I had to put my dachshund, Cricket, to sleep yesterday. She was 15 years old. She was a very healthy dog for most of her long life. She would occasionally get a skin rash in the fall (allergies), her back legs were getting arthritic and her eyesight became poor in the last few years, but for the most part she remained a spry and intelligent, if somewhat aloof, old lady.
She had been eating smaller and smaller quantities for months, but earlier this week Cricket stopped eating almost entirely. My mom took her to the vet on Thursday, and again on Friday. They kept her for observation overnight. On Saturday the vet told us that her examination had revealed that Cricket had severe kidney disease that was untreatable. We were given a prognosis that most likely she only had a few weeks left.
I didn’t want her to suffer and I certainly didn’t want her to starve to death, so I made the decision to have her put to sleep. It was especially tough to do since she did not seem in the least bit sick. She was feisty and alert when they brought her to us. She sniffed at the baby’s head excitedly and she wanted to be held. She acted like she wanted to go home.
I think the vet lied to me about the lethal injection. She first administered a sedative which was supposed to make the process more humane, but Cricket let out an alarming groan that I’d never heard before from her. The vet said that was a “snore.” When the poison was injected in her, she went fast, but she stared at me the whole time. That was bad.
This was the second dog I had to euthanize because of old age in the last three years. I hope I don’t have to do this again any time soon.