• Barbara Clayton Price


Day 102

Tuesday, June 23 ,2020

The Dog Days of Summer. This is our dog Johnson. He has since passed on, but I love this picture of him. Totally disregarding my Hosta plant, and finding a cool spot to sit in the garden. I can't even begin to tell you how much he was loved.

Johnson was my eldest daughter's dog. She had him when she was married, and they both came to live with me after her divorce. He was my grand-doggie, the same as other pets in my family. I there are no words to tell you how much I loved Johnson. His energy was so calm, and he was either hungry or happy, nothing in-between. He had loving ,human eyes and a heart to match.

Our boy has since past on. He led a great life right up until the end of his thirteen years. We eventually made the decision, to help Johnson leave this life here on earth and go to a better place. A place where he would not feel pain and, he could run and walk up stairs again. I couldn't make that decision, and it was almost impossible for my daughter as well. It was after one of his doctor's appointments, that the veterinarian helped us make the decision. It was best for the boy, and that was the most important thing. We had to let him go, in the near future.

When I heard the news from the doctor, I immediately knew what we had to do. I'd heard about a service where a veterinarian would come to your home and provide the service there. I said to my daughter, we couldn't let him go to that office, that he hated so much, and die on that cold, stainless steel table. We were going to give him a great sendoff. The one he deserved.

We prepared for the day the doctor would come. I cooked him, a steak that day and he thoroughly enjoyed it. We put his favorite blanket on his bed. We lit candles and played soft music. He had his favorite toys and lots of treats. He LOVED food and especially treats. Like most hounds, he was food driven. Proof being, that he was eating his treats right up until the time he left us.

The doctor was like an angel. She was soft spoken, and so kind. She asked us about Johnson, and we all sat on the floor around him, watching him eat his treats. We laughed and cried, as we talked about what a character he was. We talked about what a good boy he'd always been, not a mean bone in his body. The doctor put the IV in his leg, but not the medicine. He didn't even flinch. She gave him a sedative before that, so he would be calm and relaxed. We talked mor,e and loved him up constantly. Petting him, and talking to him, keeping him happy, up to the end of his life.

After a time the doctor said that, if we were ready, she would administer the medicine. We were as ready as we would ever be. We were doing it for him. He would no longer be in pain, and unable to run and go up steps. He would quietly and painlessly leave this earth. It was for him we did it, but it was the worst thing we could imagine happening. She gave him the intravenous medication. The sleeping potion, that would put our prince charming to sleep forever. He was still and quiet in less than a minute. He was at peace at last, but we were numb and in such emotional pain. Our pain lasted for days, as we grieved. We went through all the stages of grief. He was our baby, and he was gone.

The doctor put Johnson in a royal satin, purple covering, and placed him on a small, hand held stretcher. My daughter at one end and the doctor at the other, they carried him out to her vehicle. He had a royal send off, right down to the end. No dog, or human could ask for a better death. In fact, I have to admit, I thought it was sad, that people who were suffering in pain, couldn't have that painless and peaceful end to their lives. Of course, we don't do that, but I couldn't help thinking it.

I'm not sure why I decided to write about our boy Johnson. I'd intended to talk about the heat and what summer brings. Maybe how Covid-19 changed the summer for many people. I just didn't go there. That picture I love of Johnson made this story pour out of me. I know that many people have purchased dogs and other pets during the new coronavirus. Most people have more time now to get and train a puppy. Others are lonely looking for companionship. I hope that all the people love and care for their pets, and that they become part of the family or a partner in life. I hope they love their fur-baby as much as we did our Johnson. Thanks for listening.

Remember that Covid-19 will not last forever and to love one another.

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