The Biggest Challenge ~ Had to Let Him Go

Faced with the most difficult decision. How can you make such a decision? How do you know when it is truly time? Why did I have to make this decision? Should I have waited ~ tried other alternatives? Let him decide to go on his own?

He has been with us nine years. He turns ten in June. We first met in August 2008. He was behind a glass window. I just knew I had to rescue him, take him home, and give him the love and care he deserved. I HAD TO HAVE HIM! I begged my husband for days. I researched everything about him to make sure he would be the perfect fit for our family. Finally, my husband relented.

Sure we had other dogs in the past. The first was a basset hound, Anna May Belle. Her and I did not see eye to eye. I hated her and she hated me more. My husband left Puerto Rico to go to school in California. I had a one year old son and I could not handle both of them. One had to go…

There was Sheriff. The most beautiful yellow lab; filled with energy and love for the world and my two sons. Unfortunately, Sheriff had to go to another home. We loved him so much that we felt he needed a home where there was constant attention. It broke my son’s, David, heart to watch us load him in a truck and be carried away by a father and his young boys. My husband and I where both active duty military and gone all the time. There was no time for love and attention for a pet.

We tried again by adopting a dog (#128) from the SPCA. Never again will I endure such demise. He created issues from the beginning. He hated cats! He would get out of the house despite all our efforts to keep him contained. He ran the neighborhood and scared everyone. He was a rottie mixed with lab. Or so we think. We kept him for a few years before he became really aggressive. I was afraid that soon he would attack one of the neighbor’s children so I returned him to the SPCA.

I swore there would never be another animal brought into my home that I would have to care for. I was not an animal lover of any kind and did not care to have them around. It was just one more responsibility that I did not need.

That was until Mister Bascums came to be. You see, I was walking the mall with my sons. David asked to go into the pet store. He saw my hesitancy and proceeds to explain to me that his father took them into the pet store but they never bought a dog. They just went in to see them. I had just come home from a deployment. How could I say no? After all, his father took them there. We walked in and there standing behind a glass window was the most beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback. Our eyes met. I had to have him. Not my children but ME!

Finally, the day came when I was given permission to go get him. I was so excited. He filled our home and hearts with so much love! One day, when I was at school, my boys was left to tend to him. They left the back door open and he escaped. We found him the next day. He had been hit by a car, gasping for air, barely able to walk. He knew my voice and immediately jumped into the car. We rushed him to the vet, and then the emergency room, eventually to Virginia Tech Veterinary School. We really thought he wasn’t going to make it through all that. He surprised us and gave us 8 more years of his love.

In that timeframe, we added three more fur babies to our family. Neptune and Athena are our English Mastiffs and Uma is an English Lab.

This past Saturday, March 10, 2018; he succumbed to an infection in his leg. He had been fighting it for two weeks. He was in so much pain and misery. As the technician was telling us our different options of surgery and the long, hard recovery; I just couldn’t think about him suffering any longer.

My head still questions if we should have tried all those other options. Maybe, I should have tried harder to help him get better. My heart aches when I think about him. Tears stream down my face when I don’t even realize it. It hurts even more to see Neptune search for him. It’s like Neptune knows he is gone. I see the same pain on his face that I feel in my heart.

How can you make such a decision? How do you know when it is truly time? Why did I have to make this decision? Should I have waited ~ tried other alternatives? Let him decide to go on his own?