I put my first dog to sleep yesterday.
We got Tristan in 1998. I had just finished my first year of Vet School, and had Mitzi (kinda my first dog) put to sleep after suffering from complications of a brain tumor. I decided that I wanted another dog, and Scott and I took to finding him.
When we brought him home, he was 6 months old. Dad told me that he was the ugliest dog he had ever seen! Shelties do go through a very teenagery phase... and he was definitely in it! But, he was beautiful to me. While he and I weren't the best of friends at first, he quickly became my dog.
I have called him my Shadow. He always would wake up and go with me to the bathroom in the middle of the night. How I missed him when I was in the hospital before Kate was born! When I worked CCW overnight during our senior year, he would be so drowsy, but when I wheeled the laundry down the hall, he would come without hesitation.
In fact, he loved me so much, my sister (when I told her I was pregnant with Kate) asked me, "Well, have you told Tristan?" Still brings a smile to my face! He did great with the kids... great meaning that he didn't care that they were here - as long as he could stay with me. He never cared that much for the other dogs or cats, except for Cary Grant. Tristan was truly a one person dog - my dog.
It has been a hard day today. I expect him everywhere. Always underfoot. Always in the room where I am. At my feet when they landed out of bed this morning. Like I tell my clients, it was the right decision to let him go. A hard decision, but the right decision. He would have been 12 years old on Valentine's Day.
I sure do miss my Shadow.