Some days it is difficult to be an adult more than others. Today was one of those days. It might have been one of the hardest decisions my husband and I had to make but we made the decision to put our first baby Fred to sleep.
It has been a long time coming for Fred. He is almost 15 years old which is pretty old for a dog. For about the last year he has had trouble getting up on his own. He has had arthritis in his back legs and we have tried 4 different medicines to help him with the pain.
It has been difficult as he is still so aware and sometimes seemed so happy. Over time though he has declined where he couldn't get up at all on his own and even would fall down sometimes outside when he was trying to have a bowel movement. Often times we would find him in a puddle of pee because he just couldn't get up. We would often find him under a chair or table and he would be trapped there.
He also recently started barking out of the blue. He never was a dog who barked much so this was very strange to hear.
If you don't know what happens when you make this decision for your pet I can step you through what happened. We brought Fred to the Vet and I held him in his blanket. The doctor came in and injected him with a sedative. At this point he got very mellow and pretty much fell asleep. I felt like at that point he was already gone. We then put him on the table and they shaved a little section of hair on his leg. They then injected him and within minutes his heartbeat was gone. Here he is right before the sedative. He was shaking and his breathing was a little strange as he always gets nervous going to the Vet. We also had options of to have him buried in a pet cemetery, have him cremated alone and receive his ashes, or cremated with other dogs. We chose to have him cremated and receive his ashes which will come in a picture urn. We will take some of his ashes and spread them in our yard where we are going to plant a tree for him.
The kids have loved Fred and he was always so good with them. I spent many hours holding Fred on the couch and talking to him. He truly was always my baby and it broke my heart to have to say goodbye to him.
This is during this past Christmas. He always posed with the kids for pictures.
This is Fred when we first got him. He was only 5 pounds and the sweetest little Shetland Sheepdog puppy.
I loved him like a baby. I taught him tricks and trained him. I read books to learn how to train him. I even made a scrapbook of his pictures!
We took him to see Santa when he was a baby.
I always make it a point to have a birthday party for him. I got Clifford the Dog party hats.
Fred was the first baby but was there for when both Evan and Lauren came home from the hospital. I thought it was a sign when we had Evan as Carter's had a dog set that had just come out and it had little dogs and it said Fred!
He made sure to keep an eye on the kids when they were babies.
And even as they got a little older.
He went on the first walk with Evan.
He was playful.
He liked leaves and snow.
He never cared if we dressed him up, put hats on him or even costumes for Halloween.
Here was Fred as a Ghostbuster for Halloween!
With his bunny ears for Easter.
He was always involved.
He was a wonderful dog and we will miss him dearly. I hope now he can spend time with his parents, run with sheep, meet his Uncle Rocky (my Yorkshire Terrier growing up), and catch frisbees again.