Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.

Name

E-mail

facebook Canyon News twitter Canyon News

Canyon News

Bel Air News

Beverly Hills News

Brentwood News

Hollywood Hills News

Laurel Canyon News

Los Angeles News

Los Feliz News

Malibu News

Melrose News

Pacific Palisades News

Santa Monica News

Sherman Oaks News

Studio City News

Topanga Canyon News

West Hollywood News

Westwood News

Woodland Hills

Celebrity News

State News

National News

World Headlines

Deaf News

Entertainment

Film

Television

Music

On the Industry

Star Gazing

St. John's Confidential File

Theatrical Musings

Life & Style

Event Listings

Tech Talk

Looking Good For Lots Less

Spirit & Creativity

Miller Time

Books

View from the Hill

NY WEST

Chrystal's Recipe Corner

Career and Life Coaching

Gardening With Tony

Life According To Lenson

Real Estate Realities

Food

Sports

Marathon Running

Keeping It Bruin: A Look Into UCLA Athletics

Baseball

Basketball

Football

Hockey

Pets

Vi's Corner

Pet Tips

Point of View

John Armor

Message to America

Critic At Large... Ruta Lee

Labor Week

Ramblings

10 Degrees Cooler

McConnors corner

Edge of the west

The Physics Wizard

Auto

Kyle's Kars

Travel

Susan Michelle's Compass

Advice

Ask Deanna

Dear Lily

Ask Oona

Features

Dancing with Earthquakes

Archives

Sports Schedules

Traveling Beyond the Canyon

Edge of the West

Law Man

Ask Us

Nathan Tabor

The Angry Economist

Truth Probe

As I See It

Columnists

Truth Conquers

The Live Wire

Notes from Exile

Letters to the Editor

Dog Training by Anthony

Canyon Mews

Speak!

Sponsors

America's Most Wanted Dogs

World Recipes

Vegetarian Lifestyle

Humor

News Briefs

Local News

Books

News

Canyon Fodder

Bad Movie Night

Critical Projection

Ed's on the Town

Fitness Quests

Flashback Films

Stories of the Strange

Gourmet Grandma

He Said/She Said

Home Matters with Yvonne

L.A. Etch-a-Sketch

L.A. Ruminations

McConnor's Corner

Mommy Minute

Musically Speaking

My Back Pages

Publisher's Pages

ResourceINK

Scene and Heard in L.A.

Silly...But Wise!

Sunset Diaries

Table Options

The Paws Cause

TV Stuff

Cartoon of the Week



As I See It

A Fond Farewell To My Four-Legged Friend
Posted by Jill Chapin on Jan 8, 2006 - 6:04:00 PM

 

I recently put down our fifteen year-old dog. This is a sanitized way of saying that my husband and I ended Madison's life. For those of you who ever had to part with a beloved pet this way, you can commiserate with my kaleidoscope of emotions, vacillating between feeling like a savior one moment and an executioner the next.

We adopted Madison from our neighbors when she was four years old and they found her too rambunctious for their hectic lives. They invited us over to meet her in the hopes that she would win our hearts, and it was love at first sight. Maybe that was because Madison felt the same way about virtually everyone. She instantly fell hard for whomever would give her a friendly pat or a scratch.

And so, she left her first home without so much as a backward glance, wagging her tail as we ambled on down the street to her new abode. But I had no illusions about her newfound attachment to me; she would have moved in with anyone she deemed safe and friendly.

At first she was a fast-moving ball of white fluff zooming from room to room, such was her excitement in checking out her new digs. But as we showered her with attention, she soon settled down into our household's rhythm. Her running rampages were simply exuberant expressions of joy, and I could sense in her playful eyes that she was telling us, "Don't worry, I won't break anything. I'm just happy!"

Madison was smart. Or at least from my anthropomorphic view, I thought she was a genius. Whenever we went walking, she would prance merrily along, looking straight ahead. But if we should pass by her first home, she would look up and make her way jauntily to their front door.

Even more brilliant, she would often gaze contentedly out our front window, where sometimes she would suddenly bark rapturously. I came to realize that whenever she did this, she was simply saying hello to her former owner who would occasionally jog by our house.

What a grand disposition our little Bichon displayed-- never would she snap at anyone, always a willing partner in a cuddle hug. We used to travel with her because she was part of our family. But she grew older and so did we. It became more difficult for us to carry her with us, and so we began boarding her when we traveled, which became almost monthly this past year.

She also needed meds, a special diet, and for much of the year she wore an Elizabethan collar to prevent her from biting her itchy skin.

She coped with all of the indignities of aging with a disposition that would shame us mere humans. Once, when I collected her from her boarding facility, the owner remarked, "Madison has a sassy way about her. She struts around as if to say, 'I'm not old!'"

But old she was. Infirmity crept up on her, but we were reluctant to acknowledge it. For years we had witnessed a slow but steady decline. Then suddenly last month, we came to realize that Madison wasn't just aging; she was dying.

It began with her increasing disorientation. Although pretty much deaf and blind for several years, she could still navigate around her familiar surroundings. But recently she began bumping into places where she had never before ventured.

And then she began to have accidents, simply could not control her bodily functions, but all of this we attributed to the natural aging process. It was her sudden disinterest in food when I came to grips that her behavior was not only attributable to her getting on in years. She was getting ready to leave us.

When she deteriorated to the point of labored breathing and lying on her side for over 23 hours a day, I knew it was up to us to do what every pet hopes their loving owners will do - put her to rest peacefully before a painful ending claims her first.

One last blood test to see if a remedy could "cure" her proved fruitless. We declined the further expense of x-rays because we were advised that they would probably reveal tumors, and we were not prepared to perform heroic but ultimately futile attempts to delay the inevitable.

Enough. It was time to say goodbye. We held and kissed her one last time and said farewell to one of nature's most innocent creations.

Our friends recall how we had lately remarked how over we were with being pet owners. The expense of boarding her, medicating and cleaning up after her, being tethered to our home to feed her and let her outside, the deterioration of our carpet - this was all true. With candor and good humor, we had many a rueful laugh over how my husband could not afford to retire until the dog died.

But beneath our curmudgeonly complaining, we were acutely aware that although life without Madison would certainly be less complicated, we would sorely miss the uncomplicated affection of that loving and lovable dog. She made me feel both guilty for having complained, and so grateful for her companionship.

Goodbye, Maddie. For all the times I may have been less than patient, I owe you this tribute. Of the two of us, you were the far better example of pure, unconditional love.

 

 

 

 

 



 

Cliffside Malibu

-------------------------

-------------------------

 

Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.