Monday, October 6, 2014

A Lifetime in a Conversation

I took my dogs to the vet today to have nails clipped and distemper shots. While I was waiting, a young man came in for serious service. He had good control of his voice, but it dropped when he said "my dog."

"How may I help you?" the receptionist began.

The young man said, "I've come to have my dog put down."
Matter-of-fact. It wasn't easy.

"I'm sorry to hear that," vet tech receptionist said. "How old is he?"

"He's 19. He's my dog. I'm 20. He..." he couldn't say more. Then he did.
"My whole life, he's been there."
He smiled, he tried to, and he smiled.

"what breed?" she asked.

"Lab retriever. Yellow lab."

"What are the symptoms? Is he eating, drinking? can he move?"

"He can eat and drink all right, he can move around after I lift him up in the morning and help him get around. Then he can move a little. he still pees outside. He hurts."

"Would you like to talk to the vet, have an exam first, to see if there's anything we can do?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I would like that. Last weekend I took him with me to Texarkana to hunt ducks. He sat with me in the blind." The young man smiled."I wouldn't let him get the ducks, but he wanted to. I kept him right by me."

Labs don't live that long, usually. A lot of care and love went into that dog's life.

And I won't forget what he said: "He's 19 and I am 20--he's always been my dog."


JPG said...

I'm so sorry for that young man. At the same time, I wish I'd had my yellow Lab, Ben, for that long. He was twelve when his kidneys started shutting down. All along, my promise had been that I wouldn't keep him suffering.

When the vet told me they couldn't help Ben except for pain meds, I knew it was time. They made sure he wouldn't feel the needle, and he went to sleep with me rubbing his ears.

After a few months, we adopted another dog, and he's a fine young animal. So why is my screen blurring up now?

charlotte g said...

Yes. I am so sorry. It is the downside of dog ownership, that we must not let them suffer too long. This young man...I left out that the file was in his mother's name. He was one year old when this Lab came into his life. It must feel...I can't imagine. And he wants to take care of him.
Sweet dog. Sweet young man.

clairz said...

Well, you've summed up a lot of things here and touched my heart.

charlotte g said...

Thanks, Clair.Meeting you is on my bucket list. Hope it happens.

clairz said...

That's so very sweet, Charlotte. It will happen, giving more reasons to be surprised by life.