||[Jan. 21st, 2008|11:01 pm]
And she's gone.
We were all there. All paying attention to her until the end, petting her, and talking to her. I know it sounds weird, but it was like a little party for her. Then we talked to the vet. As far as he was concerned, the stuff that she was on was the best he knew of, and that if that stopped working... well, the rest is pretty obvious.
So, we all stayed. First she had the sedative. The slightly funny thing was that it took her a good while for it to kick in. She was obviously dosed up to the eyes, and in very little pain (like, we could touch her shoulders and not a peep of a wince), and we all just kept telling her, through waves of tears, how good she was. So, this dog, always wanting to be around for everything, surrounded by people who loved her, just hung on as long as she could. The vet came in, expecting her to be asleep, and she was still awake, but with nary a clue of what the hell was going on.
Finally, she got to sleep... or at least something like it. I think sedated is the word... not really sleeping, but close enough. We even stuck around for the actual shot. Still just touching her, letting her know that we were still there, even if she didn't know it. The weirdest thing happened. It's probably just a simple case feeling something in sympathy with someone who's been in the family for the last four and a half years, coupled with my own experience in hospital, mixed with a bit of an overactive imagination, but when it happened, I felt like there was a rush chemicals in my mouth. Less than a minute and a half later, and it was done.
I don't know if she knew or not. How do you ask a dog if they agree that it's the best thing, or how do you explain to them what's going to happen? Strangely though, I do know that if I could go as peacefully and surrounded by loved ones (although, if you're there, the petting is optional... and probably not appropriate unless done before) before it gets really bad, I'd want the same for myself.
What's really strange is, it's like she pulled herself together for one last good day. She was better than she'd been for the past week and a bit, not a bit sorry for herself, and just being her friendly outgoing self, even though she could barely walk halfway down the hall without stopping for a rest. She did everything we thought of as "Susie-like". Her best day in weeks was her last. While it made for a good farewell to her, for her to be in good form while it happened, it always makes you wonder if it was the right thing... but her quality of life had taken a tumble in the last month or so, and it wasn't going to get better.
Goodbye Susie, aka Jesus*. You'll be missed.
* Frequently she'd be anywhere you didn't want her to be, leading to us tripping and exclaiming "Jesus, Susie!"