Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Well.....Dog Gone

We put Parks down today. (In the pic to the right, taken two weeks ago, he's already looking kinda ethereal.) The cancer that was supposed to have been his demise back at the beginning of 2009 finally got to the point where the poor guy was in obvious pain. These past two days he whined constantly. He woke us up barking in at 2 a.m. He refused to be comforted when we checked on him. His lips became increasingly swollen and he started staggering around with his head oddly cocked to the left, which I took to be a sign that he probably had an irritating growth in his sinuses or someplace thereabouts.

I never wanted to see him suffer and, until recently, he didn't suffer much. Last night he was as spirited as ever at feeding time. But, otherwise his whole demeanor had drastically changed. He was running into things. Walking under bushes and rubbing the side of his head into the ground. There was a constant grumble. So, enough.

We did all we could, longer than any one expected and far longer than most people thought was reasonable. But, I don't regret doing any of it. We gave him the best (and longest) life we could and - consequently - the best death we could.

Parks is buried at the edge of the woods at the far end of our back yard. Charlie and Nala came to watch as Jennifer and I finished shoveling the dirt over him. They briefly sniffed around the fresh mound as we walked away, then they followed us back to the house.

Rest in peace Parks. You were a lucky stray. We were lucky to have you. Good-bye.

Note: Parks is mentioned throughout many posts tagged as "Home Life" in this blog. But, the story of his last year of life is basically told in posts on February 12, 2010 / August 1, 2009 / April 19, 2009.

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