We had to put our 17 1/2 year old dog Snooker down today. He was blind ... deaf ... had developed doggy dementia ... had cancer ... was having accidents in the house ... and wasn't eating. Each day that went by, he continued to grow worse. After talking to our vet, my husband knew this was something that needed to be done, so he made an appointment. We said our tearful goodbyes, took off his collar, and Wes left with Snooker. I kept saying to myself, "He's just a dog!"
But he didn't feel so much like a dog when ...
... he'd play outside with my kids when they were little and bark a warning when someone came up to our fence.
... he got hit by a car and we rushed his mangled, unconscious body to the vet.
... he'd wrestle with stuffed toys that were larger than he was.
... he woke us up at 4:30 in the morning for a dog biscuit.
... he'd tear up Mikaela's Barbies if she left them out. Mikaela was the only kiddo we had that Snooker would "pick on". Maybe because she'd dress him up in ridiculous baby clothes?! His attitude towards her changed over the years though and eventually he decided she was okay.
... he'd sit by my chair every morning while I had my daily quiet time. He didn't want anything other than just to be sitting by me.
... he'd have horrible, rancid gas -- look at us as if he were blaming us for it, and then walk out of the room.
... he'd pace the kitchen while I cooked, eagerly hoping I'd drop something, ANYTHING that he could pounce on and eat. But you know, that dog would WAIT for my permission to eat it. If I told him no, he'd lay there by the food and wouldn't eat it. He was always pretty happy to be able to clean up any spills for me though.
... he'd sleep ON my feet in bed -- not NEXT to my feet, not CLOSE to my feet, but ON my feet. Snooker made the rounds over the years, blessing everyone in our family with his presence as they slept.
... he'd greet us at the door when we came home like he hadn't seen us in years. He loved us totally and unconditionally. He thought we were incredible!
The fact is that we let that dog worm his way into our family and in to our hearts. Today, Snooker doesn't seem like "just a dog". We've lost a family member ...