Honeygirl, euthanasia

HoneygirlI haven’t posted in awhile because life was too busy, but I’ve had a few weeks’ reprieve now.

I put Honeygirl to sleep, at home, on January 2.   Over the New Year weekend I noticed that she was having difficulty eating; there was a scritching noise when she took bites of food & then she would shake her head wildly, spattering food around her dish, & bat at her own face with her paw.   I found that her gums were covered with turgid whitish ulcers, which is apparently one of the things that happens when toxins in the blood build up due to renal failure.

I knew I didn’t want this to go further.   I called & left a message for Dr. Brenda Smith at Cherished Pet, which is, as far as I know, the only home euthanasia service for pets.   I wasn’t by my phone when she called back, but she left me a message.   As luck would have it, Dr. Smith was subbing at a nearby clinic that day & would be able to stop by that very evening.

It was at that point that I began to freak out.

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I couldn’t call Dr. Smith back for about an hour.   I tried to, but the weight of the decision would confound me & I would be unable to find my resolve.   I would sit there with the phone in my hand & just feel confused, as if there was one more thing I needed to think through before I could finally call, even though I knew there wasn’t.   I ended up messaging a girlfriend who talked me through my anxiety & steadied me with logic.

When Dr. Smith arrived, there were some forms to fill out & I paid her the $200 fee.   I then carried Honeygirl out to the living room & sat her on my lap.   She wasn’t thrilled to meet a stranger, but Dr. Smith was very gentle & soothing, so she didn’t get overly distressed.   She received a shot between the shoulder blades to sedate her, & it took about a minute for her to go limp in my arms.   We then laid her down next to me & Dr. Smith administered the barbiturate shot in Honeygirl’s leg vein & within seconds her heart had stopped.

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Dr. Smith could have taken Honeygirl with her for cremation for an additional charge (a little over $200, if I recall correctly), but I said I would manage the corpse myself.   I put Honeygirl in her bed in the bathroom & she stayed there, looking like she was sleeping, all night.   I had the bed in a box covered with a rubbish bag in case of any body fluid leakage.

All night it was as if she was still there, & I confess that I did pet her several times.   The dogs came by & sniffed her from time to time.   I’m not sure what they thought, but no one got alarmed.   The next morning I took Honeygirl to our vet, who would arrange cremation with Oahu Pet Crematory, then call me when I could pick up the ashes.

Honeygirl’s ashes came in a pretty tin, the dark green that was my favorite color for her.   It was just a coincidence, but it was nice.

It’s been almost 2 months & since the hour I spent freaking out on January 2nd, as I tell you guys the story of her passing, this is the first time I’ve been able to feel sad.

She’d been with me for 19 years.   I don’t even remember who I was 19 years ago, but I remember her.   The first time she saw me take a shower, she jumped in to save me, then jumped back out because it was wet, then jumped back in because I was still stuck in there.   It took her awhile to figure out that I was going to survive.   For 19 years, Honeygirl patiently waited outside on the bath mat for me through every shower I ever took.   Even to her last day.

I’ll miss her.

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One response to “Honeygirl, euthanasia

  1. That is the best way for an animal to go. At home, with their owner. She lived that long because you loved her and took good care of her, just like the rest of your pets. Still sad though.

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