Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Riley and Me...

The time is coming to say good-bye to our pup Riley....or as my friend Uncle Larry calls her "Big Yellow Dog". On Friday we are having her put down. She is not even gone yet and I can't stop blubbering.

I must look like an absolute idiot. I am not just crying, I am weeping over this dog. The ugly cry. The cry where the tears won't stop. I never ever thought in a million years that I would be this affected by a pet. They really do become part of your family and when they die it leaves a void. I am blogging about her now because I know I will be a wreck on Friday and because I have this twinge of guilt. How could I bring my dog into the vet to be put to death? Why can't dogs just die peacefully on their own? She is sick and has been for over 5 years, I can only assume she is miserable. I know we have made the right decision, but it doesn't make it any easier.

This saga started 9 1/2 years ago. My hubby and I were still relatively newly weds, we just purchased our home, and I had just graduated college. The next major thing we needed to do was get dog. It was my graduation gift and our test to see if we could handle children. I researched breeds and breeders. I had to have the perfect dog. The perfect dog would have to be great with kids and be a good running companion. I found one. A wonderful breeder with 8 week old Yellow Lab pups. We made the hour trek and found our puppy. She was adorable and I had to have her.

It was a good thing she was cute because if she wasn't she would have been put down years ago for her crazy behavior. If you have read the book Marley and Me you can appreciate our story. I think I could have written a similar book. Riley has never been a good dog. She gave Labs a bad name. I often wondered how and why these dogs were used as service dogs.

Was she a good running companion?
Not all all. For a sporting breed, running was not her forte. She would quit about 1/2 mile into a run and stop to do her biz every 5 feet. She literally could make herself poop so she didn't have to run.


Was she a good watch dog?
Nope. She sat and watched while people stole our bikes while in our drive way. Did she bark? No. Did she growl? No. She just watched them. Now, when the mail is delivered that is another story. She barks and snarls at the mailman who give her treats but not for criminals.
She also:

She begs at the table, often times jumping up to get the food.
She will not come in the house when called. I had to go out and chase her this morning.
She refuses to go out in the rain. *gasp* my water dog hates the water!!!!
She used to run away a lot.
She is a digger.

We often joke about what to put on her name tag. My favorite was "Riley-You find her, you keep her." To her credit, we weren't the best trainers.

She earned nicknames such as:
Numbnutz, Dammit Riley, and Effing Dog

Through the years she never really calmed down as people promised. She still would get in your face and pant or snatch food out of your hand. Even though she was an insane dog, she LOVES the kids. She always has a warm spot on the one of the boys' beds or curls up next to Baby Diva's crib. They loved her too. They all use her as a climbing toy and she would just sits there and takes it. She loves her walks and playing countless hours of fetch in the backyard. Even though she is sick and crazy, she is our sick and crazy. She is a total love pig and I could never stay mad at her.

So here I sit sobbing, about a dog that isn't even dead yet. then I bust out laughing because of all the crazy times we have had with her. Then I go back to crying. All this over a dog. My husband is sad, but he grew up on a farm so he has been through this before. I have not. Please bear with me during my moment of over dramatic insanity over Big Yellow Dog.

I guess now I can pull out the sympathy card. Ha!

22 comments:

MCM Mama said...

{{{HUGS}}} I was the same way when we had to put our annoying biatch of a cat down a few years ago. It's never easy, even when it is the right decision.

Lily on the Road said...

Oh Carly, I just know the ups and downs you are going through. My heart is with you...give her all the love you can over the next few days....{Hugs}, I love all animals...

okay, I'm crying now....sniff....

Jess said...

I'm sure it's the most compassionate thing, but I am SO sorry. If I had to put my dog down, I would be a complete wreck!

D10 said...

I won't lie, this is an awful experience. We had to put our dog down once too, it was so sad. Making the appointment was the worst. I'll be thinking about you and your family on Friday.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

That's such a hard thing to do. I understand what you are going through completely. *hugs*

Carolina John said...

sorry to hear you're going through that. We have a 14 year old dalmation, so i'm sure we'll be facing the same fate soon enough.

Marcy said...

(((HUGS))) Carly! My MIL had to put down her dog (it was 18) the other day. She bawled and bawled. Animals REALLY are like another "person" in the family. It's hard to say good bye.

Marlene said...

I'm so sorry. :( (((HUGS)))

X-Country2 said...

You cry as much as you need to, girl. {Hugs}

Tammy said...

My heart goes out to you Carly. It's always tough losing a pet. She really is a member of your family.

BeachRunner said...

I'm so sorry.

smellyshelley said...

Awe. I'm so sorry. I have lots of pets and grew up on a farm, and I still blubber like that. Okay, now I'm starting to cry too...I'll be thinking of you Friday.

Cyndi said...

I'm so sorry your family has to go through this...I'll be thinking of you Friday.

Viv said...

Oh Carly it does make me think of Marley and Me...

Hugs, hun I know it is has to be very tough for the whole family.

tfh said...

I'm so sorry-- watching my first dog die was heartbreaking. If it's any consolation, and it's not, the fact that it was a "natural" death was no easier-- in fact, it has been harder in retrospect to wonder if our dear dog suffered too long. May your dear Riley die peacefully with those she loves. Take care.

mommie2lea said...

(((((((HUGE HUGS))))))). I actually think that the waiting and knowing, the actual countdown that you are doing now, is one of the hardest (and guiltiest) parts of putting down a beloved pet. You grieve before and after, both in different ways. I am so sorry.

I Run for Fun said...

That is such a sweet tribute! So sorry...

Catholic Runner said...

so sad. sorry.

Dawn said...

Oh Carly, I'm so sad for you. My day is coming soon too, and it's so difficult to even think about.

Hang in there.

RooBabs said...

I'm so sorry that the time has finally come for your sweet Riley. I used to have a yellow lab, and he got sick (with diabetes), so we had to put him down (it was 5 years ago, the day after Halloween). I cried the ugly cry, too. In fact, for a year after that, whenever I thought about it, I would cry all over again (even at work, which is really embarrassing). I vowed never to get another pet, because it's too hard to say goodbye.

Reading your post, my eyes are all teary. I never read the book Marley and Me, and I'm not sure if I dare see the movie- I am way too much of a sap.

My heart goes out to you and your family. Know that I'll be thinking of you.

Diana said...

I just started to read on your blog-I too just put down my cat this past October. I am still saddened by my decision. However, working in a large hospital and seeing what we put 'humans' through, I am glad that we have the chance to put our animals, who at times, are our best friends, down in a peaceful ending. I stood with my cat Alex in my arms as they gave 'the shot' and watched him just go to sleep. I cried hard and I really miss him, but if only I could have had my parents go so peacefully instead of suffering at the end. OK, this turned into a sad story, sorry, but we need to get our shit together when it comes to taking care of people. Riley will always be remembered in your heart, and when you get another pet-that one too will hold a special place. That's why are heart is made of muscle-it gets used a lot and it can take it! God bless Riley--and Alex!

The Running Knitter said...

I'm thinking of you and the family today. Hugs!