When brave men dies we honor their deeds and bravery. When famous people dies we honor their accomplishments. When great statesmen dies we write history books about their impact on society.
When good friends and family dies a community comes together and mourn them.
At best when pets are dying we think the ‘humane’ thing to do is to end their suffering. And when they do all we can think about is what to do with them in the middle of the winter when the ground is rock solid.
I have a number to a vet. I have a large black plastic bag.
For 9 years she was with us. I don’t say this meanly; but I think I have never met a dumber dog than Sassy. She was a small little dog – a mix between two small types of dogs, with the worse of the two different dogs traits. One being poodle she was eternally ornery. But perhaps most of all – stupid. When she looked at you she had this incredible look of pure dumbness. When someone knocked on something, even though she looked at that person she thought someone was knocking on the door. And she barked.
She waved her little tail and acted all nice and friendly with some people until she could no longer see them. When she only heard their voices she started barking at them like they suddenly were ‘strangers’.
One time after we had a garage sale she decided to jump into a strangers van to go with them, as if they were extended family members taking her ‘somewhere fun’.
She ate things; earplugs and stuff. That’s what finally got her. We went and saw a movie and came back and she had crawled under a bed, scared of being punished because she made a mess. Days later she died.
Stupidity finally got her.
Stupid as she was, she was still a family member. I will miss her strange feral smile. Her stretching every time I opened the door so she could get out into the backyard. I’ll miss her crawling up to me so I could pet her. I’ll miss her dancing away all scared when we vacuum. I miss her sniffing her butt for a second when I put her down or yelled at her, as if she expected a ‘beating’ and made sure no matter what that her butt was still there.
I will miss her being caught red handed sneaking into the kitchen or chewing up tissues.
I will miss her little bark at the patio door, looking inside.
But there will be no speeches, no plaques of honor. There will be no marches or parades. No draped coffins or minutes of silence.
There will be a fee when I call the vet and a empty spot under the table in the laundry room where she laid and eyed me in the morning when I got ready for work.