To decide today is the day. It's without a doubt the hardest part of dog ownership.
I'm faced with that today. For the third time. You see I've made an appointment three times now. Cancelled twice. Because there is so much doubt.
Am I making the right decision. That's what I have asked myself over and over again. Is it too soon? Should I wait for a "sign" from him? But what if I wait too long?
That's my fear. Waiting too long. For him to lose his dignity. His mind. Himself. I've been down that road and I vowed never again to be late.
And so today is the day. 3:30 to be exact. The clock is ticking. I have indigestion. My heart hurts. He slept in his crate for the last time last night. He had his last breakfast. His last walk down the road. He will get a cheeseburger and fries on the way to the vet clinic. And a second cheeseburger at the clinic. To help distract him from being afraid.
I know that dogs live in the moment. The now. He won't know that today is his last day. But I do. And it fills my heart with sadness.
He has lived a long life- 14 years and a bit. Ten of those with me. He came to me a shell of a dog. Weirder than any dog I had ever worked with. He was a project. We had ups and downs and he taught me so much. About dog training and about myself.
Quirky is a kind word when describing Boone. He made his own path, did his own thing and was always creative. He loved to poke things with his very pointy nose. His famous morning butt rubs on the couch. The grunting and crazy hair. The way he could run off and vanish in less than a second. How he would cuddle only on occasion. His barking, often at nothing.
I will miss all of those things.
He always gave me what he could. Even when he was afraid. Which was much of his life. I retired him from dog sports when he told me it was too much. It was the least I could do for him. He had given me as much as he could. And now I'm faced with a similar choice. He has given me as much as he can. He's tired. He's ready. He's losing himself. So I will hold him and tell him I love him one last time.
It's the least I can do.