24 February 2009

The Loss of a Beloved Pet

There was life BEFORE Tyler, life WITH Tyler, and now there is life WITHOUT Tyler.

To those who don't know me personally, Tyler was my female Jack Russell Terrorist, as I called her. She was with me for 6 years, being born on October 10, 2002 to a breeder near Guelph. I got her from a pet store after the breeder decided to sell her rather than putting her down because she was brindle and therefore undesirable.

A series of unfortunate events led Tyler to have terrible environmental and food allergies which were difficult to deal with and left her in constant discomfort. To deal with the terrible itching and consequent scratching (to the point of rawness and infection), Tyler was prescribed prednisone, a steroid, and Benadryl. This combination was the last of several different courses of medication, and seemed to work the best, although it didn't provide complete relief.

A main issue of prednisone is that it messes with your immune system, liver, and brain. So in the last couple of years Tyler's behaviour started to change, and not for the better. In recent weeks she became aggressive and had a few neurotic episodes.

Last Friday I made the decision to end Tyler's suffering, and to prevent her from possible aggression that would cause injury to Delilah or someone else. I called around, and after speaking with 3 different vets, I decided to take her to Staples Vet Clinic, just around the corner from us. The appointment was set for 2:45 Monday, February 23/09. Yesterday.

Yesterday was the most terrible day of my life. We took her to the vet and didn't bring her home. I can't describe the events at this point, it just hurts too much. The guilt I feel is overwhelming, paralyzing, and excruciating.

I loved my dog, I love her still. She was my baby, my pet, my best friend, and my sleep companion for 6 years. She was there when no one else was, and was always willing to give hugs and kisses and comfort, even when she didn't know what was wrong. She was full of boundless energy, and would play catch for hours if you had the energy to do it. She loved her toys, and did tricks including sit, lay down, lay down and roll over, shake a paw, and "bang, you're dead!" -pointing my finger at her, I'd say the phrase, and she'd lay on her side like she was dead. Hilarious. Her favourite treat was carrot. She loved cheese and egg and probably everything else but couldn't enjoy those things due to her allergies. She would defend me if she felt someone was being threatening. She was a super-fast runner, could catch balls out of the air, and loved me with all her heart.

And I killed her.

For that, I don't think I'll ever forgive myself. I hope she understands that I did it for all the right reasons, and that she heard me telling her that I loved her, even as she died. I hope she forgives me.

I love you Tyler.

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