18 June 2006

In Memory of Sheela

My parent's dog, Sheela, was put to sleep earlier this week. She had a tumor that made it impossible for her to eat, so she was essentially starving to death. My parents didn't notice at first, because she looked healthy, otherwise; wet nose, smiley, waggy-tailed, jumping around -- she was still practially a puppy (only three years old), and since she was so young, the vet didn't think to check for cancer at first.

Sheela was a good dog. She loved to play games with my dad. She would throw her chew toy over the gate whenever she heard the motorcycle drive up, and wait for my dad to throw it back over the fence, and she knew to only do it when she heard the motorcycle approach. She knew more commands than any of our previous dogs, but she refused to roll over, which gave her a special place in my heart. She could roll over, she just actually refused to. Not even for a cookie.

My mom just wanted to put the dog to sleep, but my dad wanted the vet to operate, since Sheela was so young. In the end, they couldn't save her, though; the tumor was too big. She seemed happy enough until the end. I know she had an enormous, unmanageable tumor inside of her, but the vet said it was probably relatively painless. She was suffering a little bit, but it could have been much, much worse, and she seemed happy.

I hope you're in a better place now, Sheela.


Beth said...

Sheela was so pretty! I have a dog, Trooper, who has epilepsy, and I am struggling with putting him to sleep. He is my whole heart and I can't imagine life without him. Sheela was loved and had a good life while she was here, so that is a good thing.

Emily said...

Briar! That's so sad - I'm sorry :( I know what its like to put down an animal that seems to be so happy right until the end. Its easier when you can see them struggling and you know that they would be in less pain if you put them down.

We had a cat, DeeDee, who had a tumor surrounding her heart and every day it was harder and harder for her to breathe. But she was still so friendly even though she was having difficulties breathing. It was an awful decision, just like putting Sheela down was, but it is the right thing to do in the end.

My heart goes out to your family.