I live most of my life with little or no awareness. The daily routine, chores and responsibilities tend to occupy most of my thinking time. And when it’s not occupied by the above, it tends to get occupied by the guilt of not having accomplished something. Alongside all this happens relationships that I covet. One such relationship is as a pet parent of Goofy.
Goofy came home when he was less than a couple of months old. Like any new baby at home, our first few nights at home went by without much sleep. Very soon he settled into his home, loved his human-sisters, caretakers and his space. From the naughty little boy, he grew into a mature young man who had his bouts of tantrums but always had loads and loads of love to share.
My morning routine began by giving him Marie biscuits, and on days, I missed that routine, he was very vocal to ensure I was reminded of my duty towards him. After that, he never bothered me for anything else, unless…I was making french toast for my daughters. When he got a whiff of it, he would give me the cutest puppy looks that could make anyone weak at the knees. So I had to dole out a separate batch for this ever-hungry boy.
Mid-February 2019, he was 9 and 1/2 years old. We noticed that his appetite had dropped and a trip to the vet showed results that were not good. He had little time, and the vet gave me the option of euthanasia. I was not convinced. After discussing with my family, we thought we should let him live in peace in the space that was his. My reasoning was that if his birth was a process that I did not control, I should not be interfering with his process of death. That I should not steal him of his death, a natural process that I don’t comprehend.
A couple of days passed, and his condition worsened. He would not eat at all and had to get on IV for sustenance. He lost a lot of weight & became frail in a week. It got worse. He was in pain. A lot of pain. He started to get aggressive with himself. This was the toughest thing ever for me to see. I am not proud of myself for having changed my stand, but then, I did. I denied him his natural process of dying. I signed him up for euthanasia.
As he lay on the vet’s table, my helpers and I were by his side. The vet pushed the sleep potion through him. He took his last breath, and he did not breath again. He was gone. I had killed him without regrets.
I had played god, and I HATED it.
As conscious beings, we all think of death, and it’s finality. We hide behind our irrationality called faith or instinct. Sometimes, I wonder if it is our rational thinking that has killed instinct and faith. Either way, when death becomes our loved ones, it is not easy to apply logic. And when the blood of our loved ones lies on our hands, the self asks for more awareness every living moment.
“Goofball, I want to believe that you wanted me to do this. I don’t want to be sorry for my decision. I don’t want to be sorry for stealing your time from you. But then, I am sorry, my boy. I AM SORRY!”