Sunday, May 20, 2007

My landlady put her dog to sleep yesterday morning. I feel really sad about it. I mean, he was 14 years old, which is pretty old for a dog, and he had a lot of trouble with his legs, was pretty much blind and deaf, and since last week, when he probably had a stroke, hadn't been able to bark at all. Also, he became incontinent and was confined pretty much to the kitchen all the time. It does seem like her choice was for the best, as he was beginning to suffer more and more, but it is still sad. And I feel terribly guilty and am filled with regret for not spending more time with him and not taking better care of him. One day maybe I'll write about all the reasons I am moving out -- why living here has not been ideal for me for many reasons. But right now I just feel sad and filled with regret -- about the fact that I didn't come home the night before she put him to sleep -- when I could have said good-bye and could have spent some time with him. I didn't know she was putting him to sleep, because she told me she had decided not to, because she said he was rallying, that he seemed better. I was in West Concord with some work friends, who invited me to hang out, which they've never done before. She called me at 7:30pm that night and left a message asking if I was going to be home soon because she didn't want to have to leave him in the kitchen and she wasn't going to be home until 10pm. There have been many times when I have come home from whatever I was doing because she had some sort of social engagement and needed me to take care of him, but that night, I decided not to return her call. Honestly, I was having fun. I haven't really done many social things lately and I was enjoying myself -- and I was 45 minutes from home. The next day when I went to tell her I was sorry I didn't get back to her -- that I was with friends from work, etc., she told me she had already put him to sleep. I felt like such an asshole. I felt like such a lazy, selfish asshole and honestly, I still do. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her to do it. This dog has been part of her life for a very long time and her life here in this house is now going to be drastically different. Her main companion is gone and that must be very, very sad for her.

I have no good pictures of Crab. He always moved suddenly whenever I tried to take his picture. But here is a post from when I first moved in that shows him in motion. And here's another post about a funny thing that happened one day. Honestly, at the time, I think I was upset about it, but I laughed about that for a long time.

To Crab:
May you rest in peace. And, wherever you are now, may there be many interesting smells and lots of delicious doggie treats.


andre said...

Hi Pam,

Perhaps I don't understand the relationship you have with your landlord, whether you two are friends, but even if you are--and this is important--you don't ever need to apologize for your joy. She can't expect you to drop everything on a dime to be there for her dog. I'm sure Crab was an amazing companion and that you would have been there for her had she given you more notice. . But, as much as we may want to be, we can't be there for everybody all the time. It's ok to have fun, to go out with friends, to laugh. . there is a lot of suffering in the world, but my sadness just makes it worse unless I use it constructively. . Now that Crab is gone you can try and be a friend to your landlord in other ways. . but feeling bad about not picking up the phone is no help to anyone.

I share this in friendship and hope. . No apologies for joy. just this moment. . HERE.
wishing you good!

andre said...

p.s. I *love* the lavender!

Suze said...

i agree with andre-you shouldn't feel guilty for not dropping everything to make a 45-minute trip home to babysit her dog. it was his time to go, and while it's sad you didn't say goodbye to him, you had no such obligation to your landlord. spending time with your friends is more important. i'm sure crab is in a better place now.