Inklings by Paul Kimball

Hello…And Good-Bye!

The days leading up to Christmas were sad ones for my wife and I – we put one of our dogs down. It’s incredible how attached one can become to an animal! I remember, back in my days as a sales rep, making a weekly visit to one of my top (and favourite) customers.

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The buyer was a man’s man – tough, macho…you know the kind of guy. I asked how he was doing and he told me, matter-of-factly, that he was fine, although his mother had just passed away the previous evening. No emotion, no wavering voice – just a statement of fact.

Several months later, I was with him again. His eyes were red and puffy and he looked like he hadn’t slept for days. “Bob”, I asked him, “What’s wrong?” You look terrible!” Breaking down, he told me that he had to put his dog down the previous night. Yes, dogs have a way of worming their way into our hearts!

I’ve written about our two dogs before – Poco, a Mexican Chihuahua, and Daisy, a Cocker Spaniel. Both have good days and bad days, but the good days (which are the most days) have endeared them to us. Over a year and a half ago, Poco began to lose his ability to walk and shortly after that, he was unable to walk at all. We thought of putting him down then, but everything else was good. He was alert, he ate well – he was still a good pet. So…we kept him…until December 21.

My wife and I agreed on putting him down, but disagreed about how to do it. Rural life has put me into the farmer’s mindset of how to euthanize a dog (and, I might add, so does the cost!). My wife preferred what she called the more ‘humane’ way (the more ‘canine’ way?) and, at the end of the day, her preference won out.

This was our third experience putting a dog down…and the hardest. Why? – I’m not sure. Perhaps because there was nothing wrong with three-quarters of him. Yes, his hind legs were bad…but everything else was fine. Perhaps we felt guilty because of the way we loved him to death – literally. We hugged him and petted him while the vet was giving him his last shot. All four adults in the room were somber while Poco was lapping up the attention. We all understood what was happening – Poco didn’t.

And so, as we were getting ready to say ‘hello’ to 2019, we had to say ‘good-bye’ to something that had been a big part of our lives for about ten years.

How’s that for a happy note to start the New Year off on!

I’d like to wish each of you a very Happy New Year! And…why not make it a point to drop by the Pierson Bible Chapel sometime in 2019 – maybe even this Sunday? Our morning service begins at 9:30.

© Melita New Era

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