If you read my blog you know that I'm a huge animal lover, as in I give my pets middle names. We also celebrate birthdays and they get Christmas gifts. Today came with a dark cloud (the date seems appropriate enough). Cameron is having Penny, our dog, put to sleep right now. It wasn't an easy decision to make, it wasn't fun, it was prayed over, we talked about it often and have made previous vet visits. She was becoming more and more aggressive. She's gone after other dogs and animals. On top of the aggressive behavior she was in severe pain, even with the meds we gave her. She's had hip displacia since we got her. She also had arthritis in her joints.
As parents we felt like we were obligated to keep our kids safe even if she has never lashed out at the kids or any other person. We couldn't let it get to that point. She has always been super sweet with the kids, loved them, played with them and protected them. It's just too scary to think about what could happen if she got worse. Would I rather feel a little guilty about putting a dog to sleep or would I rather live with the lifetime of guilt for one of my kids being injured by a dog? I know we've made the right decision.
Penny was "our" first dog. We got Penny while I was pregnant with Josiah. We had to come all the way out to Corona from Rancho Santa Margarita because no on in Orange County wanted to let a pregnant person adopt a dog. It was also very, very expensive to even get a little dog in OC. I found Penny's picture online and the price was right, $15. Someone had brought her to the shelter and she was already fixed and had her vaccines. She's not the brightest crayon in the box, but she was a good companion dog. While we lived with Cameron's parents she rode in the car everywhere with me, I needed a co-pilot and Penny fit the description. When Josiah arrived she was calm and good natured toward him and was thrilled when he could play with her or pet her. She was sweet to both the kids and I'm sure would have taken a chunk out of any bad guy that tried anything with them. It was her personal duty to protect them in the yard.
It's hard to be a grown up and to have ugly responsibilities. Especially when it comes to your pets. I'm trying to focus on the positive. I'm glad we were able to rescue Penny, make her comfortable, give her love and lots of treats. Her life could have been far worse. She didn't have a good chance of being adopted when we picked her out. She was older, bigger and not that great looking. I suppose I should be glad that we were able to give that to her. I think her buddy Earl might be sad for awhile. He loved Penny. I'm not looking forward to the rest of this day.
Even though Penny wasn't the *best* dog in the world, I'm going to miss her.
Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. ~George Eliot