Disclaimer: Blow is a pretty graphic and emotional rendering of my dog Nebo's euthanization. For those who do not read regularly, Nebo was humanely euthanized for aggression. You can read a little more about his issues here and here and here.
Nebo was euthanized on Saturday morning. The animal rescue organization determined that he was not suitable for re-homing and that euthanasia was the most humane option.
Nelson and I were able to be with him, and spend time with him before it happened. It was incredibly difficult. We had to wait nearly 45 minutes to see Nebo, and that in itself was difficult.
They asked us if we'd like his muzzle removed and we said yes. They brought in lots of blankets so we could sit on the floor and be comfortable. They brought Nebo in and he was so happy to see us, as we were him. We held him and petted him and gave him treats and told him how much we loved him. Unfortunately, the longer we stayed in the room the more anxious Nebo became. After about 20 minutes we told the vet that we were ready.
It happened very quickly. The vet and her assistant came in and Nebo ran to Nelson and leaned against him. He was so scared. Nelson laid Nebo down on his side so his head was on my lap; Nelson was stroking his back and we were telling him how good he was being and how much we loved him.
They'd inserted the catheter before Nebo came to see us, so the vet began by flushing it with saline. Nebo was so good. He just laid there. Then, she administered the first sedative, to relax him and basically make him completely blissed out. As she was emptying the syringe, he looked up at me into my eyes for a long moment, and then he looked over at Nelson, and then back at me. He knew we were with him. Then, the sedative took effect and he kind of spaced out.
"He's completely out of it," the vet told us.
She administered the phenobarbital and about five minutes later she told us, "He's gone. I'm so sorry for your loss." The assistant also gave her condolences and they left us with our brown dog for the last time.
The vet had prepared us that there might be a death rattle or twitching or urination, but Nebo didn't do any of those things. He passed peacefully, and that made is so much easier on Nelson and I. He was good to us right up to the end.
We held him for another 10 minutes or so while I sobbed into his fur.
Then, we made a donation to the shelter and we headed home.
I'm so glad we were there with Nebo, but it was one of the most emotionally difficult things I've ever gone through in my entire life.
I miss him. I miss the way he always laid at my feet; the way he was always in the way; they way his head got hot when he was being petted; the way he sometimes inexplicably smelled like grape jelly or breakfast sausage; the way he'd nudge my hand with his cold, wet nose when he wanted a pet; the way he'd chuff when he was hungry or wanted to go outside; they way he leaned slightly to the left when he ran; they way he'd come over and put his head on my lap and look at me with his big, brown eyes; his super expressive doggie eye brows; the Robert Dinero mole on his muzzle; his little T-Rex front legs; the way his ears got low when he was happy; his "low wag" tail wag; his thick, thick brown fur that made it extra good to give him hugs.
I know that we did the right thing, but that's not really giving me much comfort. I think I will miss him for a long while.