Dog Gone

Our dog Patches died yesterday.

It was congestive heart failure.

Luckily he went quickly. He was over 70 in dog years, which is a good long life. (Don’t tell my 68-year-old father I said that.) Now he can spin psychotic circles in the clouds and dig up the flower beds by the Pearly Gates all he wants.

When I called Madi at work and told her that Patches died she said, “What did you do to him?”


I’ve admitted I was not a fan of having a dog, but I would not purposely harm an innocent animal unless it was a rodent or snake, or super annoying.

The kids are being all weepy and nostalgic over this animal they have basically ignored since we accidentally acquired him six years ago.

Jason has taken care of him the most, but being the mom I’ve carried around the most guilt about him, which is by nature my responsibility to do for any living thing in my household. Since I am sympathetic to his plight I do see that the kids take him for walks, which only happens because I make it a required part of their daily work list.

These same children who begged for a dog now beg to trade taking Patches for a walk for cleaning a toilet.

In fact, we found out Patches was sick because I sent one of the kids out to take him for a walk after they’d dodged that responsibility for days.

Ivy came in from the barn and said, “Patches is acting weird.”

I asked, “How can you tell?”

“He’s not spinning.”

“Oh no, something must really be wrong.”

Something really was.

We looked up his symptoms on the internet which all pointed to congestive heart failure. The kids begged us to take him to the vet and save him so they could ignore him some more.

Having already made large contributions to the veterinary science industry over the years for doomed pets, we decided this time not to pay hundreds of dollars for an expert to tell us, “Your dog is going to die.”

We made him comfortable and he went quickly and peacefully.

You’d think having one less thing to worry about would be a relief, but no.

Now instead of dog guilt, I have ghost dog guilt. Every time I pass the barn where he used to spin incessantly I think, I should have shelved my bike and become a runner so he could go with me. I should have let him destroy my flower beds if it made him happy. I should have taken him to the vet to let him die for $1000.

Being a woman is ruff.

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