Well, this is complicated. I was an idiot kid(some would argue I still am one), so when we got the first dog I can remember, my mother had to give it up because my sister and I were unwilling to help take care of it. Later on, she had gotten another dog, for herself really, a Yorkie. I never really liked it, and was never especially nice to it, which I am ashamed to my bones of to this day. You see, I liked dogs, but was always to selfish and self involved to have to actually worry about their care. Never had another pet for years. Until I met my wife. As I said, Grace was adopted while my wife lived in New Mexico, and down there, Grace was her best friend. She had no family there, a few friends, but Grace was there for her 24/7. I am sure alot of you understand that. So I meet my wife, same day, I meet Grace. She was in the yard, and snarling like she wanted to kill me. When she was let in, she barked, sniffed me, and sat in my lap until we had to leave. Something happened right there, to the dog and I. It was like she was saying " Iam here with her so no matter what your gonna have to deal with me" type of thing. It was like she was her kid, as far as Grace was concerned. But something changed in me where I just felt awful about leaving that dog home alone. I didnt know why I even gave a crap, but I did.
So we keep seeing each other(all three of us)and things go well, fast forward a bit, I buy a house, they move in, we get engaged, and Grace is always there. We take as good care of her as I could imagine anyone would. She gets fed, but she is overweight. We never really stick to one brand of food, just pick up whatever, she always eats. I take her for walks all the time, and all the time we really bond well. I mean we are happy to see each other, its great, never had a dog friendship like this before. Wherever we go, it is always the three of us. No matter what.
Grace starts getting these tumors all on her belly. Big ass tumors. Vets say it is fatty tissue or something. My wife handles all the vet visits with Grace, something, for some reason, I am not included in. One morning, she sleeping next to the bed, I call her to come and go outside, and she cant get up. Her hind legs wont work. Now I noticed her limping a little for a few days, but thought nothing of it, because I never think anything is ever wrong with her. I didnt know anything.
Anyway, it all got worse and worse. No walking, cant control bodily functions, just horrible. Vets try some stuff with shots and it just gets worse. I swore to my wife, no matter what, we will just pick her up from the vets, take her home and deal with it. When my wife saw her, she was in a vet kennel, laying is poop and pee, not being able to move, and she decided to put her down. Grace was ultimatley her dog.
She didnt have the strength to see her like that at all, surgery was out of the question because we could never afford it and there was no guarantee they would be able find out what was wrong, let alone help her.
Now I experienced death. When my grandfather(who helped raise me) passed, I was quite sad. He was ninety, and we all knew it was coming soon, himself included. It took about three seconds for this dog to die from lethal injection. On a tile floor, in a veterinary examining room. She was 8, going on 9. Some of you may think we were terrible for putting her down. It wasnt an easy decision. Thats all I can say.
I dont know what it was that screwed her body up so bad, nor did the vet. Just one of those things that happen to "old" dogs, they told us. To say we were devastated would be an understatement.
I realized then how I had changed. I wasnt the same idiot kid, indifferent to animals, blase about their care, their suffering. Being an animal person was not something born into me, Grace showed me how. I would come to learn many things about animals after Grace. I would get involved with animal causes, letter writing to stop suffering in labs..etc. Things you see on PETA.com, and PetAbuse.com. I would try my best to be the best dog owner I could possible be to our new puppies. I get involved on this forum because it pisses me off how people with money and power exploit our animal loving sensibilities, and then feed us death. I get involved because I dont think 8 going on 9 was the right time to die.