Dogs,  Photojournalism

‘Cause the one thing stronger than the whiskey


Damned smug Canadians.

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Until 2000 I never had to put an animal down.  It started with Rayette DiPesto at my place at Parkwoods.  She had kidney disease.  My vet was closed that day so I took her to a vet out in San Ramon who wanted to hospitalize my 15 year old cat.  I asked “What will this accomplish”.  He said “She’ll get three days, three weeks maybe three months”.  I said “I see what’s in it for me and I see what’s in it for you, but I don’t see what’s in it for the cat”.  He couldn’t answer the question so I loaded her up with SubQ fluids and took her home for one more night, because I’d never put one of my pets to sleep and I needed one more night to sort it out.  When I took her back to my vet he agreed she was done and I let her go.  I immediately had her littermate Broderick Catford tested for kidney disease.  He had it too.  I lengthened his life by three months because I caught it and he got SubQ fluids for the last three months of his life.  Three months later I lost him.  That cat had no fear.  I had to teach Beauregard the command “Get the cat’s head out of your mouth”.  He loved that cat and was despondent when he died.

12-27 brokerick

I was watching football on the tv above the fireplace and they all laid right there.  I sold the condo in Parkwoods and bought the house in the hood in Concord.  Cody the greyhound came to stay with us.  He was old and only lived six months.  I had to put him down.  Then came Toby the Gypsy Doberman.  She stayed with us for 19 months before the cancer got her.  Then in March of 2005 I came home and found Xica gone.  She’s the only one I didn’t have to put to sleep.  She would have been the hardest if not for Beauregard’s cancer.  I always thought that dog took herself out of the game because she knew it would break me to do it.  And then of course Beauregard.  I sold the house in the hood, stayed out of the market for a year (should have stayed out for six more months but hind site is 20/20)  and bought The Farm.  Beau made it to the Farm.  He loved this place.  That dog thought I had bought him a dog park the yard is so big here.

There’s been a lot of critters through here in the last ten years.  I’m proud that every one of them got to live out their lives as naturally as possible.  I hope I can continue the streak.

And now here’s Newsweek’s spin on the last 10 years.

And a best of the best video.

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  • dolphyngyrl

    I had a bossy, stubborn old cat who lived something like eight years with kidney disease. Taking her to the vet was always an adventure and when we’d pick her up, all the techs would come running out to show off who got nailed the hardest. Her entire back end was crushed when she was hit by a car and as put back together with rods and pins. I think she was two or three. That cat was stubborn. When she finally had to be put down, my parents found a vet that came out to the house because she HATED the car. That broke my heart so bad the Girl Monkey almost got named after a cat.

  • WineWonkette

    I always had a problem with ‘putting an animal down’because I saw it as a convenience to the owner and the vet who didn’t what to expend the time or resources. That was until my cat Armand died. Armand was in failing health for months but I was determined to let him ‘die with dignity’ But that was not the case. I was with him when he died and it was a horrible death where the poor cat ran through the house with fear in his eyes howling and then collapsing. It only lasted a few minutes but felt like hours. When Jack the dog’s time came even though I still had a tinge of guilt that ‘I’ was ‘killing him’I agreed with the vet that it was the right thing to do; for him; and stayed with him petting his head until he closed his eyes for the last time. His death with much more dignity. If only the same choices were available for people. So many times it feels like we pump our relatives with chemicals and prolong their agony rather than letting them go. We claim it is for them. But as you said, we know what it does for us. And of course we know what it does for the insurance industry. But what does it do for the person?

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