Making the Decision to Put Down a Dog

I have a small dog that is about 16 years old, and when it is her time to go, I always thought that something would happen to her (an accident or illness) and we’d be forced to put her down. But something else has happened instead. Something I couldn’t have imagined. She lost most of her sight and hearing awhile ago, and she has no teeth. But her sense of smell is there, and there’s nothing wrong with her legs. When I put her down she just runs like nothing is wrong with her.

She’s been having these mini sessions where she just spins in circles, and the only way to calm her down is to pick her up and hold onto her until it passes. Yesterday, I took her to the groomers and it took them a really long time to get her groomed because she was fighting them the whole time, and it took them about four hours to groom her. After I brought her home, it took her several hours to calm down. It seemed like she was crying.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve slowly come to realize that we’re probably going to have to pick a day when we have a vet come to the house and put her down. Part of this makes me feels relieved that we get to pick that day, and that it could be a week from now or a few months from now. But another part of me doesn’t want to pick that day.

I’ve had Chiquita for almost 14 years. In a sense, I feel like she has grown up with me. I didn’t want a dog when she came into my life, but there she was. Cute, full of life and curious about everything. She didn’t really care much for other people, and has only liked a handful of dogs in her lifetime. She has a strong personality. She’s tough.

Sadly, these days she sits and stares a lot at ceilings and corners. She moves around a lot, but walks into walls constantly. She wants to go outside every five minutes. She still likes to eat her favorite foods, but she is really skinny. I don’t think she has a lot of time left. I knew when I dropped her off at the groomers yesterday that it would most likely be the last time.

I never could have imagined that she would still be (somewhat) full of life and we’d have to make the decision to put her down. I thought the decision would be made for me. I plan to enjoy these next few weeks with her, and I plan to give her more of the foods she loves. I love seeing her happy.

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One Response to Making the Decision to Put Down a Dog

  1. Michèle says:

    A dreadful décision to make but the last act of kindness we can offer them when living becomes too hard. I remember when you found her. Baloo is 7 and I cannot imagine my life without him. The boudists say that we must learn to let all things go…such a hard road to walk. Sending you much love.


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