It was six years ago August 12th that I had to put my beloved cat Mr. Dante down. I cried more over losing that cat than when my mother died. (That might tell you more about my mother than about the cat!) I put him down so he would not suffer – there’s little more we can do for our four legged friends than to assist them in avoiding pain. It’s my fervent hope that we in the U.S. will someday – like other, more civilized nations, be able to grant that boon to our fellow humans when requested.
My friend Mary Jo woke up yesterday (August 12th) to find that her cat Tonks had died in his sleep. He also did not suffer – just didn’t wake up.
But August 12th now has a violent aspect. My friend Heather decided to drive up to her brother’s house and, at the last moment, decided to take her two dogs with her. Mr. Snuggles, a mixed breed something or other, about 8 or 9 pounds, cute as a button, friendly, always happy and playful. And Axil, a very old and very cranky Chihuahua. He’s fiercely protective of Heather – and barks whenever anyone approaches. It might be that his bark is defensive since his cataracts are pretty advanced and he can’t see who’s approaching. And perhaps his sense of smell is worn out, also.
Heather’s brother’s family has a Lab mix – big friendly dog named Gus.
So the little dogs are out in the yard and Gus comes out of the house. The little dogs start barking at Gus and he – suddenly and without any provocation other than, perhaps, his sense of territorial rights – attacked Mr. Snuggles. Violently. Right in front of all the kids.
Mr. Snuggles was rushed to the vet but, alas, succumbed to his injuries.
Gus’ behavior is now suspect – especially since this was his second attack on a little dog this summer. He attacked Salty at the lake house – although Salty suffered only a couple of small cuts. Further signs of violence toward other smaller animals (other than the bear he chased a couple of weeks ago which was, of course, far larger than he) will result in his demise via lethal injection.
Such things are, I suppose, inevitable when one “owns” pets – but I do wish that Mr. Snuggles end had not been so violent, so sudden, so horrifying. He was given a lovely funeral in the side yard, laid to rest accompanied with poetry and words of fond remembrances by his friends and family.