Your Pet Loss Stories'Yana'
(Muscatine, IA, USA)
Yesterday, April 29, 2009, I made the painful decision to have my eleven year old mutt put down. A month ago, I had her at the vet for a shoulder problem. He diagnosed arthritis and gave me medicine. The Tuesday before she died, I discovered she was hurting a lot more than I had suspected. I decided to take her back to the vet because I knew there was more to her pain. It turned out that she had bone cancer in her left shoulder. I knew that to keep her alive to satisfy me was not the right thing. I held her in my arms and told her repeatedly that I loved her. She died with me kissing her head.
Yana had a hard life in the beginning. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria in November of 1997. She was a street dog who was going to be among the group of dogs killed by the soldiers to keep them starving during winter. I took her in, and she gave me a lot. She had a lot of issues where people were concerned, and it took her at least six weeks to trust me. I became the only person she trusted. She became my companion, best friend, and protector. Never was I once afraid to be in a new apartment or house with her around.
When I came home in July of 1999, she flew home with me. I never doubted that I would bring her back when I returned. She accepted my Husband when I got married and loved me unconditionally when he left. She accepted my Daughter and loved her as much. She was strong-willed and independent. She scrounged for food in the trash and jumped up on the counter and table as well. She was loud and fierce. But when I needed her, she was there.
Because she was always there for me, I knew when the time came that I had to let her go. It pains me to no end right now that I did that because she wasn't really in a bad spot. She was still doing most of the things she always did. She got excited about going for a ride. She tried to take my Daughter's toast. She snuggled quickly against me. But that Tuesday night when she hurt so much, she wanted me to constantly pet her and love her. When I would stop, she would stare at me until I started again. I think she knew it was time and wanted me to fulfill me promise.
I admit that had I known that Wednesday would be her last day with me, I would have waited a few more days to love her and spoil her some more. Right now, the pain is so bad that I just want her back. Yet I know in my heart that I did right by her and that she is in a better place without pain. Had I not allowed her to go then, I would have had to face the decision in the next few months anyway. The difference is now she is painfree.
I love my Yana, and I always will. I will get another dog. But it will not replace my precious girl. She is irreplaceable in my heart.