Sled Dog Skippy

R.I.P. Buffy

Yesterday was a bad kind of day. I had to take an old dog to the vet to be euthanized. I have never had to do this with an animal I personally know. When I worked at the vet clinic in Bloomington, I saw euthanasia many times, even being with the animal and vet when the animal passed away. They were never animals that I knew, though. Just animals that an owner would drop off because he or she couldn’t handle the process.

Buffy was about 15 years old. She had stopped eating some time ago and had gotten very thin. The boss had me try many things to coax Buffy in to eating; each method would work for a few days, and then the old girl would stop eating or get sick again after eating. It was heartbreaking to see her waste away. She became lethargic and sad.

I took her to the vet in the super truck and had her euthanized on the doggie bed in the front seat. She was first sedated and then given the injection. It happened VERY fast and the vet (whom I like a lot) and the technician were very kind and let Buffy pass on with a quiet dignity. I had a knit cap the boss had worn next to Buffy so that she could smell her mom before she went. I also had some of my favorite crystals and minerals on the doggie bed with her so she could feel some positive energy. Sounds hokey, but hell, that dog was more connected with positive energy and the earth as a sled dog than I can ever dream to be.

I then covered her up and drove home. It was very strange to drive back home with a deceased dog in the seat with me. Then I buried her. I’ve also never had to bury an animal in my 26 years. The boss had already dug a beautiful spot last fall and I placed her in the earth with as much respect and dignity as I could. I placed a geode from Indiana in the ground with her and covered her up. Then I went inside and had a drink. Or two. Or  maybe three.

I was surprised that I didn’t cry. I’m a pretty emotional person (understatement of the century) and figured that I would cry my eyes out. However, knowing that Buffy was in pain and not doing well made me feel more sympathetic than sad for her.  She was a sweet and gentle dog and she passed on gently.

As much as I don’t want to admit it, I think this was a essential experience for me to have at this time in my life. I have been coping, or trying to cope, with many geezer dogs and their geezer-y ailments. I’ve not spent time around geriatric animals and this was a good lesson in how to deal with a good dog’s death. Unfortunately, there are going to be about 10 more dogs that will pass on in the next 1-2 years as the older litters move on from this earth.  I basically work at a sled dog retirement/nursing home.

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