Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Teddy is gone

Today I put one of my canine life companions "to sleep" as people so coyly like to put it when we end the lives of our non-human family members. I am devastated. My heart is broken.

Several things have happened in the last little while that made me come to this decision - but you never really know if you did the right thing or not. But last night it just hit me like a ton of bricks. Charlie - who is the most gentle, loving, easy to get along with, submissive for all the right reasons dog in this world - snapped (and I could almost say - bit) me twice - while trying to go after Teddy's food at suppertime - and I pushed him away so that Teddy could get back and start eating it again.

When he snapped at me - and I felt the contact on my arm - I realized that the dynamics in the house had gotten to a point because Teddy was always growling, snapping, peeing, shitting, and doing whatever he wanted. And the dogs and me were constantly having to defer to him. I deferred to him because of his past abuse and my belief that his problems were neurological - which I'm sure they mostly were. And the dogs had to do it because I made them - but last night Charlie tood umbrage with it - and snapped at me. And I thought to myself - what am I doing to these dogs? Buttercup has got porphyrin staining all up one of her legs because she won't stop chewing it - and I'm sure it's because of stress. Nobody can ever relax because Teddy was constantly growling and snapping - and no one could protect me - Buttercup was always trying to protect me. She was even starting to sleep on my face. And that is too big of a job for such a small dog.

Being a Buddhist I have to believe that I've just given him a jump start on a better next life. I've liberated him from this very painful current existence - and in about 49 days he's going to be reborn somewhere else - and I really hope that the next time he has better luck than he did this time. I will miss him terribly, and I am so sorry that I wasn't able to fix him. I take full responsibility for his death. I didn't do it lightly. I understand all it's ramifications.

Below is video I took yesterday morning of Teddy. It is some final video of him being himself.

I hope I will see him again someday.


  1. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Aw Joan - I know you must be so sad. I think it was for the best given everything you described. He had the best possible chance for a normal life with you the past year.

    Hugs to you and the gang.


  2. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Joan I think you did the right thing. If it wasn't the right thing...you would not have done it.

    And you gave Teddy the life he never had which is amazing.

    Sometimes things beyond our control happen and we cannot understand why we needed to have the experience. Because who needs to have unpleasant experiences and emotionally hurtful times?

    Having been through it I really feel bad for you right now. It will weigh hard on your conscience at it feels a little like playing god (or Buddha I guess).

    It will scar you deeply for sure but it will also make you stronger. And every day will get a little easier.

    Light a candle for little Teddy and I will do the same in my home.

    To a safe journey and rebirth and all the best in the next life little man...

    Angela & Nelson

  3. Anonymous1:05 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss Joan...What I know of you and the few times we have met i know you did all you could and Teddy was loved so much, the part of his emotions that still understood and were still anchored in reality would know that...Jeannie :o(

  4. Anonymous3:53 PM

    RIP Teddy.

  5. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Joan I know how hard this must of been for you. I also know Teddy had the best possible life with a wonderful woman who gave him the best doggie life possible. Hugs to you.

  6. I am so sorry about Teddy and your difficult decision, Joan. (I'm behind on so much and just ran across a recent comment on his passing.)

    I think you did the best thing, gave him a happy home, new adventures, and tried to work with his needs and show him that he didn't have to face life as if it were an ongoing fight.

    You captured vignettes of his life with you. They showed the hope and the love you had to offer for him. A hard decision but it was the right one for him -- for your doggie family and for you.

    Through you, Teddy was able to teach us all more about compassion, love and hope. I think he sometimes knew he was on to something good and had some good times, but he still had to struggle with his devils.

    I am glad you and the rest of the doggie family are okay! Wishing you all the best!

  7. I am so sorry to hear about Teddy. I know exactly how you feel when you say what a responsibility it is to make such a decision. I have done it, and it is a heavy load on the heart.

    As the mama of a formerly abused dog, I am aware of how even when in a loving home, they still suffer from their past. There is only so much we can do. Luckily my little guy is still young and I don't believe he has any physcial problems from the abuse.

    My heart goes out to you, I always loved Teddy's quiet little presence in your videos. I know he is waiting somewhere to see you again, heaven to me can only be a place where I will be reunited with all my pets.

    Here is a link to a great story I just came across about dogs and the afterlife- it is a take on the rainbow bridge theme, but I really loved it.