Three years ago a fat little roly poly pup followed my boys home from a walk. After we located his owner and found out they were looking to rehome him, Chunk became Bear McWhorter, and joined our family.
Half sharpei, half labrador, we told everybody he was a sharprador peitriever.
I've never had a more DOGGY dog in my life. His entire body would wriggle with delight when somebody walked through the door. He would try to converse with us in dog language, unusual sounds that weren't quite low volume barks. He would roll on his back and demand tummy rubs. He chewed through a rawhide bone every few days and he could run like the dickens.
Unfortunately, he had some moments of very severe aggression. He nearly killed a kitten we adopted about six months ago. He bit Ian once (Ian deserved it, but it's part of a pattern). He savaged the neighbor's dog. He would fight with any dog, any time, even when leashed.. and he was STRONG. Too strong for the kids to hold him back when that started.
Last night he went after my cat, Pixel. He had her by the neck and threw her about two feet into the air.
It was his last chance, we had decided after the kitten if we saw another sign of aggression, we would have to put him down. Too risky.
At 3:30 today, Sam, Sean and I took Bear to the vet. Sean was always, from the start, Bear's boy. Honestly I think Sean loved that dog more than anything in his life. We told Sean he didn't have to go, and his response was "Bear is MY dog. I'm not going to abandon him NOW, I need to see him through and to the other side."
The vet couldn't find a vein, and Bear began to panic. Sean held himself together, soothing the pooch, talking to him calmly and peacefully. The vet gave Bear a sedative, and while it took effect, Bear's boy cuddled him, told him over and over what a Good Boy he was, how much he was loved, Good dog, Good Bear, Woof Woof Bow Wow Big Bear Doggy Woggle.
Then the vet came back in and found a vein. Sean held his dog throughout, Sam and I also patting him, all three of us murmuring words of love to our dog. And his breathing slowed and slowed. And just as his took his last breath, Sean said "I love you, Bear" and Bear was gone.
The vet said "I'm so sorry" and left the room, leaving us with our dead.
And that's when Sean broke down, wrapped his arms around that big floppy dog and sobbed as if his heart were breaking.. which it was. I am not ashamed to say that Sam and I were crying too.
The whole family feels bereft. And so we did something to help us along our healing path.
We saved a life, today. We went straight to the humane society, where we adopted a pretty little pooch who was scheduled to be euthanized at 6 PM today. Not to replace Bear, he can't be replaced. But to bring a little balance, and to give us a dog to love, because there is a dog shaped hole in our family now, and it needed filling, especially for the children's sake.
Here is Molly
Out of the death of one beloved dog, life for another, soon to be beloved dog.
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