Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Losing A Pet
Taz was the oldest of our 4 dogs, a golden Labrador that we adopted from a rescue centre 11 years ago. On 13th March 2014 we made the heart-breaking decision to put Taz to sleep. Taz had been suffering for a while; he had severe arthritis, a heart murmur, was profoundly deaf, had cataracts and had quite a few lumps which we guessed were tumours. However we had always said until Taz stopped wagging his tail and coming to greet us, we wouldn't take any drastic action. The day before Taz died he didn't touch his morning meal, something that never happened with Taz, he loved his food. The following morning, he wouldn't come out of his bed, and when he tried his back legs gave way. We all knew this was the day we would have to say goodbye. After a few hours of comforting Taz and making sure he was comfortable, the time had come. My step dad lifted Taz into his car, tears streaming down his face as he did this. I couldn't bring myself to go with my parents to the vets, it was too heart-breaking. My mum told me his passing was very peaceful and that the suffering left his eyes almost instantly. Our old boy had gone, a day we knew was coming but none of us had prepared for.
Our dogs are part of our family, they structure our day and we make plans around them. For those who don't have animals in their lives, its hard to understand this, but losing Taz was losing a member of our family, and we all shed many tears that day. To see him suffering and in pain was the worst part because he was always such an active and happy dog. It was also devastating to see our other lab, Maddie, who has never known a day without Taz. Her heart was breaking too, and the worst part was she couldn't understand it. For us, losing Taz was in the foreseeable future, and it was something we had talked about for almost a year. When that moment finally came to say goodbye to the dog that had provided us with so many happy memories, we all found it very hard but we knew it was the right thing for Taz and he was ready for it.
Life has been strange without him, when someone asks me how many dogs we have now, I still want to say 4. Or when I peg the washing out and Taz isn't there to trip me up, or when someone opens the back gate and then you have to spend 10 minutes trying to get Taz back inside the garden. Its the little things like that that I miss. I still expect to see him walk out of the kennel, or come and say hello when I go into the garden, I guess that is something I will get used to but its very strange.
We are all giving Maddie and the other two dogs a lot of attention now, they need it because they've lost their leader. Losing Taz was a lot harder than I ever expected, and seeing the rest of my family (including the other dogs) suffer from his loss is just as hard. He was a brilliant dog and we can still laugh at the memories he gave us.
Rest In Peace Taz, our old boy x