It’s a sad day when you have to put an animal down. Yesterday was one of those sad days here in our household. Kiwi, our old blue heeler, started being a bit subdued and preferred to lay outside and look at the grass growing. That was a big departure even from Sunday, when she was jumping up at me as usual when I got home. By Monday evening she was not eating, and only drinking limited amounts of water.

Tuesday morning when I woke up early there was foamy dog puke in at least six or seven places indoors, and I could tell she’d been outside as well. She was definitively subdued, but she managed to get in and out through the doggie door herself. By nine-ish she was just lying outside panting. We got a time with the vet at 11, but at 10 she started whining a bit, so we just got in the car, Denice driving and me in the back holding and looking after Kiwi. Traffic was bad and Denice was a bit stressed, and when we got close to the vet Kiwi started making noises of serious pain. Denice stepped on the accelerator and exited I-5, only to take the wrong exit.

At the vets’ Kiwi was almost completely unresponsive, and I carried her in, which gave her immediate access to the treatment room. They x-rayed here and Dr. McGill came and gave us the bad news that it looked like Kiwi had several growths on her liver, and that it had probably packed up altogether. Denice, as Kiwi’s mommy for about fifteen years, had to make the difficult decision to put Kiwi to sleep, but it was the right thing to do. Even if we had had surgery she would most likely never recover, and that would just prolong her suffering, assuming she even survived the surgery. Instead she was given some morphine to remove the pain, and then she was put down. It was sad to stand there and see her go, but at least she got to live a long happy life, and didn’t have to suffer for a long time.

After that the staff put her in the car, and I drove to Bill’s house with Denice in the back still holding Kiwi. As we arrived Bill was already digging a hole next to where Kiwi’s old friends Rocky, Kitty Boy and Aurora are already resting. We buried her draped in her favorite blanket, and after that Denice and I went downtown for our improvised wake, Indian buffet and a beer.

We’ll miss her.