonymous MISH said...

So sorry to hear about this... what a difficult choice, but probably the best...
Popping in from WOE weekend linky

 
At November 19, 2011 at 5:20 AM , Anonymous VictoriaKP said...

I am so sorry you had to go through this. When push comes to shove we have to put the safety of our kids before anything else. You made the right decision.

 
At November 19, 2011 at 5:23 AM , Anonymous Jackie said...

This is so sad. I'm sorry for Squints, for your pup and for you.

 
At November 19, 2011 at 7:48 AM , Anonymous Kyria_W said...

What a scary situation. You did what you had to, but it must have been very hard. This is very well written!

 
At November 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM , Anonymous jesterqueen1 said...

How heartbreaking. You had to make an awful decision when I don't think anything you picked would have been right. I can't imagine being trapped in the bedroom by my family pet, and I think you made the best choice you could given the circumstances. And this much is absolutely right: You were honest with your child. You didn't give him some BS line about sending the dog to a nice farm. Yes, he is grieving for his dog. But he's doing it cleanly, and so are you.

 
At November 19, 2011 at 1:26 PM , Anonymous Convertible Girl said...

Ugh. Can't imagine -- yet so terrifying. Strange how decisions we would have made one way before kids become a completely different scenario after kids. For what it's worth, I think you did the right thing. (Here from the Lightning linkup)

 
At November 20, 2011 at 5:41 AM , Anonymous jess ♥ said...

I can't imagine having to make that decision...reading this, I feel you were right. He wouldn't have been able to find a home after that, and keeping him wasn't an option. What if Squirt HAD been home alone? Or what if it happened outside, and he bite another person or dog? Anti seizure meds are EXPENSIVE :( I'm so incredibly sorry you guys had to deal with that. :(

{I'm here via the Blog Hop till you Drop by the way}

 
At November 20, 2011 at 5:42 AM , Anonymous jess ♥ said...

I totally meant Squints by the way, sleep deprivation = fingers not listening to foggy brain. Sorry!

 
At November 20, 2011 at 1:05 PM , Anonymous HELEN STANLEY said...

Hi, I visited your blog and liked what I seen, so I am now your newest follower, check out my new review...SMASHBOX! Holiday makeover!!!
I also am the author of new blog on Google, visit mine at
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back. Have a gr8 day! Helen

 
At November 22, 2011 at 7:03 AM , Anonymous Couponingfromfl2mi said...

I am your newest follower via GFC, stopping by from Couponing From Florida to Michigan. I would love a follow back.
http://couponingfromfl2mi.blogspot.com

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am sorry for your loss, I know it was a difficult decision and I feel that it was the right one.

 
At November 22, 2011 at 6:48 PM , Anonymous Spilled Milkshake said...

I'm so sorry. This is a horrible decision to make and a situation I was in last year.

Stopping by from the Getting to Know You Friday Blog Hop.

 
At December 1, 2011 at 11:38 AM , Anonymous Patty said...

We went through an almost similar situation with our Tonka, two years ago and making that final choice is so painful.

Sad post but so beautifully written, Kelly! Hugs to all of you!

 
At January 5, 2012 at 5:53 AM , Anonymous Amanda said...

How sad. Especially that you had to hide from him, he was so scared and confused. Our dog got sick and started having seizures, too. It was an awful decision to have him put down.

 
At January 5, 2012 at 9:33 AM , Anonymous Brandon P. Duncan said...

Aww, that is too bad. Being raised on a farm, I had several dogs over the course of my childhood. Unfortunately, pup or not, there are certain things you cannot take the chance with. Distemper, something like your situation, or even a disposition toward guarding its food simply cannot be taken lightly. You made the right decision. It could have gotten much worse (unexpectedly).

Over from @StoryDam! Thanks for linking up!

 
At February 2, 2012 at 12:50 PM , Anonymous Heather said...

Hi i’m Heather! I have a question for you! Please email me :)
HeatherVonSJ[at]gmail[dot]com

 
At February 2, 2012 at 12:53 PM , Anonymous Heather said...

Hi i’m Heather! I have a question for you! Please email me :)
HeatherVonSJ[at]gmail[dot]com

 
At February 11, 2012 at 8:43 AM , Anonymous Kelly said...

Wow, that brought tears to my eyes. That is never an easy decision to make.

 
At February 11, 2012 at 1:35 PM , Anonymous may said...

Heart wrenching.

 
At February 11, 2012 at 2:37 PM , Anonymous katieross83 said...

This gives me chills, Kelly. Decisions like this are part of what makes life so difficult. I'm sure all you could think was, "why did he have to have that seizure?" But you did what was best. You protected your family and your child, and honestly, Destructo may have been in pain, which would have caused his reaction.

Thanks for linking this up. A love story between a boy and his dog is one of my favorite kinds...even when it ends sadly.

 

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