LADY WITH KRISTEN WINTER 2000
We had known for a long time that Lady, our beautiful 16 1/2 year old cocker spaniel, was fading. She was deaf, she was starting to get cataracts, she was incontinent and, because of hyperdentiplasia, she was losing all her teeth. Because of the problem with her gums, she had horrible breath. We could no longer afford to have her long curly coat groomed, and we didn't get around to it as often as we should have. Frankly, She was a mess.
But we COULDN'T put her to sleep just yet! Not our Lovely Little Lady, who came into our home when Kristen was just seven years old. Lady herself, at two months, was just a little buff and blonde bundle. Give up our Lady, who had started out as a naughty puppy making life hell for our other dog, Brandy, and then had to tolerate abuse when we got Penny, our golden retriver pup?
Lady, who had a tuft of hair on the top of her head that made us dub her "Rod Stewart." Lady, our little "frogga dogga" who splayed out on the floor with her legs stretched out behind her. Lady, who lounged on the BACK of the couch. Lady, the Pavlovian dog who salivated and ran in circles every time the microwave beeped. Lady, who snuggled up next to me for a nap, lying on her back like a person, with her head on my arm, emitting sighs of pure pleasure.
But came this past October, and it was time. She could no longer get up on her back legs. We had always said we would not let her suffer, and now she was suffering. I took her to the vet myself, one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But Dan had taken Beau and Brandy, and now it was my turn. I held her and told her I loved her, and then I let her go.