Sunday, June 5, 2011

Godspeed, Ronin.

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.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about this. Rest well Ronin, you have earned it!

  2. Leah, you know how utterly devastated and sorry I am for you. <3 I felt I knew Ronin even though it was only through the internet. Amazing how much they affect our lives and the lives of others.

    I completely understand what you mean about the relief of it. With human or animal, sometimes knowing they are free of their suffering is such a cleansing thing.

    I am here if you need an ear or a shoulder, and I am at peace knowing that Ronin is free of his pain and galloping with Ilsa forever onward. :)

  3. This just breaks my heart, Leah. Ronin was one of the first dogs I really fell in love with on BDP. For all of his back history and all the work you had to put into him, I could see why he grabbed your heart. He had the softest, most loving eyes that stared right through the camera at YOU.

    I'm so sorry for you and your family, but I'm happy that he is at rest and off with Ilsa somewhere. I'm also happy for all of you, including him, that he was able to pass at home with his doggy family around him in the yard.

    Godspeed, beautiful boy.

  4. Leah, I am so sorry for your loss. Take comfort knowing Ronin sits sentry over those he loves, and those who loved him.

    -E.S.Piña and the RDC

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  6. So sorry for your loss, Leah. What fabulous memories you have through your photos of such an amazing dog.

  7. Hi Leah. Thanks for sharing this story. Ronin will be missed by many.

  8. Good bye Ronin! I'll miss you!

  9. My deepest condolences on your loss. Ronin was a beautiful boy.

    Nicole (MeadowCat from DT)

  10. I'm so sorry!! Each time I lose one of my dogs is hell for me!! they are soooo kind and generous and love giving that it's devastating when they leave, but all of them stay in our hearts and memories for life, none of them is the same they all have their personalities and way of giving, but all of them are really special, know what you're feeling,and I can only say he is in heaven having a great time with his friends!!! I'm sure of that...Jackie Wolffelt


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