a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Going Back

Looking back, I can see I have always had sun grins.  Funny how you notice things like that.  The first picture is my first dog, Helen and Mom.  The top picture is me.  The third is me and some one I don't remember.

Helen was given to me by Helen, therefore, her name.  Mom said we got into trouble one day for pulling all the tissues out of the box.  I was putting them back in and Helen was helping too.  She would carry one over and stuff it in the box opening with her nose.  I wonder if Mom used those tissues after that?

I was in trouble again, who me, I never did anything wrong to get into trouble!  I think it was playing in the clay with my good clothes on, Mom was coming after me with a switch.  Helen stood between me and Mom and growled!  Mom was so shocked that I missed that whipping.

Helen lived to about sixteen.  She was worn out.  Sometimes, Helen would cry when she moved.  I was home alone, when she started crying again.  It was awful. 

I called the neighbor and asked will you shoot my dog?  Terry came and he was shocked when I handed him a gun.  He said I thought you wanted me to give it a shot.  No, I said, Helen is suffering and I can't stand it any more.  Can you put her down? 

I had already dug a grave in the barn lot and found something to wrap her in.  I told Terry I had taken her out there and said my goodbyes.  If you can wrap her and just throw enough dirt over her so I can't see, I can finish.

Of course, the tears are rolling.  I cover my head with a pillow and never heard the shot.  Terry came back, handed me the gun and said it's over, Gail.  She went easy.  I hugged him with tears flooding and went to the barn lot and cried on Helen's grave until Mom and Dad came home.

I told them. I know they were proud, although they never said a word. Dad's hand on my shoulder and Mom's sad eyes said it all.  Helen was not suffering any more.  It was the hardest thing I have ever done,  making that decision.

NOTE:  I know this may sound harsh to some but the times were different.  You only used a vet if it was an animal that made you money, like a work horse or a cow.  Dogs were special but they only got rabies shots.  If your dog died, you got another one and life went on.  After all, it was just a dog.

14 comments:

The Green Stone Woman said...

That's a harsh reality you had to face. It must have been very difficult for you. I can't imagine having to make that choice at that age. You did well, though. It was tough, but you did well. You showed a lot of courage.

Breathe said...

A well placed shot is as merciful as a vet's shot. What an amazing child you were to be so empathetic and brave.

Journaling Woman said...

You were so brave in a terrible situation. Most of my furry friends kept hanging on and I had to have them euthanized. That is hard too. A very brave girl you were with a heavy love for her furry friend.

achieve1dream said...

You were very brave.

mrscravitz said...

I agree with what Breathe said. And it is the hardest decision to ever make. I have had to make that call too, and it is not easy! But in the end, I know it is for the best.

An English Shepherd said...

That was very brave :-)

Wizz

Nezzy said...

What a hard thing for a little farm chick to do. My Tiny dog lived about that long and one day just disappeared. Daddy walked the fence lines and all over the farm and never found him. I'm so glad I didn't have the job of burring him. He and my imaginary friends were my companions until my sis was born when I was nine.

Take care and have a good weekend.

Oz Girl said...

She lived to sixteen, what a ripe ole age for a dog! And she had the best life with you, what more could a dog ever want? I applaud your courage, I know how tough it is to lose our best friends. I held my dalmatian tight as the vet gave him his last shot in Feb. 2004. That was one of the saddest days of my life. I sobbed my guts out. The vet's assistant hugged me while he gave his last few breaths. But he lived to be 12 and his liver was mottled with tumors and there was nothing to fix him.

*hugs* Gail. I know you and I both have dogs today that we love very much!

Rudee said...

Helen was hardly "just a dog." It sounds like she was your very bright companion and champion. It couldn't have been easy to ease her suffering but we do what we do. Taking them to a vet to have it done "humanely" isn't exactly painless. They get a needle and a sedative--not a pain reliever.

I asked my vet to give Duke something for pain before he died and she looked at me like I was out of my mind and told me she didn't do that. I cried about that, and I'm crying again.

Your post is very poignant today and your love for Helen still shines through. God rest her little doggie soul.

The Farmers Oldest Daughter said...

I am crying as I read this. My dog is a diabetic and blind and I know the day is coming. He turns 14 in a few weeks. Thanks for sharing your story.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Such a hard thing for a young person to go through..but you made the right decision..no doubt about it..we always have to do what is best for the animal and not what is best for us. Your dog Helen sounds like she was a good and treasured friend that left Paw prints on your heart. I have lots of those over the years too..each one with their own story. One by one I am getting them told.:)

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

What a strong and loving young girl you were. Such a touching story. Had me crying. (Of course I'm crying about everything--you'll see when you read my latest blog story, lol.)

Pat said...

You were one tough, brave little girl! Holy cow!

Sandra said...

yes, i did need the tissues. you did the right thing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...