For the first time in many weeks, I did something. I resorted to food to alleviate some stress. I ate some chocolate peanut butter Easter eggs. They were small and it was only two of them but it is the fact that I resorted to eating to try to alleviate stress that bothers me most.
So, instead of resorting to eating tonight, bear with me as write about what is bothering me. You see, we have three dogs and one of them, my Matti, is suffering. We have known since she was pup that she had hip issues. In the last few weeks, it is becoming more obvious that we may have to make that decision that you never want to face as a pet owner and end her suffering.
Matti is a black lab and was our first dog. We adopted her shortly after Sept. 11th, when we just could not face coming home to an empty house. Now, we do not consider our dogs in anyway equivalent to "kids" but they are part of our family. They definitely enrich our lives and display such unconditional live.
I remember the day we got Matti and how she cried and cried in the car on the way home. She was so small, only 9 pounds. She slept on a throw pillow from the couch. I remember how I used to dream that we had an alligator as a pet because she nipped so much as a puppy. She loved to be with us. In fact, when we fed her in the kitchen, she would take a mouthful of food and bring it into whatever room we would be in to chew it. She loved to sleep on the back of Tim's chair as he watched TV.
When we first got our second dog (Tuff, a German shorthair), we saw how maternal she was. We took them to a park to meet each other. I remember how she went and got a stick and dropped it at his feet for him to take. It was huge stick but the little puppy picked it up and walked around with it so proudly. Matti would sit there for hours just watching the younger pup sleep. Once when a friend was over with their baby, she sat at my feet, just watching as I held the little one.
She has such funny mannerisms. You blow air at her and she blows air through her nose at you. She learned karate as a puppy. You say "HI YAH" and she comes running from any place she might be. In fact, once she tore our friend's shirt when he yelled "HI YAH" and she came running at him and jumped up on him. She loves to rough house and fight. Even now when she is hurting so much, she would love to keep fight and jumping.
She is very much on guard after dark and I would pity the fool that would walk into our house unannounced while she is on guard.
Matti will always have a special place in our hearts. For now, we are trying to keep her comfortable until it is not possible any longer. Then we will make the decision that is right for her but not necessarily for us. I do worry about how the other two will react to our loss as well but we do need to make the right decision for her. We will always love our Sweet Matilda.