My Shasta

I do not fucking trust a person that doesn’t like children and/or animals. There’s something seriously wrong with a person like that.-me 

I was there the day she was born. I was there the day she died. I assisted in her birth. She was the first dog that was ever truly mine. My Shasta. We used to breed lovely Schnauzers. I was used to having to sell them. But she was different. I wanted that little girl. Roger Darling said we had to sell her. I was heartbroken, but I understood why. We already had four other dogs and two babies. How could we take care of one more four legged baby? It killed me to sell her. In the end we did. To a nice little old lady from Dundee. She named her Millie.

Fast forward a few weeks and the old lady calls back. Says she can’t take care of her. Wants to bring her back. All I can think is halelujah, my wonder mutt is coming back to me. My little girl. My Shassy. I’m not giving her up again. No matter what Rog says. She’s mine. I told him she was coming back to us. That I was keeping her. He just smiled and said, okay. I was so excited I jumped around the house like an idiot. She really was going to be mine.

I raised that little puppy. I house trained her. Fed her. Groomed her. Disciplined her. In return, she loved me unconditionally. Gave me sweet kisses. Nibbled on my chin. Slept on my pillow and snuggled in close. She always had to be touching me.

As she advanced in age, she slowed down a bit. Still gave me kisses. Snuggled. Chewed on my chin. Greeted me at the door when I got home from work. Sat on my lap. She on one side, her silly brother, Nicky on the other. Then her liver started failing. Her kidneys too. At the ripe old age of 14 I knew what I had to do. It was time to ease her suffering. To let her go. (Come on, reader, you knew where this was going)

On a beautiful spring day I wrapped Shasta in a blanket, loaded her into the car. We went to the vet clinic. We talked about options. Meds, euthanasia. With a heavy heart, I chose to put her down. They told me I could leave the room if I wanted. I chose to stay. See, I was in the room when she came into this world. I had to be there when she left it. I was the first to hold her, clean her, and give her to her mother to nurse.

The vet administered the potent poison. The reaction was instantaneous. I saw the light leave her eyes. My heart broke. My body shook. My tears spilled. The vet and tech left me with her. I picked her up. Held her to me for the last time. Talked to her as tears streamed down my face and chin. I told her that I loved her and I would see her again. Then I thanked her for being mine. I set her down gently. Left the room.

The vet hugged me, said they would take her to their farm for burial. I smiled at the sweetness of the staff. At my happy memories of my Wonder Schnauzer. I was wrecked by the loss, but I was happy at having the opportunity to love such a sweet, little, snarky creature. I’ll never forget her. Ever…..

23 thoughts on “My Shasta

  1. These animals stories are killing me. That’s the one downside but I’ll tell you this, it’s the most humane thing one can do for anything or anyone for that matter that’s in pain. Wish we had the option without having to move to Oregon. Shasta was a cutie alright.

    • Thanks my sweet. She was a marvel. I loved her so. She was mine. Always by my side. I wish we had the option also. It’s stupid that we don’t. I’m not saying that Dr. Kevorkian went about his plan the right way, but I understand it. If I was terminal, I’d want to leave on my own terms. With my dignity intact.

      • Yes Ma’am, you said it. Me too. Years ago I had the sweetest black cat called Inky who had cancer. The day I brought her in to be put down she seemed to rally and I became extremely hopeful. The Vet, whom I really liked and trusted said to me,”You know whatever this is is very temporary and she’s going to start going down hill sooner than later. If you knew that about yourself wouldn’t you want to go with your dignity still intact?” Boy, I have never forgotten that. I loved that cat for her so many reasons including her stoicism. Yeah, animals, they teach us a thing or two, don’t they?

      • Yes my darlin’ they sure do. I can’t imagine not having at least one animal in my life. I’m one of those ridiculous people that you see on the street. If I see a dog, I have to run up to the owner, ask them if I can pet their lovely doggie. I then start speaking in this ridiculous gibberish which the animal just loves. I’m a dork. Sometimes I like being around animals more than I do people.

