When is it time? It is a question that has tormented our poor parents for years. Humans who are in the final stages of their lives linger, they suffer, they lose their dignity, until mercifully they are brought home. I am sure their loved ones would, at times, want to end their suffering, but they aren’t allowed to do what some call playing God
Thankfully our parents are allowed to play God when it comes to us, and we love them for it. It is ironic that the term used to end our suffering is “humane” when humans are not given the privilege of ending the suffering of their loved ones. The term should be “dogmane.”
Our friend Daddy, brother of Taser and Ruger, whose mother is Sue Ann Mohamud, is at the end of his life. He has a tumor that can’t be operated on and he is at the stage where he has been brought home to be made comfortable. Unfortunately being comfortable is hard when your body is failing.
Daddy is having trouble standing and walking, and when he has bowel movements they are frequent and often loose. Because of weakness in his limbs he can’t stand for long and often he gets his movement on his back legs, and being a good dog, he knows he did something bad, and he feels very guilty that his Mom and Dad have to clean him off.
Daddy has always been a very proud dog. To see him losing his dignity and not being able to play with his brothers has been very hard on his parents. A short time ago he was a vivacious, fun loving German Shepherd Dog and slowly the disease is taking that from him.
But Daddy still has energy. He eats, he barks at his brothers, he acts like he wants to stay. And that is what makes it so difficult. He is suffering, but he still shows sparks of the proud dog his parents adore.
I didn’t give my parents much choice when it was my time. I could not live outside the oxygen tent. But when I was inside the tent I was me, bright eyed, tail wagging, ready to go home. Outside the tent I could not last five seconds, so the decision was easy.
The question of when is torture for our parents. They always want one more day but they are also the ones who have to decide when there will be no more days. How do you make that decision when it’s a soul you love with all your heart? How do you know you did not rob yourself of one more day?
I am going to let you humans in on a secret. Us dogs do everything we can to hide our pain and our illnesses from our humans. When we can no longer hide our pain it has become unbearable. But we are still going to fight the pain, still try to cover it, because we don’t want to worry you, and we want to stay with you, no matter what we have to endure.
So when is the right time? There is no right answer. Just listen to your heart and it will tell you when. And it will be the right thing. Because we never want to go but we also want you to let us go, so when you say it’s time, it’s time. From the day we came into your house we put our lives your hands. And sadly, in the end, we put our death in your hands. It’s quite unfair.
We are sorry, it is the hardest thing we have ever asked you to do, but we need you to do it. So please, be strong for us, and do what needs to be done, not in the name of humanity but dogity.
And we will be grateful to you for eternity.