Sunday, April 17, 2011
Part 2: A Tragic Ending to a Good Dog's Life
We had one more wonderful fall, winter and spring before summer hit us again, taking its annual toll on my dog (maybe this is why I still dislike summers). A decision had to be made: was her extreme suffering in the summers too high a price for her to pay, or for us to make her pay, for her enjoyment of the winters? Were we asking too much of her? The vet recommended euthanasia. In the end, we decided to follow his advice.
It may be hard to believe today, but veterinary science was quite primitive at that time. A vet primarily did spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and occasionally trauma treatment. Euthanasia was the ultimate answer to every serious problem. I still feel resentment toward veterinary science in those days. Today, even I know that she probably had a flea allergy. The only flea treatment available was flea powder, and it wasn't very effective. There may also have been flea shampoos, but since we had never even heard of flea allergies (apparently, neither had the vets), we didn't look in that direction. Maybe they just didn't exist. In any case, My dog had some kind of allergy, or possibly mites, because she ate the same kind of kibble in the winter as in the summer. And now, nearly sixty years later, there are not many days that go by without me thinking about her, and how she was cheated out of what should have been a full and happy life-- the best life a dog could have had, with the environment and the period in which she lived. The sadness for a loved one lost never diminishes. Time does not heal all wounds.