Putting Down the Dog




This time you knew what you signed up for as you brought home your fuzzy Lhasa puppy,

watching her run circles on the floor before you put her into your wife’s lap. 

But your fondness for dogs had fogged your memory, until you thought

back to that first Fido you grew up with,  a licorice fox terrier, Ginger,


how she was still healthy in the house when you went to college.

Then you moved, started a job, got married, already had

children when a golden retriever caught your eye,  a

sweet and snuggly dog  to fulfill your desires,


cover your children with sloppy kisses, give them rides on her back, tolerate

tail pulling with unconditional love.  You didn’t reckon on the day

you had to sneak off surreptitiously when she ran blindly

into a rose bush, bringing tears to both your eyes.


What a decision to make with the kids happily chattering between your footsteps

and the front  door,  kids who had no idea what you were up to until

later when you daughter asked  “Where’s Loura?” in the house

where the clocks ticked too loudly and the tree bark


outside witnessed quietly while you somehow wormed your way out of

a long explanation until much later when she suddenly knew

what you did, pet killer, you.  But by this time your wife

was coloring her first gray hairs with dye,  struggling


with parents with dementia, and the lovely red haired Cocker she had rescued

much earlier was unraveling toilet paper all over the rug from behind

the bathroom door,  peeing on the bed and on the floor, howling

through dinnertime, forgetting all dog manners


you taught her as a puppy.  Your father- in- law woke up from his nap long enough to say “Shut that dog up!”  So you and your wife exchanged looks until your son, ready

to comprehend the larger losses in life, said, “Maybe it’s time.” So you gave

in and the four of you paid that final visit with her to the family vet.



~ by dianeklammer on April 15, 2013.

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