Sunday, October 13, 2019


Oh I do need to start this with a confession and apology... you see, I silently judge and when I'm wrong, I must acknowledge the wrong, publicly.
Puppy Jonah

When I see an elderly animal being held together by every means possible, I (silently) wonder why that person can't let go and allow their beloved friend a peaceful, loving end.  I'd muse with an intensity that went from observation to anger, "Can't you see that the tail wag is for you, that the brightening of their face and body is an expression of their love, that living in the moment means that those expressions are just that moment... what about all the rest of the time when they are suffering only to brighten once again because of that love."

No one has a right to judge until they have walked a mile in your shoes.  I am humbled and need to honor your path, your decision because I walk that path. Tomorrow, one month short of his 14th birthday, Jonah (aka The Convict, SHP - Shit Head Puppy, a member of the Lancaster Pack and cofounder of the adventuring group - Da Boyz) will be laid to rest.

A vet once said to me, "I'd rather do it one month too early than a day too late."

He has a degenerative condition - canine laryngeal paralysis which showed up in May 2018.  I adopted Maggie because I was sure that he was on death's door and I needed another dog to keep Chandler happy.  {{{Um, one should always check with the vet first before assuming that Dr Google and Barn Peeps are diagnosticians.}}} Maggie was finally the doggy-buddy that Jonah always wanted and they are fast friends.

Is it time?  When is it time?  Keep him from over exerting himself and cool, that will help his coughing.  The Lancaster Pack enjoyed their air conditioner and ice water throughout the summer. And, his travels around the yard were so slow... he was my black snail slowly doing the job of looking for rabbit pooh to enjoy his vegetarian snack.

His bouts of coughing have become more intense and are so violent that he loses control of his bodily functions.  I also suspect that he isn't sleeping much at night when the coughing attacks are most frequent.  Yet, when he isn't coughing, he is demanding his meals, playing with Maggie and following me around like the loyal friend he is...

Da Boyz

Is it time?  When is it time?  One last treatment, one last pill that has shown to help dogs with this condition.  And for a full week, it felt like a miracle.  He rested comfortably and trotted around the yard greeting the neighbors eager to meet new friends.  No messes...  he was fully present.

When has become now...  and while I am comfortable with the decision, I do have the lingering, ever present thought...  maybe postpone it til next week.  He still wags his tail, he seems happy when he isn't coughing, and look, he is eating food and still searching the yard for rabbit pooh...  maybe next week.

Every time I've had to make the decision to euthanize, it has always been clear - Bruno's body collapsing violently, Sugar's traumatic injury, Maisy's inability to breath and sustain life.  Those decisions were extremely hard, painful and heartbreaking but the timing was not my own.  The timing was critical and immediate - God's time.

Jonah's Gal Pal
But Jonah, he still wags his tail, he still looks at me adoringly, he still follows me around the yard, he still hunts for food.  He has always been in the shadow of the one before, Bruno and the one after, Chandler.  Love is infinite and Jonah has been loved deeply... by me and so many others.  He is truly a good boy, the best boy!

One month too soon versus a day too late.  It is time... a day, a week and maybe a month too early.  To hear him is to know...  It is time.

Thank you God for the almost 14 years of his life... I have been lucky to know him.