  2. As each of my pets have died, I have been there….arms wrapped around them, stroking their fur, murmuring into their ear how good they are and how much I love them and what a difference they have made in my life. It absolutely guts me…an entire week after I had my Samson put down is totally blank, I don’t remember a thing for 6 days….but there has never been any question of my NOT being there. How could I not?? It is the very LEAST I could do for them after all they did for me.

    Lord Byron had a dog (a Newfoundland, ironically) that he loved with all his heart. When it died, he wrote this epitaph:

    ‘Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who
    possessed Beauty without Vanity,
    Strength without Insolence,
    Courage without Ferocity,
    and all the Virtues of Man,
    without his Vices….’

    IMO, no truer words have ever been written…. : )

    • Tracy honey that brought tears to my eyes. I agree no truer words have ever been written. Or will there ever be. We love our animals with everything we have. They trust us, love us. Depend on us. All the time I think how lucky we are to live in a world with such wonderful little creatures. That we get to love. That love us. They don’t say a word. But their love for us speaks volumes.

  3. I just lost my own dog just over a week ago, so I know exactly what you are going through right now. I don’t live at home anymore so I have yet to go back to my parent’s house and really let the reality of it sink in… I’m really afraid that I’m in denial thinking this was all a bad dream and she’ll be there to hug me next time I go back. The day I found out though was one of only a handful of times that I have cried that hard, or that long, in my life. It’s tough, but it gets easier day by day!

    • It does indeed get easier every day. However, when you get home you will struggle. You’ll wish for the sound of her nails clicking on the floor. The bark. You’ll wish for it. But in the end it won’t be there. Fortunately you have good memories to get you through the grief. I hope your first time at home without her will be okay. I really do.

  4. Your touching story about Shasta brought back memories of my first dog. She had been “mine” since I was 4 and I was very attached to her. Fast forward 13 years- she had become lame and needed alot of assistance. I awoke one morning to the sound of her falling down the stairs and knew what had to be done. I begged my father to take her in. I stroked her head while the vet administered the meds. Unfortunately it took three tries to get it right. I remember sobbing my heart out while taking her collar off. It was hard to say good bye to my best friend, but it was the compassionate thing to do. I stored her well-worn red leather collar in my dresser for years as a tribute.

    • Thank you for sharing your story with me. I’m so glad you got to have your lovely dog in your life for so long. I’m so upset that it took 3 tries to get the medication to work. That’s horrible. I hope that when she went it was peaceful. Isn’t it funny how we need a memento of the love we had for a creature? I still have Shasta’s collar.

  5. I know joy of a puppy, the companionship of friend and the pain of seeing it end… This was a beautiful tribute to Shasta.
    On a happier note, you’ve been tagged Renee.
    You will just have to come on over to my place for the details… flyawayhomebook

    • Thanks so much for the kind comments Maggie. We’ve all loved and lost haven’t we? It’s all a part of life. It’s our connection. I’ll check out the tagging thing. Sounds like fun. Tag, I’m it. Giggle.

  6. Your story is a happy ~ sad one. And yes, sadly, I did know where it was going. That’s what makes me sad. We love our little rescue “girls” with all of our hearts. I simply cannot imagine life without them. I’m so glad you and Shasta had each other….my heartfelt sympathy ♥ paula

  7. What a beautiful story about your sweet angel. I lost my dog over a year ago and went through the same thing almost. It was the most gut wrenching thing I’ve ever been through. I still miss him terribly and have since gotten another sweetie. but…..I will never forget my charlie. prayers are with you hun…..

    • I lost her a few years ago. She was such a sweetheart. I now have a little one called Heidi Jo. She’s a lot like Shasta. She’ll never replace her though. I’m sorry you lost yours. We give our hearts to them, they die. But we’re better for having loved them.

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