This morning I woke up early to take Cape and Katie to the adoptathon in Illinois. I let Ronin, Kaylee, Revy and Ada out to potty... and only the girls came back in.
He'd been in heart failure for the past week - atrial fibrillation without heart disease. We knew he wasn't going to get any better, we knew he didn't have much time left and we knew he could die at any time... but it was still a shock to find him lifeless in the yard.
I'm shocked, saddened, upset... but the most potent emotion I feel is relief. Bear with me, I know it sounds horrible, but keep reading. No, I didn't want my dog to die. None of us want that. What I wanted was for him to not suffer anymore - this past week had been hell for him, and there wasn't a "magic pill" we could give him to make him feel any better. He lost his appetite, he was in constant pain and all he wanted to do was sleep in the bedroom alone. He was suffering, and he wanted to go. And I didn't want to be the one holding him back.
We'd actually made an appointment for Wednesday to put him to sleep, but I was dreading it. My vet is great, but even the best vet is an intrusion on a very personal and private moment. I hate breaking down in front of other people, and that's inevitable when putting a pet to sleep in a vet's office.
My husband couldn't bring himself to come with us, so my friend Sam and I drove Ronin down to LovingRest to be cremated. It was a nice morning - not too hot, the sun was shining and it was a pretty, peaceful drive. LovingRest is located in one of the prettiest parts of the countryside out near Indianola, Iowa. We'll pick him up on Monday or Tuesday, and then we just have to wait for the custom wooden box that my dad is making for his ashes. We're going to put Ronin and Ilsa's ashes in the same box, since they were best friends in life and would want to be together.
So Godspeed, kiddo. Ilsa is probably ecstatic to have her best friend back. Lord knows we're going to miss you.