empathy can be a bitch sometimes.

We’re not having the best of days here at Castle Frostbite. One of Raven’s pups (the girl) turned out to have a cleft palate, and despite our efforts, she couldn’t get any food down. With a cleft palate, puppies can’t get the proper suction going to suck on the mother’s nipples, and hand-feeding often results in the puppy aspirating food because it goes from the oral cavity into the nasal cavity and thus back into the airway.

We were unwilling to wait for her inevitable and crummy death via either aspiration pneumonia or starvation, so we took her to the vet a little while ago to give her a quick and pain-free passing.

It’s always hard to lose a pet, even if you’ve only had them around for a day or two. When you lose a dog you’ve had for ten or fifteen years, that’s sad and awful, but it’s a whole different thing to lose a pup. They’re so small and fragile, and when you have to let them go, all their potential goes with them–everything they could have been, and all the love you would have bestowed on them over the years: the stuffed animals not mauled, the balls not fetched, and the trashcans not raided.

Sometimes, the knowledge that you did the right thing doesn’t make it any easier. But that’s the nature of the thing when you choose to own pets. You trade the time you have with them for the heartbreak when they have to leave. And sometimes, that time is very short indeed.

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19 thoughts on “empathy can be a bitch sometimes.

  1. JWright says:

    We do the best we can, and leave the results to God.

  2. sportsjim81 says:

    I have two dogs, both just turned 6 years old. They are the first pets I’ve owned so I am not looking forward to the day I have to say goodbye to one of them. I’m sorry you had to let such a little pup go. Good luck with the others.

  3. abnormalist says:

    Extreme condolences…

    A few years ago we had a poor little cat. My daughter named him Cattie Shabazzz. He was a mere three years old when we lost him and was rife with cancer. He was in horrible pain and we had to put him down. This was about two years ago, and every now and then my daughter will still break down in tears about how much she misses Cattie Shabazzz…

    Sometimes we miss them for all the wonderful times we had with them, sometimes its for the wonderful times we didn’t get to, others its both.

  4. Aww, man. I’m so sorry.


  5. Joanna says:

    I clicked through from your Twitter feed, and now I’ve made myself sad.

    /Professor voice off

  6. Matthew house says:

    If it’s any consolation, I recently rescued a malamute pup from the side of the freeway, with a busted chain around him neck. ‘Max’ is thriving now, and is a blessed and delightful 60 pound nuisance. One door closes, another opens…

  7. Ali says:

    That is really hard to go through. Sometimes, doing the right thing sucks. It’s rarely easy.

  8. Fred2 says:

    Sorry to hear that.

    My pup just added 10lbs of muscle, bones and sinew in 2 weeks. 30 to 40lbs. (Ithought she was feeling heavier.)

    She sleeps a lot and LUVES her kibble. I understand why. Wow.

    Only another 6 months to go before she should top out, in the 75-85 range.

    It’s a nice to have a smaller dog this time around.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I am so sorry. That sucks. Brother-in-law recently rescued a puppy. I wanted to give the German Shepard a home so badly, but was sadly unable. Thankfully, he found him a good home.
    But it was even hard to just see him go. My heart breaks for you having to make that decision. hugs to you.

  10. Al Terego says:

    Would that when/if I am facing incurable pain and a hopeless future, becoming burden rather than benefit to those I cherish, I could be so lovingly, so selflessly ministered, administered, and released from this world to be with my God and my loved ones who went before me. Animals are lucky in that way. Yours are especially so. AT

  11. Mark HB says:

    My condolences on your loss. But even in light of a hard, correct decision, I am heartened by knowing that you – Mr. Hard-bitten Gun-Totin’ guy that you are – have such compassion in you that this shit matters.

    You’re a very good man, old friend. You loved that pup as best you could – even when the best that could be was “goodbye”.

  12. Woohoo says:

    That bites but it was the right thing. It could also have been worse. After the April 27 storms that ****ed Alabama up but good, I worked with a crew of guys to cut down trees, tarp houses, etc. I ended up loaning one of them my Marlin .22lr rifle (981T to be specific) and a few cartridges. His daughter had rescued some puppies from under a collapses porch and one wasn’t going to make it. He couldn’t afford to have it euthanized by a vet. Talk about a downer. First you get to see the destruction nature wrought on your neighbors as you try to rebuild, then you get to shoot a puppy at the end of the day. (BTW, I hadn’t met the fellow that day, I knew him enough to trust with my cheap rifle. Got it back the same day.)

  13. Ruth says:

    God that sucks, on the other hand you know what the cause of the problem is (random chance) and that there wasn’t anything you could have done. Co-worker of my husband just found out he’s not going to get his GSD pup afterall, mom’s owner informed him that “most of the pups died.” Period, no reason or explanation given. Now the poor guy is wondering what happened and is feeling decidedly iffy about getting a pup from the guy in the future!

  14. LittleRed1 says:

    Condolences and kind thoughts.

  15. chuckwendig says:

    I completely missed this. Sorry to hear about that, that’s really tough stuff.

    Be well.

    — c.

  16. Jay G. says:

    I’m sorry, Marko.

  17. Grady Stone says:

    The morning I learned that my Pastor, friend and mentor had passed away in Israel I went outside on my patio to cry, pray and to prepare myself to comfort the family and fellow church members. As I was sitting in the chair sobbing my friend and pet Pit Bull Maxx came over, positioned himself between my legs and sat there for the longest time. Later as I was sitting at the kitchen table he came over and placed his head on my leg and just sat there for a while. Our pets know when we are in pain and need comfort.

  18. Bill Johnson says:

    The power of a dog – Rudyard Kipling. a tear jerker.

    Sorry for your loss. My dobie would feel the same, but he can’t read….

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